Water for Woodland Project Takes Flight with Funding from Hawke’s Brewing Landcare Threatened Species Bushfire Grant
The Capertee Valley in New South Wales is a Key Biodiversity Area supporting over 240 species of birds including a number of threatened and declining Woodland Birds. It is also one of the most important breeding locations for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.
Widespread clearance of their woodland habitat and the impact of bushfires has seen Regent Honeyeater numbers decline and their range contract. This has encouraged more aggressive species of honeyeaters, such as Noisy Miners and Red Wattlebirds, to proliferate.
Our once reliable rivers, tributaries and waterholes have been altered and degraded so much they are no longer a reliable source of water. These vulnerable species are left to compete for a drink, making it even more difficult for them to survive.
A Hawke’s Brewing Landcare Threatened Species Bushfire Grant awarded in 2020 supported the Capertee Valley Landcare Group to implement its Water for Woodland Birds project providing long-term watering points at key Regent Honeyeater breeding locations within the Valley that did not already have a permanent water supply.
The Capertee Valley in NSW is one of the most important breeding locations for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater. Photo credit: Dean Ingwersen Birdlife Australia
The landcare group attracted and engaged local volunteers to assist with the successful installation of four Class A bird watering stations at key locations in close proximity to known Regent Honeyeater nesting sites within the Capertee Valley.
They were also able to hold a tree planting weekend to enhance the vegetation around the watering stations to provide the birds with safer access to the water troughs.
Mary Thirwell, on whose property one of the watering stations was installed, thanked the Capertee Valley Landcare Group saying, “Just wanted to say, what a fabulous professional job you have done on those bird stations under what I know, with COVID restrictions, were not the easiest of conditions. We now just have to hope they have the great outcome of attracting our evasive threatened birds.”
Four bird watering stations were installed at key locations in close proximity to known Regent Honeyeater nesting sites within the Capertee Valley.
For ongoing monitoring and to see which birds are using the water stations, Local Landcare Services and Capertee Valley Landcare Wildlife are installing wildlife cameras at each watering point.
A webinar about the status of the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater and how we can individually these critically endangered birds was conducted by Birdlife Australia, Local Landcare Services and other experts. Providing information about local landscape practices, e.g., land clearing for agriculture purposes and how this lends to the demise of woodland birds is critical.
Sharing the facts helps the community consider and take action in a positive way either individually or collectively to help enhance the prospects of our vulnerable species. When members of the community volunteer to be involved and take action in a cause it encourages others to step forward and support or participate alongside them.
This creates connections and acceptance which helps to build a stronger caring community. These kind of projects have positive outcomes that not only benefit our vulnerable species but also aid our wellbeing and social cohesion.
Kerrie Cooke, President of Capertee Valley Landcare, says, “By providing a necessary resource for some of our most vulnerable species, like the Regent Honeyeater, we are buying time to hopefully learn how to improve, heal and regenerate our landscape to become a safe place for these species to once again flourish.
“Because of this project, we are now providing water to our woodland birds in a safe setting, close to their preferred habitat and nesting areas.”