There are a gazillion conservation causes to donate to, but you don’t often get the chance to save two particular wild animals – Iet’s call them Seymour and Serena. They are a pair of white-bellied sea-eagles that nest at the Winton wetlands in north-east Victoria (a long way from the sea, despite their name). These wetlands are being restored (the biggest wetland restoration project in the southern hemisphere) after having been flooded for a few decades to form Lake Mokoan – a water source for irrigation.
When I worked in wetland conservation (a long time ago), Lake Mokoan was the sort of place people would roll their eyes about. Although it was a popular recreation lake at times, it was very hard to manage (suffering from regular toxic algal blooms), and the dead tree-scape visible from the Hume highway was an eyesore. It’s great to see what’s been achieved with the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan, and the restoration of the wetlands. There is now a visitor centre and cafe and activities such as canoeing, cycling, walking and stargazing. For birdos, almost 190 species have been recorded.
So, back to Seymour and Serena. Sea-eagles are nationally threatened and there are only around 100 pairs that nest in Victoria. Each year, Seymour and Serena nest at the Winton wetlands. But the increasing number of visitors to the wetlands (because of the restoration, funnily enough) is posing a threat to their nesting success. A Save our Sea-eagles Pozible campaign, set up by the wetland managers, is seeking funding to protect an area of around 1000 hectares around the nest. Perhaps you wouldn’t be saving Seymour and Serena as much as Simon, Susan, Sidney and all their other chicks over the coming years.
There’s only seven days left in the campaign. Seymour and Serena will thank you.
Image is a screen shot from the Pozible campaign video.