Upon reading Friday's paper regarding Godfrey's amusements being issued a noise complaint. I was shocked. The Port Fairy carnival year after year provides evening entertainment for young and old. I hardly call 10pm a late night. The carnival plays an integral part of the Moyneyana Festival events program which was started as a community fund-raiser for our local hospital over 70 years ago. It is disappointing that council would even consider issuing a noise complaint notice. What is next a noise complaint notice to the weekend markets, the folk festival, the bus service diesel engine at 4am? It is an open community space, that has been for decades now, used for community events. Perhaps the resident should have considered the use of the open space before purchasing or living in a home near by or perhaps just go back to what ever boring hollow they have come from. Port Fairy is a good spirited community with a lot of good activities and groups that give back to support local organisations. We don't need grinches to ruin it.
Richard Conlan, Port Fairy
When new MP Bev McArthur met with concerned Killarney residents, the next step should have been to do some research to find out more. The large mortality even of birds of prey last year was certainly one that had many people concerned across Victoria. Around 537 sick and dead birds were reported, predominantly Barn Owls, but also kestrels, boobooks and more. This type of event doesn’t go without investigation and Melbourne University undertook necropsies on a sample of 48 birds. Over 50 per cent of the Barn Owls and 80 per cent of the kestrels were diagnosed as dying in an emaciated state (of starvation), similar to necropsies following a mass mortality event in the 1980s. This is in line with the bust and boom life cycle of these owls, where they take advantage of high food availability and breed up, but then encounter food shortages which thins the juvenile population primarily.
Another 25 per cent of Barn Owls died from trauma (usually from injuries sustained by being hit by cars) and sadly 7 per cent from rat poison ingestion. Rat poison, unlike fox baiting, is used by households under no strict procedures or methods to minimise off target kills.
The statements made by Bev McArthur about plovers nesting happily in the Belfast Coastal Reserve among horses and off leash dogs is factually wrong. The birds were under increasing pressure and a now 13-year study has been documenting this heavily.
Crushing of nests by horses and dogs and predation of flightless chicks by off leash dogs are demonstrated threats. I think that people believe if they keep seeing a species present in their area, and they can see them trying to nest, they assume that species is OK. It’s not OK. These birds will persist in areas where they are far from OK because they have no other choice – they are ocean beach specialists. Fencing the nests which are mainly on the beaches, is the only way they won’t get crushed by the horses, people and dogs. These rope fences are cues for beach users to do the right thing. They don’t alter predation risk as that was something we were very cautious of. Helping Hooded Plovers breed successfully requires multiple actions to address multiple threats.
Grainne Maguire, Carlton
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