17 December, 2016

UPDATE - CAPERTEE VALLEY REGENT HONEYEATER RECOVERY PROJECT



The second tree-planting weekend of 2016 was held on 19th – 21st August, when 3100 trees and shrubs were planted on a property (“Fetternear”) on Crown Station Road.  The plantings adjoin important remnant White Box woodland along Crown Station Road and to the west of the property.  It is also close to one of our regular Regent survey sites.

Approximately 100 volunteers took part and both planting and watering were completed by the end of the day. As usual, there was a large contingent of volunteers from Taronga Zoo.  There was also a group of about 20 members of the Shah Satnam JI Green –S Welfare Force Wing of Dera Sacha, an Indian religious environmental group which had participated in the 2 previous plantings. A big vote of thanks is due to everyone who helped make the weekend a success.

The total number of trees and shrubs planted since the project’s inception now stands at 126,000. The total area planted is 262 ha and comprises 65 sites on 48 properties.  

The August Regent Honeyeater surveys were held on the Sunday of the planting weekend. No Regents were recorded on any of the 12 sites although there were birds in the valley at the time, with an estimated 10 birds reported at Capertee National Park by ANU research student Ross Crates. One bird was also seen by a volunteer near the planting site during the weekend.

No Regents were seen either on any of the 12 survey sites during the September and October surveys (which are coordinated by CBOC and Birding NSW respectively).  This was not particularly surprising as flowering  has been generally poor. The Capertee National Park continued to be the main focus for Regents in the Valley over the course of the spring

Staff from the BirdLife national office in Melbourne have been analyzing the data from these surveys, which have been conducted each August, September and October since 2001. It had been planned that Dean Ingwersen would make a presentation on results of a preliminary analysis of the data at the tree-planting dinner on the Saturday night but this had to be postponed as Dean was unable to attend, due to unforeseen circumstances . Further work on analysis of the data has been completed since then and it is hoped that a presentation can be given at the May 2017 dinner.

The tree-plantings for next year will be held on the 5-7th May and 18-20th August.  The August planting is subject to the availability of funding. Our current grant (from the federal government through Central Tablelands Local Lands Services) expires in June 2017 although there may be sufficient funds left over to fund an additional planting and we are hopeful that additional funding may be secured in the interim.

On behalf of BirdLife Southern NSW, I would like to thank all those enthusiastic and hard working volunteers who have contributed to the project during the year . We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible again next year.

Iain Paterson


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