A new event will shine a light on the natural wonders of Geelong, and the innovative work being done to enhance our massive array of plant and animal life.
The City has partnered with the Geelong Field Naturalists Club (GFNC) to present the inaugural Geelong Nature Forum.
The one-day forum aims to inform residents about the wildlife wonders on their doorstep, and the potential ways for them to help look after our natural environment.
The region’s natural assets include internationally-significant wetlands, rare woodland and grassland vegetation, fragile coastal landscapes and precious threatened species populations.
The forum will feature short talks by 15 local biodiversity experts, who will provide further understanding of Geelong’s natural treasures.
Among the presenters is GFNC’s Craig Morley, who has collated more than 300,000 surveys of nearly 320 bird species to create a database of the birds of Geelong.
The citizen science project, which has been supported by funding from the City, produced The Geelong Bird Report 2013-2016.
The forum will also offer interactive stalls promoting the diverse work of local environment groups.
There are multiple opportunities for people to explore, with many conservation volunteer groups in Geelong.
The GFNC has been influential in protecting and enhancing the local environment since its inception in 1961.
The volunteer group carries out flora and fauna surveys for government bodies, and actively improves the quality of multiple reserves and parks.
The Geelong Nature Forum will be held at the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre on Saturday 16 March.
Please register your interest in attending the free talks by Friday 8 March.
Mayor Bruce Harwood:
Geelong residents enjoy easy access to the bush, the bay, the beach and vital wetlands.
This inaugural event is a great chance for locals to learn more about the depth of our natural environment, and its countless popular and hidden attractions.
The City would love to see more people engaging with our 330 parks, reserves, bush trails and picnic spots across Greater Geelong.
Rod Lowther - President, Geelong Field Naturalists Club:
We have so many parks and reserves with rare and interesting flora and fauna. But a lot of residents don’t fully know about the treasures we have in our backyard.
The forum will highlight the small oases in our urban environment, and show people how they can better engage with nature.
It will also provide a great opportunity for people to drop in and speak one-on-one with experts about different areas of interest.
Craig Morley - member, Geelong Field Naturalists Club:
The Geelong Bird Report presents a great deal of new information about the birds of the Geelong region.
For the first time we have maps and charts which show the movement of birds in the Geelong region with the seasons.
Some species, such as the Little Friarbird and Bridled Tern, were recorded for the very first time.
We also discovered the Pacific Koel, a cuckoo which lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, breeding in Highton.