Local scouts learn about natural resource management

Twenty Scouts from the East Gippsland and Wellington districts attended a weekend camp at the Clive Disher Scouts Park, about 15 minutes south east of Stratford on 22 and 23 April.

The aim of the weekend was for the Scouts to learn more about the 12 hectare park near the Perry River and the plants and animals that live there.

According to West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s Biodiversity projects Officer, Nicole Walsh, the Scouts learned a lot about wildlife that could be found in the park.

“This park is in the Red Gum Grassy Woodlands, which is a nationally-listed critically endangered ecological community,” explained Ms Walsh.

“It’s important that future generations learn about these landscapes and why they are so important.

“We had Jim Reside from Wildlife Unlimited leading the Scouts through a range of activities that focused on the wildlife occurring in the park.

“This included baiting and setting up steel Elliot traps at various locations, setting up harp nets to capture Micro bats as well as recording various species of Micro bats at dusk,” continued Ms Walsh.

The following morning the Scouts checked the twenty traps and harp nets to see if anything had been caught overnight.

“One of the Elliot traps contained a House Mouse not the rare New Holland Mouse as we’d all hoped, but it was great for the Scouts to learn about different species.

“The harp trap caught two Lesser Long Eared Bats. After weighing and taking measurements of the animals and recording the data onto a survey sheet to be submitted to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas the animals were released.

“The Scouts also got to check out various preserved specimens of mammals that were also likely to occur in the area,” said Ms Walsh.

The Scouts learned an enormous amount about the wildlife found in Red Gum Grassy Woodlands.

The Red Gum Grassy Woodlands Project is supported by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.