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One of the very positive, environmental enterprises in the south west of the State has been the Conservation and Ecology Centre (CEC), at Cape Otway, and particularly the endangered Tiger Quoll project.

Most people would be aware of the captive breeding program of Tiger Quolls (or Spot-tailed Quolls). This endeavour aims to boost the numbers of quolls, which have declined substantially in recent years, mainly because of loss of habitat, but also from other causes. Shane and Lizzie Corke, who run the Centre, have had success this year, with the birth of four healthy joeys.

The young quolls are about ten weeks old now, and already their mother leaves them for some time in their den shelter, to encourage them to venture out, and at this stage they will attempt to find beetles, moths and other small creatures. They already have needle-sharp teeth, and can chew on small portions of carcass and meat scraps. There are three females and one male. Eventually, while the females will stay, the male will be placed at another breeding sanctuary.

The CEC is also in the process of acquiring an 8.5-hectare property, which will provide a link between the Centre and the Great Otway National Park. The land will create a habitat corridor, and help secure a safe haven for koalas, and other wildlife. So far, they have raised $116,435 but still require a further $28,565 to purchase the property, and make Manna Gum Reserve a reality. To help reach the target, the CEC would be grateful for any funding towards this project. There will be an opportunity to make a donation in support of the project at the end of year Angair/FEO barbeque at Moggs Creek on 8 December. (Web editor’s note – view pictures of Tiger Quolls and the CEC on the article about the Friends of Eastern Otways visit to the CEC)

The Sword-grass Brown Butterflies Tisiphone abeona albifascia are very conspicuous at the present time. These butterflies are very attractive, and the first thing you notice as they flit past, is the rich, dark brown and bright orange circles on the lower wings. The larvae are green, and are usually found in sedges and gahnias, on which they feed.

Sword-grass Brown Butterfly

Sword-grass Brown Butterfly

Other recent observations:

  • An immature bandicoot was seen foraging by the side of the road at Urquhart Bluff.
  • Families of Woodducks are out and about. Two family groups, with young, can be seen feeding on the grass along the Anglesea River. At Aireys Inlet, fifteen ducklings were observed following along after the parents. It’s amazing to think that so many could be incubated by one, small, mother duck.
  • The four cygnets are still surviving and thriving at the Allen Noble Sanctuary at Aireys Inlet.
  • A Pink Robin at Anglesea Heath.
  • Reports of a Wood Sandpiper, and Red-backed Kingfisher at Hospital Swamp, Lake Rd, Connewarre seen by Tom Fletcher and others.

Mike and Kaye Traynor