Serendip avifauna (geese)

Subject: Serendip avifauna (geese)
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 09:36:35 +1000
Richard Nowotny raises some questions about various fauna at Serendip
Sanctuary in Victoria.

I have no information at hand about the Emus or Grey Knagaroos Richard
mentions but can offer the following information on captive breeding of
waterbirds from old departmental files.

From: Review of Captive Breeding of Wildlife at Serendip Sanctuary. Dept.
Conservation and Natural Resources: Melbourne.  July 1994. (Unpublished

'Serendip Wildlife Research Station (now Serendip Sanctuary) was set up in
the 1960s partly to breed several species of threatened birds for eventual
release to the wild to supplement wild populations or re-establish the
species in the wild.  The captive breedig program was reviewed in 1984 and
it was decided to terminate the programs for Cape Barren Goose, Magpie
Goose and ducks for the mallard replacement program.  The captive breeding
programs for the Australian Bustard and Brolga were to be suspended pending
detailed reports'.

As far as I'm aware there is currently no breeding programs going on at
Serendip, but of course there is a number of free-flying Magpie and Cape
Barren Geese and possibly a few Brolga in the grounds of the Sanctuary
which have been reported now and then at the Western Treatment Plant and
elsewhere in western Victoria.

Whether one can record these birds as 'tickable' I'll leave for others to
decide.  It's worth noting that Cape Barren Geese have been recorded
breeding at various localities around Melbourne (eg. Lake Martin/Cundare
Pool near Colac, French Island, Phillip Island) but Magpie Geese have only
succesfully bred at Tower Hill near Port Fairy.  There is no indication, so
far, that Magpie Geese have successfully been introduced to Victoria in
terms of maintaining a breeding population.

I particularly welcome people's comments on this last statement;
especially as up to 550 birds have been recorded at Lake Elingamite
(western Victoria) in 1995 (Atlas of Victorian Wildlife data) and the
Action Plan for Australian Birds (2000) states that the species was
' sucessfully to Victoria where populations expanding in
south-west and on the Gippsland Plain...'.  No quantifiied data or evidence
is supplied to support this statement even though Magpie Geese are
regularly reported from various localities, mostly west of Melbourne.


Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Sustainability and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9412 4567  Fax: 9412 4586
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)

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