There’s a petition going to save this local sanctuary from being turned into an urban park

There’s a petition going to save this local sanctuary from being turned into an urban park

Baby Tiger Quolls at Serendip Sanctuary, captured by Ranger Ruth Woodrow

The petition has already attracted more than 8000 signatures.

An online petition has been launched to save Serendip Sanctuary in Lara following release of The You Yangs Precinct Master Plan which details a very bleak future for Serendip Sanctuary.

The sanctuary, an excellent example of the open grassy woodlands and wetlands of the volcanic Western Plains, has been the perfect place to learn about and experience birdlife and wetlands ecology, being home to 150 species of birds including the Tawny Frogmouth and Brolgas which breed or visit Serendip Sanctuary from the bird hides. It also houses the the popular Wildlife Walk which offers close encounters with wildlife, including emus and Eastern Grey kangaroos.

The plan, released by Parks Victoria, calls for the removal of all captive breeding and other wildlife enclosures at the sanctuary, turning it to an urban park.

Calling this move a devastating blow for local wildlife, local veterinarian Julia Ferguson kicked off the online petition and already it’s received more than 8000 signatures.

“The plan calls for removal of all captive breeding enclosures and other wildlife enclosures, resulting in a ‘spontaneous wildlife viewing experience.’ With the proximity of Serendip Sanctuary to the growing township of Lara, wildlife will feel threatened and leave the area. The removal of predator proof fences would result in the decimation of species which currently breed naturally within its protected area,” she wrote online.

“Removal of all captive breeding capacity is short sighted and must be stopped. In a time when native species are threatened by habitat loss due to urban sprawl and climate change, and with the devastating bushfires of last year causing astronomical losses to our native species, now is not the time to be reducing our commitment to saving our native species.”

Ferguson’s petition asks Parks Victoria to reconsider their proposal and maintain an active captive breeding program at Serendip Sanctuary.

“We want to continue to have the opportunity to enjoy up close wildlife encounters, with expansive wildlife enclosures, allowing native species to feel safe within the sanctuary grounds and promote the sanctuary as a place where tourists from near and far can come for a captivating, informative and intimate look at Australian Wildlife.”

The petition can be viewed and/or signed here, and locals can give their feedback or make a submission until November 1.