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Iuk Eel Season [Mar]

Hot winds cease and temperatures cool.  Iuk (eels) are fat and ready to harvest.

Binap (Manna Gum) is flowering.

Days and nights are of equal length.

Lo-An Tuka, the Hunter, is the star Canopus, seen almost due south at sunset.

Seven Seasons of the Kulin People

Artist - Karina H McInnes
Source - Museum Victoria

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Communities making a difference for our little beach nesters

Published: Coastline - Winter Edition 2010

Author: Grainne Maguire, Beach-nesting Birds Project Manager, Birds Australia

This was the best hooded plover breeding season to date. Not only have we been fortunate to monitor and manage more nests this year, but as a result we have also seen incredibly high breeding success in two areas on the Victorian coast: the Bass Coast and in the far west between Warrnambool and Port Fairy, bringing the state’s total of fledged (flying) young to 78 for the 115 pairs monitored.

On the Bass Coast, 80 per cent of the 20 young produced came from beaches with protective onground actions (such as signage and fencing); in the far west, over 90 per cent came from managed sites. By comparison, 43 fledglings for 106 pairs (2006), 36 for 100 pairs (2007) and 36 for 96 pairs (2008) were recorded in previous years.

There are over 350 volunteers involved in this project: seven Friends of the Hooded Plover groups, 20 community groups, local and state government agencies (e.g. 22 rangers), 10 schools, coastal boards and CMAs, committees of management and Deakin University. It is amazing what can be accomplished with so many people working together.

Over the years we have changed the direction this threatened species was headed in by stabilising their decline and giving birds on heavily used beaches a 90 per cent chance of successful breeding compared with 5 per cent where there was no intervention. We have discovered new ways to protect them, too: wooden shelters that give chicks a safe hiding place, identified information gaps to convey just how fragile these birds are and given coastal Victorians an insight into the secret life of these little birds right on their doorstep.

Now, when people visit the beach, they look towards the sand, not just out to sea. Here they see a species that is breeding among our bare feet. Their presence signals a healthy food chain and dune system, but it is their successful breeding that signals that we are balancing use of the coast with its value as habitat. These birds, despite their tiny stature, are significant to so many people and represent the passion Victorians have for a healthy coast.


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Bass Coast Friends of the Hooded Plover is a regional group of BirdLife Australia.


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