Page 4823 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

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reported to the ACT government. The breeding pair, known as the lower Molonglo pair, successfully raised a chick in a pine tree immediately to the south of the Strathnairn homestead.

Through careful study and monitoring, the government has found that our population of little eagles predominantly resides in open woodlands of the Canberra region and that its diet consists mainly of rabbits. For the Strathnairn pair, we now know that rabbits make up more than 50 per cent of their diet, with medium sized birds— (Time expired.)

MS CODY: Minister, what is the ACT government doing to conserve and protect the little eagle population in the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: The government remains committed to preserving the little eagle population in our region. To inform further planning and conservation and to identify the protected areas of importance to little eagles, researchers are working hard to gain a better understanding of the species. This includes investigating how they move through their environment, their range and their nesting habits.

The government is part of a joint research project involving the Institute of Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra, the CSIRO and Ginninderry joint venture. The project has enabled cameras to be set up at the west Belconnen nesting site, which will provide information on diet, breeding times and breeding successes.

While the little eagles do not breed successfully every year, this presents a great opportunity to observe the eagles’ behaviour early in the breeding season. We are hopeful that this is one of the successful years that produces a fledging little eagle.

We still do not know as much as we would like about these birds. This research, combined with leg banding and satellite tracking, will help fill these knowledge gaps and inform conservation work into the future.

Further additional study allows the ACT government to make plans and regulations regarding development in known nesting areas to ensure that the little eagle populations are considered and appropriately protected at all times. By plotting mating habits, movement and breeding locations the ACT government is able to build around the requirements of the species and help improve their numbers.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how can the public be involved and view the little eagle?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cheyne as well for her interest in the environment. As part of the joint research project I just mentioned, the ACT government is working with the CSIRO, the University of Canberra and the Ginninderry joint venture to both track and film the little eagles in their natural habitat. The public can now get a fascinating look at our little eagle population through the livestreaming video of a nesting site in West Belconnen. This livestream will provide information on the diet as well as the breeding timing and success of the little eagles. You can find the link to the livestream by googling “Belconnen little eagle”.

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