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The Natural History Display at Angair has been upgraded.

With new showcases made by Neil Tucker, and the acquisition of a large glass shop counter from the Anglesea Historical Society, we have been able to display the specimens in a less cluttered way, so that they can be viewed more easily.  The collection is situated in the Meeting Room area of the Angair Natural History Centre. The display cabinet in the Library now contains the “spirit” collection.

We have also added some new material, including a Common Blue-tongue Lizard,  a Short-tailed Shearwater, a Fluttering Shearwater,  a Fairy Prion, a Spotted Pardalote,  a Southern (Shaw’s) Cowfish and a Horseshoe Leatherjacket.

The majority of our collection consists of species that are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. It is necessary for Angair to have a current Wildlife Research permit, which entitles us to collect dead specimens for education and display. Any animals that we collect are first offered to the Melbourne Museum.  Any specimen not required by the Museum, can be prepared by Angair for display. All specimens are numbered and labelled.

Parks Victoria has received some exciting results from camera monitoring in the Western Otways. Two photographs of a Spot-tailed Quoll have been taken in the Aire River Catchment, on cameras set about one kilometre apart, by Gary Summers.

Spotted Quoll Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria

Spotted Quoll Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria

They are unsure whether it is the same quoll, or two individuals. This siting is very encouraging, as Spot-tailed Quoll numbers have been in decline over the years, and the animal is presently listed as endangered. The Friends of Eastern Otways have had success over the years with four positive hair samples, and they continue to use remote cameras in their on-going mammal surveys.

A number of whale sightings have been made along the coast at Torquay, Lorne, Wye River, Apollo Bay and Cape Otway.  Regular reports from Geelong Otway Tourism – Whale Sighting Alert, are posted, giving the location, date and time, whale type, and any relevant comments, such as the presence of a calf, or the direction in which they are heading.

A sub-adult White-bellied Sea Eagle was seen soaring over the Surf Coast Highway near Mount Duneed; also, very large numbers, in fact hundreds, of Blue-winged Parrots have been reported in the Breamlea saltmarsh. Recently, I watched a Raven with nesting material in its bill, so the breeding season won’t be too far away.

Nicole Maher spoke to us recently at the Angair Dinner, about the Friends of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary (FERMS).  Nicole gave a very informative slide presentation, which revealed the amazing diversity of under-sea life in this relatively small area, (17 ha of ocean water). The inter-tidal and sub-tidal basalt and sandstone reefs provide habitat, and a breeding and nursery safety zone for many small species.  People who are interested can become a member of FERMS, and learn about, and share knowledge of this special environment, as well as help protect.

The Point Addis Marine National Park is much larger (4,600 ha), and provides habitat for a range of fish, invertebrates, algae, birds and mammals. The Friends of Point Addis and the Ironbark Basin are actively involved in conservation of the native flora and fauna, restoring sensitive dune vegetation, and also conducting Phytopthera surveys. People seeking to become members of this Friends group would be very welcome.

Kaye Traynor