The wetlands of Western Port are identified as having international significance providing support to a variety of flora and fauna species, including those listed under international treaties, bi-lateral agreements, and national and state legislation. Western Port is one of 11 wetlands in Victoria listed under the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971).
The Convention on Wetlands,
also known as the Ramsar Agreement
embodies a commitment from its signatory countries, such as Australia, to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands. It is estimated that thousands of migratory birds travel from the northern hemisphere each year to visit the shorelines of Western Port.
The aims of the Project are to:
1. Address key threats, including pest plants and animals and inappropriate recreational activities, to the ecological character of the sites; and
2. Increase participation in natural resource management of the Ramsar wetlands that will lead to increased recruitment and retention of volunteers.
The Ramsar sites consist of areas of public and private land. The public land is managed by Parks Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Melbourne Water, Phillip Island Nature Park, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Shire of Bass Coast, Shire of Cardinia, City of Casey. Private landholders adjoining the Ramsar sites include both urban and rural properties.
The City of Casey has engaged ‘Mals Ecological and Environmental Services’, a professional vertebrate pest management company to deliver an effective pest animal control program within the Blind Bight, Warneet and Tooradin communities focusing on fox control. This targeted program will be conducted on both public and private land. Mals Ecological and Environmental Services staff may be in contact with land owners to assist in the delivery of the project. Participation of private land managers will be required to ensure effective control and to avoid reinfestation of pest plants and animals.
Initial monitoring works are underway throughout the project area, with live baits strategically deployed in a number of locations. Please be aware that during this time trapping, bait stations and shooting may be used for pest control.
Baiting and Trapping is currently under way on selected properties.
Pest control activities will be delivered across the landscape until June 2018.
The pest animal control program will be conducted on the foreshore areas, public reserves and selected private properties between:
- Blind Bight Community Centre and Warneet Nature reserve.
- Rutter Park and 3204 South Gippsland Highway
The use of poisons is an effective technique for controlling foxes. The poison that will be used in the program is compound 1080 (Sodium Fluoroacetate) which is contained within an approved bait type for foxes (1080 defox and or Foxoff econobait).
After the conclusion of the program all the unused baits will be collected and disposed of in accordance with the Directions for Use of 1080 Bait Products in Victoria.
To minimise the risk of poisoning to your animals please follow the advice below:
- Confine, muzzle and/or restrain your domestic animals, particularly dogs and cats, to prevent them from accessing 1080 pest animal poison baits or carcases.
- Domestic animals, particularly dogs and cats, are susceptible to primary poisoning from ingesting 1080 pest animal bait products and secondary poisoning form ingesting contaminated carcases. It is unusual for domestic animals to scavenge on fox carcases.
- Closely monitor the health and behaviour of your domestic pets. If you notice any unusual or uncharacteristic behaviour contact your veterinarian immediately.
- There is a delay in the poison action of 1080 and animals that have ingested 1080 pest animal bait may die on your property. If you suspect a poisoned animal has died on your property, please contact Mals Ecological and Environmental Services on 0438 898 325.
Dangers to humans
- Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) is a restricted schedule 7 poison and there is no known antidote. When used in accordance with the product label and directions for use of 1080 Pest Animal Bait products in Victoria, there is little risk of humans being poisoned by 1080 bait products.
- Any carcases suspected to have been killed by 1080 bait products must be treated with care.
- If poisoning occurs immediately contact a doctor or the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11
It is imperative that during this time domestic pets are walked on a lead and not allowed to roam free throughout public reserves. Signage will be erected prior to bait stations being installed. Public access to the reserve will be restricted for periods of time during the control program.
For more information regarding this program, please contact the City of Casey Customer Service on 9705 5200 or Mals Ecological and Environmental Services 0438 898 325.