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Re-emergence of critically endangered Golden Sun Moth

Article Category  Dimboola Courier > Ag and Environment
Date Published  Saturday, November 25 2017
Author  DELWP

Re-emergence of critically endangered Golden Sun Moth
The critically endangered Golden Sun Moth (Synemon Plana) has been sighted for the first time in at least two years at previously known observation sites near Nhill and Kiata.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Program Manager Natural Environment, Pauline Rudolph said “So far we have reports of 51 males and only one female across these two sites, but none elsewhere in the Wimmera.”

“Sites with suitable habitat, that is, low open-grasslands where Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma sp.) is dominant, are also being surveyed in the hope that the Golden Sun Moth may exist there, although additional observations have not been made,” Ms Rudolph said.

“Sun Moth surveys usually happen during November, dependent on weather conditions. From experience gained over many years, we know that surveys are best completed on a warm day where the temperature is above 21 degrees at 10.00am, during the warmest part of the day (10.00am–2.00pm) when the sky is clear and there is little or no wind, and at least two days since the last rainfall.

“There has been considerable fluctuation in numbers since the Golden Sun Moth was first discovered in the 1990s, with 2009–2012 being notable “boom” years; more than 600 moths were counted in each of those years, compared to earlier years of between 100 and 250 individuals. More recently the numbers have been low to non-existent.

“It is a relatively short-lived life: the female Golden Sun Moth emerges from her underground tunnel carrying up to 150 eggs and spends her entire adult life crawling between clumps of grass on which to deposit those eggs, while the male patrols for females with whom to mate at a maximum height of just one metre. Neither male nor female has functional mouthparts with which to feed, and perish within two to five days.

“Although elusive, the Golden Sun Moth is fortunately a hardy species that is able to survive prolonged dry periods.”

The Golden Sun Moth is listed as ‘Threatened’ under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act and is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

This project is funded by the National Landcare Programme, with much-appreciated assistance from the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria and Nhill Sun Moth Committee.

Photo source: DELWP Grampians via Facebok


2018 Hindmarsh Shire Council Meetings

Find out where and when Hindmarsh Shire Council's 2018 meetings will be.

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Hindmarsh Shire Council Christmas & New Year Arrangements

The Hindmarsh Shire Council Customer Service Centres (Jeparit, Nhill and Rainbow) will be closed from 3.00pm on Friday 22 December 2017.

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