A Report to the SGCS by Jane Taylor
Ayr Creek is a compromised eco-system, but it is still home to a surprising diversity of birds, which were studied in March and April 2022. Monitoring with motion cameras also revealed exciting findings of Lewin’s Rail, listed as Vulnerable in Victoria, and Spotless Crake which appears to be a new species for the site. Both were at the revegetated wetland at the centre of Ayr Creek, and both appeared to be resident with steady records throughout the two-month study. This highlights the conservation value of Ayr Creek and demonstrates what restoration projects can achieve. In this report, I discuss my findings and provide recommendations. (Image: Lewin's Rail)
Nov 2019: SGCS was involved in the Great Victorian Fish Count this year at Shack Bay. Every November and December, hundreds of divers and snorkelers plunge into the water to take part in the biggest citizen-science event on Victoria’s marine calendar, the Great Victorian Fish Count.
Aug 2019: Here is the report from a year-long investigation of the current beach erosion sequence at Inverloch, and the environmental, economic and community values that are under threat. It was launched on 2 Aug 2019, and a hard copy may be borrowed from the Bunurong Environment Centre.
June 2017: The Conservation Society has been involved in a long-drawn-out battle to place a large area of bushland adjoining the Screw Creek estuary into a reserve. Previously zoned as Rural and grazed by beef cattle, it was proposed to be rezoned into one-acre lots. Objectors successfully argued that the new housing development should be limited to the cleared part of the property.
The new section more than doubles the size of the Screw Creek reserve and protects the higher reaches of the estuary and a large area of natural bushland upstream to Bass Highway.
In partnership with Parks Victoria, the South Gippsland Conservation Society have been actively involved at Screw Creek for many years, replanting local indigenous species and constructing tracks, boardwalks, fishing platforms, information shelters and seating. The reserve is visited by over 10,000 people each year and has won many awards.
The Society now wishes to extend these values to the new section by careful placement of access tracks, and by weed control and management of the natural bushland.
We have had weeding days and planning walks in the new section and have applied for grants, one of which has been approved by Coastcare. The township has spread and subdivision is happening on both sides of the reserve with an expectation of greater numbers of people using this beautiful area.
Therefore we are actively seeking funding and support to begin the public access infrastructure needed, such as defined walking tracks, boardwalks over wet areas, seating and viewing platforms. Please contact SGCS if you would like to be involved in any way.