Following a week of wet and windy weather, the evening of Saturday 16 May was fine and clear and provided perfect conditions for a night ramble at Mt Rothwell.

Mt Rothwell property is 450 hectares of land formerly owned by a member of the Chirnside family and contains woodland, granite outcrops and remnant native grassland. It is surrounded by predator-proof fencing which provides a safe haven for the native animals

The Friends’ group met our Volunteer Guide for the evening, John Holman at the Biodiversity Interpretation Centre.

Group arrive at centre

We accompanied him as he fed rabbit portions to captive Spot-tailed and Eastern Quolls in their breeding enclosures. Another enclosure was home to Feathertail Gliders who were given nectar, fruit and mealworms.

Spot-tailed Quoll

Spot-tailed quoll devouring rabbit portion

We enjoyed a picnic tea after which John gave us a short talk about Mt Rothwell. He explained the importance of maintaining the fence and this is checked everyday to make sure there are no breaches which might allow foxes or cats to enter the sanctuary. Other priorities include dealing with long term environmental concerns including rabbit eradication, removal of Serrated Tussock and restoration through affiliation with Landcare.

After dark we started our walk.

Night walk

Setting off for night walk

One of our first sightings was an Eastern Quoll. 

Eastern Quoll

Eastern Quoll


Sightings of animals

During the walk we saw the following animals:

Eastern Barred Bandicoots

Eastern Barred Bandicoots

Common Brushtail Possums

Common Brushtail Possums

Southern Brown Bandicoots

Southern Brown Bandicoots

Rufous Bettongs

Rufous Bettongs

Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies

Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies

Eastern-barred Bandicoots and Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies are critically endangered in Victoria and their populations at Mt Rothwell are crucial to the survival of these species.

We found the night walk very informative and the frequent sightings of rare native marsupials gave us a glimpse into the past and what the landscape may have resembled before the land was cleared for pasture with the introduction of sheep and cattle as well as feral predators such as cats and foxes.

We thanked John for his volunteer guiding before leaving the Centre and making our way home.

John

John

Our thanks to Jacqui Young, Reserve Officer for her support in organising the event, and to Di Trewenack and Graham Lee for their great photographs.

 Kaye Traynor

Events Calendar

Nov
23

Thu 9:00am - 12:00pm

Nov
25

Sat 9:00am - 3:00pm

Nov
26

Sun 9:30am - 11:00am

Nov
27

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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