Threatened Species Day 07 September 2022 
Schools Collaborative Artwork Project

4pm: Children’s bat art activity at the Gallery.  

4.30pm Official opening of the Schools Threatened Species Collaborative Art Project installed outside the Gallery.

4.45-5pm: Walk to the Bairnsdale Gardens Rotunda and see the rest of the installed Schools Threatened Species Collaborative Art Project. Everyone is welcome. FREE

Click HERE to go to photo gallery of installed artworks in the Bairnsdale Main Street Gardens and outside the Art Gallery

National Threatened Species Day is commemorated across the country on September 7th to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction. It is commemorated annually on the anniversary of the death in captivity of the last known thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger. Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Over the last 200 years, more than 100 animal and plant species have become extinct.

In East Gippsland Shire alone there are

https://www.swifft.net.au/cb_pages/threatened_fauna_east_gippsland_shire.php

GO TO ARTWORK TEMPLATES AND INSTRUCTIONS

Below is information for some of the threatened species found in East Gippsland Shire

Greater Glider

Petauroides volans

Greater Glider

Greater Gliders are the largest gliding marsupials in the world

 

They are about the size of a large fluffy cat and come in a range of different colours, from almost pure white, to grey to black and black and white. They need old forests and old trees that have large hollows for them to live in that are called dens.

It can take up to 250 years for a eucalypt to form a hollow big enough for a Greater Glider to den in and they use up to 18 den trees within their range. They have small home ranges from 1-5Ha  and they only eat the leaves of preferred eucalypt leaves.

 

Sound: They do not make any sounds, except a whoosh as they glide and they can glide up to 100 metres in a single glide and can change direction at 90-degree angles mid-flight. They steer by using their long tails and altering the curvature of their gliding membranes.

 

They are marsupials and for the first three to four months of their lives, the baby Greater glider stays in their mother’s pouch. Then, they ride on their mum’s back for up to three more months. They gain independence at about nine months old

Theatened by: Fires, losing their old forest habitats and hot nights. When the temperature at night is over 20 degrees they have trouble digesting their food and they can die from hunger if their are too many hot nights in a row

Where Found: in forests of East Gippsland, such as the Colquhuon Forest near Lakes Entrance and Mt Alfred Forest north of Bairnsdale and other forests and National Parks  in East Gippsland.

Photo by Third Silence Nature Photography

Powerful Owl

Ninox strenua

Powerful Owl

The largest of Australia’s owls, the Powerful Owl usually inhabits the moist forests of eastern Australia.

It's main item of prey is possums of various species, though large bats such as flying foxes are also often caught. They roost by day, perched in the dense shade of a tree, often with the previous night’s prey held in its talons; this is when Powerful Owls are seen most often

Habitat

Powerful Owls are found in open forests and woodlands, as well as along sheltered gullies in wet forests with dense understoreys, especially along watercourses. Will sometimes be found in open areas near forests such as farmland, parks and suburban areas, as well as in remnant bushland patches. Needs old growth trees to nest.

Powerful Owls mate for life (over 30 years in some cases). The male prepares the nest, which is usually a vertical hollow in a large old tree, and provides the female and young with a constant supply of food during the early part of the nesting period. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young, emerging later in the nesting period to hunt for food as well. Young birds remain with the parents for several months after fledging and may stay within their parents' territory for over a year.

Photo by Greg Sharkey

Brush-tail Rock Wallaby

Petrogale penicillata

Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby

The Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby has a characteristic, long and bushy, dark-brown tail that is bushier towards its tip. It has long, thick, brown body-fur that tends to be rufous on the rump and greyer on the shoulders. The fur on its chest and belly are paler, and some individuals have a white blaze on their chest. It also has a white cheek-stripe and a black stripe from its forehead to the back of its head. The Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby is highly agile and can move swiftly and confidently through rugged and steep areas. This agility is attributed to their compact, muscular build, their long and flexible tail that is used for balance and their well padded and rough textured feet that provide excellent traction.

Habitat

Rock wallabies occupy rocky escarpments, outcrops and cliffs with a preference for caves and ledges, often facing north. They shelter or bask during the day in rock crevices, caves and overhangs and are most active at night when foraging. They browse on vegetation in and adjacent to rocky areas eating grasses as well as the foliage and fruits of shrubs and trees.

Threatened by: landclearing,  bushfires and introduced predators such as foxes and cats.

Grey headed Flying fox

Pteropus poliocephalus

Grey headed flying foxes

Grey headed Flying foxes are megabats and are one of the largest bats in the world. They navigate by their excellent sight and smell - not by sonar as microbats do.

