View this email in your browser

Welcome back to 'Squawk Talk'!

'Squawk Talk' has been designed to provide you with project updates on the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority's Orange-bellied Parrot Protection Program and other exciting Orange-bellied Parrot news. We warmly welcome all our newest 'Squawk Talk' subscribers!
This edition includes:
  • Birds set flight 
  • I spy with my little eye an Orange-bellied Parrot in the wild
  • Swan Bay weed monitoring
  • How do I stay updated? 
That's enough of an introduction, let's get squawking! 

Birds set flight

On May 9th twelve Orange-bellied parrots set flight with an additional eight birds released on May 23rd from Lake Connewarre as part of the Orange-bellied Parrot Mainland Release Trial. 

With only 50 birds left in the wild in 2017, the Orange-bellied Parrot Mainland Release Trial was developed with DELWP, Zoos Victoria, Moonlit Sanctuary, Birdlife Australia, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Corangamite CMA, the Tasmanian Government, Australian Government and Adelaide Zoo partnering together with the hope of once again having flocks of Orange-bellied Parrots on our coastal habitats.

This release builds on results from the first five years of the Mainland Release Trial, which saw more than 100 captive-bred birds released from Victorian sites. In every year so far, the released birds have been joined by wild birds, creating the largest flocks of Orange-bellied Parrots seen in Victoria in the last fifteen years. 

Streamline Media Australia were present at the Lake Connewarre release and have captured the special moment the birds set flight. We hope the below video shows the importance of the Orange-bellied Parrot Mainland Release Trial and how it isn't possible without the support of all of the agency partners and private landholders who allow this work to be carried out on their properties. 
The Orange-bellied Parrot Mainland Release Trial is led by DELWP, Moonlit Sanctuary and Zoos Victoria, with support from the Corangamite CMA through funding from the Australian Government. Credit: Streamline Media Australia.

I spy with my little eye an Orange-bellied Parrot in the wild

Weekly, Corangamite CMA Project Officers have been heading out to track and monitor Orange-bellied Parrots around Lake Connewarre. 

Project Officers are joined by Birdlife Australia representatives and community volunteers passionate about OBPs. 

The day is spent carefully walking through the saltmarsh (Orange-bellied Parrot habitat) to look for the elusive Orange-bellied Parrot. Project Officers must be mindful not to disturb any birds and carefully scan the saltmarsh as Orange-bellied Parrots are good at camouflaging in the saltmarsh. 

There has been plenty of success in tracking the birds. The released birds were equipped with tiny VHF tracking device 'backpacks' before they were released. In addition, all of the birds, including the migrants from Tasmania, have coloured tags on their legs, used to identify them, which takes patience and a good eye. In most cases, a scope is used to get a better view. 

Tracking and recording the birds' behaviour provides Zoos Victoria with critical information to learn more about Orange-bellied Parrot activity on the mainland. This additional information will help develop the program to continue to protect and support this species. 

As of the end of June 2022, the field team were continuing to observe six of the seven natural migrants that have been detected at Lake Connewarre this year. From the first release of captive-bred birds, six out of twelve were continuing to be observed. 

However, the second release group have proved more elusive, with only one of the eight birds still being observed in the area by the end of June.

These results highlight the difficulties of tracking birds in such a vast area. However, the number of OBPs being observed on the mainland is a testimony to the wonderful work of Zoos Victoria, BirdLife Australia and DELWP.

All this work is carried out on private property adjacent to Lake Connewarre. The Corangamite CMA is grateful to all the landholders who have kindly given them access to their properties. A lot of the conservation work could not go ahead without these landholders. 

This monitoring is open to volunteers. If you want to get involved, please get in touch with CCMA Biodiversity Project Officer Madeleine Slingo on 0448 029 016. 
Caption: Captive-bred juvenile female released at Melaleuca in February 2022. Spotted at Lake Connewarre April 2022. Credit: Craig Morley.
Caption: A Corangamite CMA field staff member tracking for Orange-bellied Parrot's amongst the saltmarsh.

Swan Bay weed monitoring

One of the key threats to the continued persistence of the Orange-bellied Parrot in the Corangamite region is the reduction in suitable habitat for feeding in known priority areas over the winter months.

In May 2022, Corangamite CMA Project Officers spent a few days monitoring the habitat and vegetation at Swan Bay, a priority area for the Orange-bellied Parrot.

Their task during this time was to map high-threat weeds (specifically Spiny Rush or juncus acutus) around Swan Bay to further their understanding of the current extent and impact of invasive weeds on Orange-bellied Parrot habitat. 

Monitoring at Swan Bay is into its third year and has led to implementing a weed control program specific to Spiny Rush in partnership with the Bellarine Catchment Network. 

The work is being repeated over a 4-year timeframe to assess the effectiveness of the control program in reducing the occurrence, density and extent of spiny rush in the priority area.  

The spiny rush mapped during this project tended to be found on land adjacent to the saltmarsh. It was often near soaks or streams that had a greater influence from freshwater movement on the margins of saltmarsh than the saltwater influence of the marine environment. 

Of particular note is the number of spiny rush plants observed adjacent to the survey areas on private land. It would be ideal for these areas to be included in the control program and further monitored for change in the future of this monitoring program to halt any transmission of seed from adjoining private properties. 

So please get in touch with the Corangamite CMA if you live on a property that connects to Swan Bay. 
Caption: Spiny Rush spotted through weed control program in partnership with Bellarine Catchment Network.

How do I stay updated?

•    Squawk Talk updates will continue to be distributed as the on ground works continue!
•    Please contact if you have any specific project questions. 
•    Don't forget to report any public sightings of OBPs in Victoria to 
•    Check out DELWP's Facebook page here
•    Make sure you are following the CCMA social media channels below. 
Caption: Captive-bred adult males released at Lake Connewarre May feeding in saltmarsh. Credit: Craig Morley.
Copyright © * 2022 | *|Corangamite Catchment Management Authority|*, All rights reserved.

This project is funded by the Australian Government.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority · 64 Dennis St · COLAC, VIC 3250 · Australia