Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Birdlife Australia's NSW-ACT Twitchathon 27 & 28 October 2012


Birdlife Australia’s NSW and ACT Twitchathon

27-28 October 2012

Founded in 1901, Birds Australia, now Birdlife Australia, is Australia's oldest national conservation organisation, dedicated to the study and conservation of native birds and their habitats. To assist the organisation in raising some of its funds, it conducts a Twitchathon on the last weekend of October each year.
Over the past sixteen years, birdwatchers all over NSW and the ACT have formed into teams and raced about NSW and the ACT to find as many species of birds as possible over the 24 hour Twitchathon period. Each member of the team has found sponsorship from friends, family, colleagues or corporations for each species of bird seen or heard by each team.  It has become an extremely competitive race and enormous fun!   Team members have won some fantastic prizes, which have been sponsored by very supportive corporations and individuals.  They have raised funds for projects associated with endangered species such as the purchase of trailer and watering units for the Capertee Regent Honeyeater Volunteer Operations Group, as well as equipment for both the Educational Units at Gluepot Reserve SA.& the Birds Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park. Funds have been provided for the Hunter Shorebird Roost Site Protection Project,  Gosford’s Friends of the Bush Stone-curlew, the Kangaroo Island SA Glossy Black Cockatoo Conservation Project and the Murray Valley Bush Stone-curlew Captive Release Project, and monitoring by volunteers of the NSW Important Bird Areas. Last year we provided funds for the Greater Sydney Powerful Owl Monitoring project. In the last three year, approximately $24,500 was raised each year for the projects outline.
This year’s Twitchathon aims to raise money for a project to increase both the area and connectivity of native habitats in the Cowra District, which is located on the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, c 100 km south west of Orange NSW and 317 km west of Sydney. In this area as throughout the agricultural lands of south-east Australia, woodland bird populations have declined, mainly due to the removal of woodland habitat. The small woodland fragments that are left are unconnected to others fragments, often degraded and suffer from the effects of invasive species. The Cowra Woodland Birds  Group are currently involved in a funded project at “Spring ForestKoorawatha, to rehabilitate (by re-introducing native plant species) a large paddock adjoining Morongla Creek to improve connectivity between the creek (which flows into the Lachlan River) and the nearby woodlands to enable bird species to move more easily between habitats. The CWBG propose to use the Twitchathon funds to appoint a (part-time) project officer to develop a plan for an extended woodland  habitat corridor along Morongla Creek from ”Spring Forest” to the Lachlan River. This would involve the setting up a number of rehabilitation/and re-vegetation projects on private properties. CWBG are already doing quarterly surveys on some of these properties and have a good knowledge of possible sites but need the Project Officer to approach landholders, select suitable sites, develop appropriate management plans and advise on re-vegetation/rehabilitation methods.
Twitchathon 2012 aims to raise about $24,000 to assist this project.
So watch out for your local Twitchathon team and follow them through this fun event – watch them “twitch” about in rainforests, swamps, grasslands, woodlands, sewerage works, backyards and river estuaries, intensely listening, and desperately searching, for the most or the rarest species.  Experience the excitement of “ticking” and “dipping” on the birds, the desperation to win, the thrills, the spills of this great weekend adventure!   The teams could be competing in 40° temperatures or during a thunder storm but they will stick firmly to the Twitchathon Rules! They’ll never give up the thrill of the chase during the race because so many $’s are at stake!  Teams are not just competing for the highest score, but for the most dollars raised prizes or even the Lucky Twitcher’s Prize. 
You can also sponsor a few dollars to your local team by contacting:
Greg Clancy Tel…0266493153...Email:
Your local Twitchathon team is : Black-necked Stalkers..(Greg Clancy, Russell Jago, Gary Eggins and Annette Harrison).              
Their local bird club is: .Clarence Valley Birdos (Gary Whale 66461286).   
See you on the Twitchathon trail???
For further information contact :
Alan Morris, Twitchathon Coordinator
Birdlife Australia Sthn NSW & ACT Group Sydney
Tel 02 9647 1033    Fax (02) 9647 2030

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