 

You can think of Grey-headed flying foxes being like giant long range bees, with over 100 native trees and shrubs depending on Grey-headed flying foxes for pollination and reproduction.. Most eucalypts only truly open their flowers and produce most of their nectar at night to attract the best pollinator. The fur of Grey-headed flying foxes grows in such a way that it holds pollen and transfers this material - up to 100kms a night, with outstanding success. One Grey-headed flying fox was recently tracked traveling 12,000kms in one year

Theatened by: Losing forests to supply them with nectar and rainforests fruits all year round. Extreme heat during the day will kill them and they need rainforest type jungles to roost in in the day to protect them from very hot weather

Where Found: You can see their colonies on the Mitchell River in Bairnsdale and at Sale and Maffra. They come to Gippsland where there are lots of trees blossoming in the forests  - like eucalypts, banksias and melaleucas and they move somewhere else when the blossom is gone

Photo by Lisa Roberts

The Giant Burrowing Frog

Heleioporus australiacus

Giant Burrowing Frog

The Giant Burrowing Frog is a large, round, slow-moving frog that grows to about 10 cm long. It is a powerfully built species with muscular hind limbs and enlarged tubercles on the feet well suited to burrowing.

This frog is a slow growing and long-lived species, living up to 10 years of age, possibly longer. Giant burrowing frogs eat mainly invertebrates including ants, beetles, cockroaches, spiders, centipedes and scorpions.

Habitat

When breeding, frogs will call from open spaces, under vegetation or rocks or from within burrows in the creek bank. Egg masses are foamy with an average of approximately 500-800 eggs and are laid in burrows or under vegetation in small pools. After rains, tadpoles are washed into larger pools where they complete their development in ponds or ponded areas of the creekline.

The Giant Burrowing Frog spends more than 95% of its time in non-breeding habitat in areas up to 300 mtrs from breeding sites. Whilst in non-breeding habitat it burrows below the soil surface or in the leaf litter. Individual frogs occupy a series of burrow sites, some of which are used repeatedly.

Glossy Black Cockatoo photo by Warren Chad

Calyptorhynchus lathami

Glossy Black Cockatoo

Around 38% of the South-eastern Glossy Black Cockatoo’s range was burnt by the 2019/20 bushfires.

 

These fires burnt the fire-sensitive  Black she oak (Allocasuarina) trees which these birds depend on for food. Glossy Black-Cockatoos feed almost exclusively on the cones of female she-oak trees, which can be 10 years old before they start producing cones. The fires also damaged old trees with large hollows which Glossy Black-Cockatoos use for breeding.

Hollows are homes
Black-cockatoos nest in large tree hollows in old, large eucalypts, that can take up to 250 years to form a hollow big enough for Glossy Blacks to make a nest in. These trees are usually located near food and water sources. Hollows are in short supply, due to the loss of old hollow bearing trees. Black-cockatoos pair for life, often re-using the same hollow year after year.

 

More info: https://birdlife.org.au/projects/bushfire-recovery/south-eastern-glossy-black-cockatoo-bf

Photo: Warren Chad

Spot-tailed quoll

Dasyurus maculatus

Spot-tailed quoll

Body fur red or brown, sometimes black, with white spots; yellow-grey underneath. White spots also cover the tail. Body up to 75 cm, tail up to 55 cm.

Spotted-tailed Quolls eat birds and medium-sized mammals, such as possums and bandicoots. They are active at night (nocturnal) but sometimes also during the day. They climb into tree hollows for shelter.

Small populations exist in eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania. The endangered status listing relates to the subspecies Dasyurus maculatus maculatus, which lives in the south-east of mainland Australia.

Habitat

Rainforests, dry forests, sclerophyll forests, coastal heath and scrub.

Southern Brown Bandicoot

Isoodon obesulus

Southern Brown Bandicoot

By day, the Southern Brown Bandicoot sleeps in a nest made from grasses and other plant material, and at night emerges to feed on a variety of insects, earthworms and plants.

Habitat:

The Southern Brown Bandicoot is solitary. The Southern Brown Bandicoot prefers scrubby habitats with plenty of low ground cover and shelter.

Threatened by: Vegetation clearing of their home range and habitat, introduced foxes and cats, and bushfires.

Photo by: JJ Harrison

Goanna-Varanus varius

Varanus varius

Goanna or Lace monitor

Lace Monitors or Goannas are one of Australia's largest lizards. They have strong claws and powerful legs. They are dark grey to black in colour with cream or yellow scales forming bands and blotches. There are usually black bars across the snout, throat and chin. The tongue is long and forked like a snake . Monitors are the only lizards that have a forked tongue.

Goannas are predators and scavengers eating insects, small mammals, lizards, nestling birds, eggs and carrion. After a large feed they are able to go for many weeks without feeding again. The female Goanna lays from 6-12 eggs - usually in termite mounds, particularly those found in trees. The female digs a hole on the side of the termite mound, lays the eggs and then leaves the termites to reseal the eggs inside the nest. She sometimes returns to the nest and opens it up with her strong claws to allow the baby monitors to escape.

Habitat

Much of its time is spent up fairly large trees. It forages on the ground but will climb a tree when disturbed. It is found in forests, tall woodlands and open tablelands and slopes.

Threatened by: clearing and burning forests and removal of termite mounds and other habitat features such as fallen timber and  hollow trees. Foxes and cats  also prey on young goannas

Photo by: Gail Hampshire