When they say that spring has sprung, they aren’t kidding!
The welcome transition from winter to spring brings a burst of activity and the plants and animals around the Gippsland Lakes literally “spring” back into life as the weather warms up.
It makes perfect sense, then, to celebrate Biodiversity Month in spring when the variety of plants, animals and other organisms living in an area is truly on show.
Home to about 300 native wildlife species, a feeding ground for migratory birds that travel from as far away as Siberia and the Arctic Circle, and a resting and breeding ground for about 86 waterbird species, the Gippsland Lakes are an ideal place to experience biodiversity in action.
“With the coming of spring, the Gippsland Lakes are all action,” said Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee Co-Chair, Dr Peter Veenker.
“In spring, we have the return of migratory birds, eels migrate downstream, and snakes and lizards re-emerge.”
A trip to the Lakes at this time of year will have visitors experiencing frog calls at their peak, the return of birds such as golden whistlers, orioles, and cuckoos, the wattles and wildflowers are in bloom and Royal spoonbills and egrets are in full plumage.
“So celebrate spring by getting out and enjoying the plants and animals on show, and taking the appropriate steps to protect them for future generations,” Dr Veenker said.
“There are easy steps visitors can take to help protect the biodiversity of the Lakes, which are home to many endangered and threatened species, including the rare Burrunan Dolphin and the growling grass frog.
“Keeping dogs on leashes to prevent the disturbance of nesting shorebirds, disposing of rubbish correctly and ensuring fishing lines don’t get left behind, taking care while boating and sticking to the track while walking are all simple measures that can help protect wildlife and plant species and help maintain biodiversity.”