Threatened woodland bird mural trail

Working to help protect and restore woodland habitat for threatened birds across the state, two woodland bird murals have recently been created at Merriwa and Capertee by Local Land Services to promote the plight of woodland birds, creating a threatened woodland mural trail with an existing mural at Pokolbin.

The Merriwa mural depicts the vulnerable EPBC listed Painted Honeyeater, mistletoe and nearby feature site Mount Dangar within the Goulburn River National Park, while in the Capertee village, Local Land Services has undertaken place activation at a rest stop that includes the installation of a bird call soundscape and mural of the critically endangered EPBC listed Regent Honeyeater.

The Capertee Valley and the Goulburn River National Parks and adjoining woodlands are identified as Key Biodiversity Areas, internationally recognised for their biodiversity values.

These Capertee and Merriwa murals were created through projects supported by Hunter and Central Tablelands Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Over the last 5 years both projects have supported important education and on ground actions with community to restore and protect important box gum and other woodland habitats that sustain ecosystems and landscape health.

Across NSW, Local Land Services has directly protected, restored and enhanced over 1,549 ha of woodland habitats and improved the landscape function and health across additional 7800 ha through tactical grazing practices, woody debris enhancement and the reduction of threats to Regent Honeyeater during their breeding seasons.

Hunter Local Land Services, Senior Land Services Officer, Catherine Conroy, said these murals are a valuable addition to the existing woodland bird mural in Pokolbin of the Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot and Pokolbin Mallee.

“Painted by local artist Jenny McCracken, the mural in Merriwa depicts the Painted Honeyeater, a listed species, also one of 51 woodland birds in decline across eastern Australia.

“The mistletoe is a keystone species, vital for ecosystem health and function and Mount Dangar contains several threatened species found in the area.

“Interpretive signage will also be installed around the area to promote the values and importance of woodland habitats, threats to woodland birds and the importance of mistletoe. It will also highlight other threatened species in the area.”

The signage is being developed through a partnership with Upper Hunter Shire Council.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Senior Land Services Officer, Vivien Howard said, we’re really excited by the Capertee project in that we were able to include a sound element too. The project is designed so that a Regent Honeyeater call is broadcast when motion sensors are activated.

“This is a really fun and novel approach to reaching our audience,” Ms Howard said.

“Only 200 Regent Honeyeaters remain in the wild, which is why we drew attention to their plight with an eye-catching mural and sound element,” Ms Howard said.

“Choosing to broadcast the call was quite deliberate. Scientists at the Australian National University have found that numbers of Regent Honeyeater are so low, that the species is losing its call, and this has impacts to pairing and breeding.”

If you are lucky enough to see any of the Regent Honeyeater, please report your sightings to Birdlife Australia on 1800 621 056.

The Merriwa mural was created by Hunter Local Land Services in partnership with Upper Hunter Shire Council and the Capertee soundscape and mural was supported by Central Tablelands Local Land Services in partnership with Lithgow Council and Birdlife Australia through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The Pokolbin mural was created by NSW Department of Planning and Environment through the Saving our Species (SoS) program with support from Hunter Local Land Services and the Pokolbin Distillery.

These murals were created for Local Land Services through Zest Events.

For more information or to get involved in the work Local Land Services does with woodland birds, visit our website or call 1300 795 299.

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