Green Army Helps Preserve Critical Coastal Habitat

Bellarine Bayside, together with Barwon Coast, Bellarine Landcare, Bellarine Catchment Network, and Parks Victoria, are currently hosting a Green Army team with support from Conservation Volunteers Australia. The Green Army is a federally-funded, hands-on, practical environmental action programme that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia. The Bellarine team is working on the project ‘Bellarine Peninsula threatened species and ecological community conservation’. 

A large portion of this work is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of critical coastal habitats such as the Indented Head saltmarsh. Habitats such as this require active management to re-establish them within the coastal ecosystem. The Orange-bellied Parrot, a critically endangered species, has previously been sighted on the Bellarine Peninsula and is thought to use habitats such as the Indented Head saltmarsh during its yearly migratory flight of 1000km from Tasmania to south-eastern Australia. 

On 28 June 2016, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, announced the opening of a new, purpose-built facility at Werribee Open Range Zoo to aid in the recovery of the Orange-bellied Parrot. Less than 50 Orange-bellied Parrots are estimated to remain in the wild, and the new facility will provide captive-bred birds with an opportunity to increase their fitness, flight, foraging and social skills before being released into the wild. The revegetation work undertaken by the Green Army at the Indented Head saltmarsh will complement approaches taken by other agencies, such as the Corangamite CMA, to support the Orange-bellied Parrot recovery effort.