East Gippsland Rainforest
  Conservation Management Network

 To increase the amount of rainforest and associated vegetation types subject to restoration, conservation and permanent protection in East Gippsland.













Littoral Rainforest      
: critically endangered in Australia 
Limestone Blue Wattle (Acacia caerulescens)
: vulnerable in Australia
Warm Temperate Rainforest
: endangered in Victoria
Jungle Grape, Yellow-wood, Yellow Milkvine, Jointed Misteletoe 
vulnerable in Australia
Funded actions:
deer management, weed control, re-instatement of creek, in-fill planting

Deer Management Meeting

Participants enjoyed an informal discussion over a BBQ lunch. An inspection of Moultrie Game Cameras and demonstration of the safety harness for use with high seats also took place. The group acknowledged the support provided by the Jakobi’s in making the venue available for meetings.

Brett formally introduced Peter as the Facilitator for the EGRCMN. Peter provided a summary of his background and his role with the current Open Grant project.
High Sseat

The key deer management related activities and progress with their implementation in general are:

·                     enhanced training for deer hunters, (discussed further in a later item)
·                     reimbursement of some travel costs – concepts are reimbursement of some travel costs based on diary or logbook.
·                     exclusion fence trials – two locations identified for fenced plots.
·                     deer management on private properties – ongoing with establishment of high seats underway.
·                     trail cameras – to be procured to assist with monitoring and management. 

Peter indicated that the project funding incorporated an element of ‘in-kind’ support, therefore it was important that a record of all volunteer contributions was made. This included any time associated with project activities. (eg preparation, meetings, travel, hunting, etc.) It was suggested that a log or diary be kept to record activities associated with the project.

1.2              Last Year Success
Brett spoke about progress achieved to date with property visits to determine management regimes and success with deer reduction.
1.3              New Properties to visit
Brett indicated that a number of new covenanted properties had been identified for deer management. Further information can be obtained from Brett.
1.4              Future Deer Drives
The Group discussed the logistics of conducting a deer drive on the Jakobi property. It had been previously agreed that this would be an effective management tool for this property. Russell volunteered to provide a coordination role for the drive at a suitable time in the future.
It was acknowledged that continued communication between members of the Deer Management Group and the property owners was essential to the ongoing successes of the Group.

 1.5              Business Cards
Brett passed around business cards prepared for the hunters to be used to clearly identify membership of the Group to property owners, etc.

 1.6              Enhanced Training
Brett provided an overview of the topics suggested for the enhanced training. It was noted that these topics were subject to further discussion and the sourcing of expert advice to provide such training. The topics are;

·                     Animal Behaviour
·                     Understanding the breeze
·                     High Seats
·                     Putting it together, optimising chances and managing setups
·                     Vegetation Communities and Management 

1.7              Feedback Sheet
Following discussion at a previous meeting, Andrea tabled a feedback form to be completed and returned to her by all members of the Group. It was agreed that the feedback form be emailed to those members of the Group not present at the meeting.

Action:            Brett to email feedback form to Group members absent from the meeting.
1.8              Game Camera database
The meeting discussed the proposed use of Game Cameras, access to images and the establishment and maintenance of a database. It was noted that the cameras would;

·                     provide important information regarding deer movements and behaviours for hunters
·                     identify and confirm deer impacts on vegetation restoration,
·                     identify and confirm other species impacts on vegetation restoration

It was agreed in principle that a database be developed with secure access established for Group members.
            Action:            Peter to investigate and facilitate database. 

It was also agreed that in regard to Game Camera use that;
·                     two SD (data Storage), Cards, be procured for each Game Camera to allow continuous data capture,
·                     stainless steel cable be used to secure cameras in the field,
·                     mounting brackets as developed by Brett to be used as appropriate,
·                     camouflage tape be used to disguise Game Cameras.

 1.9              Other

1.9.1        Wildlife destruction permits – it was suggested that the legal requirements relating to hunting at dawn and dusk was restricting the ability to effectively manage deer on covenanted properties. Following some discussion it was agreed that wildlife destruction permits be sought to allow legal hunting during these periods. It was suggested that a blanket approach be made, covering all relevant properties, and listing all hunting members of the deer management group as agents. Further, that the EGRCMN Facilitator retain a list of properties and permits, and facilitate annual renewals.

Action:            Peter to facilitate wildlife destruction permits and maintain a register of properties and permits. 

1.9.2        Actions for Biodiversity Conservation, (ABC), Database – Brett noted that monitoring associated with deer management activities should be recorded in the ABC Database, consistent with the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act Sambar Deer Action Statement.

Action:            Andrea to find out who is the responsible DSE person for reporting monitoring information to.

2.                  Site Visit – High Seat at Goldsmith Property

 The Group travelled to the Goldsmith property to inspect the recently installed high seat. Several members of the Group trialled access to the high seat and assessed the sight lines available. General consensus was that the location and establishment of the high seat was ideal. Further to the inspection, the Group enjoyed afternoon tea at the Goldsmith’s.

Meeting Closed at 16:00 hours.