Edenhope family day set to soar
Edenhope district’s Sara McDonnell believes a family day celebrating the threatened Kowree brolga will encourage people to better protect the graceful birds for future generations.
Sara and husband Dale will host the free event on Sunday, June 24, at a wetland on their farm Kooyonga, north of Edenhope.
The Kowree Brolga day, organised by Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and West Wimmera Landcare, includes children’s activities, a barbecue lunch and talks by brolga researcher Inka Veltheim and comedy writer and bird enthusiast Sean Dooley.
Wimmera CMA wetlands officer Jacqui Norris said the idea for a brolga day stemmed from widespread community concern for the brolga population.
The latest brolga counts show only 600 of the cranes remain in Victoria, mostly in the state’s south-west.
“During the region’s long drought many people noticed the brolgas that used to breed on their swamps every year were either no longer around or were no longer breeding successfully,” Ms Norris said.
“There has been a lot of excitement in seeing the brolgas start to bounce back in the past couple of years but they are still a threatened species that need looking after.”
Brolgas breed in shallow freshwater swamps which Ms Norris said was vulnerable to changes during dry times. Also, they were often the first type of swamp farmers used for cropping and grazing.
“The brolga population is ageing and breeding success is low because of the modification and disappearance of these breeding wetlands as well as predation by foxes on eggs and chicks,” she said.
“The Kowree Brolga event will be an opportunity to share information about what people can do to help this unique bird survive.”
The McDonnells and their four young children have enjoyed a window into the brolgas’ world during treks to their seasonal swamp earlier this year before the wetland dried. The elegant cranes, which stand about 1.8 metres high, are regular guests at the wetland and the farming family hopes they keep returning to their west Wimmera home for years to come.
- Get the full story in the June 14, 2012 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.
Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=9808
Posted on Jun 13 2012