Kids creating habitat for Cockies

Aspley Primary School students learning about Red-tails. Photo: Tanya Turner

Over the last month the Kowree Farm Tree Group has been working with local schools to propagate stringybark for the nationally endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, as part of the new ‘Kids creating habitat for Cockies’ project.

Based on the success of the South Australian ‘Kids helping Cockies’ project, the project aims to raise the profile of Red-tails, and to assist four schools to propagate and plant out food trees for the cockatoos at four sites in the Wimmera.

Small scale nurseries capable of growing seedlings are currently being established at Aspley Primary School, Goroke Primary School, Edenhope College and St Malachy’s Primary School. Each school has been provided with trays, potting mix and stringybark seed to enable propagation of seed.

During November, Rachel Lloyd and Iestyn Hosking from the Kowree Farm Tree Group visited each school to help students and teachers establish their growing areas and sow collected seed into the trays provided.

Rachel will continue to assist the schools over the coming months to maintain and care for grown seedlings, which will be planted out by the students at four revegetation sites in June 2016.

Each school visit has also involved a presentation to students about the ecology and conservation of the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. Students learnt about what Red-tails look and sound like, what they eat, where you can find them, why they are endangered and what we can do to help prevent further declines.

The Kowree Farm Tree Group has been successful in securing $17,900 in funding for the project through the Community Volunteer Action Grants Stream of the Victorian Government’s Threatened Species Protection Initiative.  Funding received will help to set-up nurseries, provide training to teaching staff, assist with propagation and planting of grown seedlings at revegetation sites and install Red-tail information signs at planting locations.

For more information on the project please contact Rachel Lloyd on (03) 5585 1133.

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