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Maude District Landcare Group

The next meeting of the Landcare Group will be held at the Maude Tennis Pavilion on Thursday, 17th August at 7.30pm.

Our speaker at the last meeting was Tim Johnston, from the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party. Tim discussed the extension work he will carry out in our Landcare focus area to address remaining hot spots of tussock, and his approach to encourage landholders to destroy infestations on their properties.

The area Tim will cover will be 1,260ha in size, with 23 properties greater than 2ha., and is expected to take until November to complete, with property inspections starting in May. Tim reminded us that there will be no funding available for purchase of chemicals to spray serrated tussock. There will be an information stand at the Maude Fire Brigade Trash and Treasure day at the Maude recreation reserve on Sunday, 7th May.

The new strain of Calicivirus has been released. It was spread using carrot in a similar way to poison baiting, and results so far indicate a slower than expected toll. The virus will not be the end of all wild rabbits, so there is no reason to stop all your harbour removal, ripping and fumigating.

Secondary spreading of the virus will occur by contact between rabbits, or by insects, particularly blowflies.

The great rain we have had has been a wonderful start to the season. However, there is always a down side! Mice are seeking shelter in sheds and houses, and there is plenty of evidence of crickets, particularly on the heavy clay areas. This brings in the foxes, who gorge on crickets at night. You can find evidence of this in fox droppings – chewed up cricket legs and wings are very obvious. Unfortunately the foxes are no doubt casing all the paddocks they travel through, to check for lambing ewes.