Endangered chicks born at Serendip Sanctuary

Friday 28 February, 2020

Three Bush-stone Curlew chicks were recently born at Serendip Sanctuary near Geelong, the first new arrivals at the sanctuary since 2018.

After discovering the eggs late last year, Parks Victoria staff were excited to see three female chicks eventually emerge, the last hatching in January.

Once the curlews are fully grown and ready they will be transferred to nearby Mount Rothwell Biodiversity and Interpretation Centre, which provides a large predator-proof environment for wildlife that is under threat.

Standing at around 50cms, with long legs and a distinctive “wer-loo, wer-loo” call, the Bush-stone Curlew is an endangered species in Victoria, largely due to the threat from foxes and feral cats.

A ground-dwelling and nesting bird, the curlew is also impacted by land-clearing practices, including the removal of logs and fallen branches, which provide cover and camouflage from predators. Populations of curlew are scattered and fragmented, mostly in western and northern parts of Victoria. 

The grassy woodland environment of Serendip Sanctuary provides an excellent habitat for curlews, alongside more than 150 other species of birds and other animals. Serendip Sanctuary also delivers education programs for school students, and is an important site for University of Melbourne research.

Parks Victoria manages parks and reserves that are home to more than 4,300 native plants and around 1,000 native animal species, including threatened or endangered species like the Bush-stone Curlew. To help protect these animals, Parks Victoria regularly undertakes dedicated conservation programs designed to contribute to habitat restoration and predator management across all its parks. 

Quotes attributable to Brandon Hallas, Wildlife Ranger–Serendip Sanctuary:

“To date, the curlews we’ve had at Serendip have had mixed success with breeding, so to have hatchings in both December and January has been very exciting.”

“The curlews have grown quickly and are already showing a lot of independence.”  

“I encourage people to come down to the sanctuary to see these fascinating birds, and learn more about the conservation work Parks Victoria is undertaking to help protect these and other endangered species.” 

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