Protecting Our Wetlands of International Importance
The Ramsar Protection Program protects two wetland sites in Victoria of international importance – the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and the Western Port site. These wetlands comprise more than 81,000 hectares combined and support a wide range of native plants and animals of conservation significance.
This program aims to reduce threats to the sites, such as pest plants and animals, and increase community understanding of the importance of wetlands and how to protect them. Specialist programs include fox and rabbit control, weed control and fencing. The program is being delivered over a five year period (2013-2018) with funding of $3 million from the Australian Government through the National Landcare Programme.
Partners including Parks Victoria, Hobsons Bay City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, French Island Landcare Group, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Western Port Biosphere, City of Casey and Bass Coast Landcare Network plan and coordinate their pest animal and plant control work together to achieve optimum results across a large area.
Community engagement activities are also undertaken to raise awareness of the environmental values of these areas, as well as activities with local Indigenous groups to enable their active involvement in natural resource management.
The success of the program and increased protection of Ramsar wetlands and their native plants and animals is due to the active cooperation of people and organisations that work together.
For more information contact PPWCMA’s Andrew Morrison on 03 8781 7960.
Shorebird & Wetland Conservation Training
The Ramsar Protection Program has run a number of Shorebird and Wetland Conservation Training programs open to local Indigenous people who are interested in learning more about our Ramsar wetlands and the shorebirds that inhabit them.
Participants have learnt first-hand from industry experts about wetland ecosystems, shorebird identification and monitoring, beach-nesting bird conservation strategies and toured the beautiful beaches and wetlands within the internationally significant Ramsar sites.
This training is a fantastic opportunity to work with the dedicated and highly enthusiastic Indigenous locals.
The training program showcases to participants the management actions that help protect wetlands and manage the threats to these sensitive ecosystems. Participants learn how to identify a range of birds, giving them the necessary skills to monitor populations and provide management input and recommendations to land managers.
This training program forms part of the PPWCMA led Ramsar Protection Program, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Dog’s Breakfast teaches owners importance of wetlands
In early 2016, 400 dog lovers from the Hobsons Bay area were treated to a free event at Altona’s Doug Grant Reserve.
The annual Dog’s Breakfast event brought together passionate dog owners to learn about dog behaviour and nutrition and how their beloved pets interact with the local native wildlife.
Port Phillip Bay’s shoreline is widely utilised by the community for a variety of reasons; including dog walking, running, cycling, bird-watching and swimming. Similarly, parts of the shoreline and wetlands are also used by shorebirds that migrate to the region over Australia’s warmer months from as far away as Alaska, Siberia, China, Japan and Korea.
Special guests from BirdLife Australia, local vets, dog trainers, The Lost Dogs’ Home, The Reptile Bus, National Pet Register and The Connie’s kept the dog’s and owners captivated with live reptile displays, demonstrations on controlling dogs and a snapshot of the best ‘pooch’ diets.
Hosted by Hobsons Bay City Council, and funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, as part of the PPWCMA’s Ramsar Protection Program, this event aims to raise awareness of the important ecological and environmental values of the Port Phillip Bay shoreline.
Remember – native wildlife can harm your dog. Your dog can harm native wildlife. Keep your dog on lead and enjoy our beautiful beaches and wetlands safely.