Friends of Lake Wendouree Natural Environment

Link for Insect-Survey

The survey is ongoing over 2023.

The wildlife at Lake Wendouree have the greatest diversity nearest the  Lake.

The Biosis Report for the Lake reported that any extra light from the proposed 225x 5m lights would make no difference considering the existing urban ambient light.

Our Insect Survey begun on 8th December shows the above to be misleading at best.

At the Test Light located in the   Insect Survey the percentage of insects on the first evening at this light alone is 1875% greater than the Control UV light nearby beside the pond, where a request to Council not to install lights was made.

The appearance of the insects at the Test Light was almost instantaneous as the survey began as they were already in the vicinity drawn by the light. whereas at the low level Control UV light, the  number of insects was minimal due to the insects not being greatly disturbed. At night, especially when it is cold, as it was, the insects gather in the warmest areas within the grasses etc and the dark protects them from predators.

At the Street light directly across the road, no insects were sighted under the Lamp or on the concrete ground for the Stop Count.  The street light being much higher and the ground under it being concrete, was not an ideal place for insects to gather, given the distance from the water source, producing a percentage of 7500% greater number of insects at the Test Light.

What does this tell us so far: That the 225x5m LED lights will draw millions of insects away from the Lake during their lifetime, that pedestrians have a greater chance of colliding or being bitten by mosquitos, that many tiny insects will die under the feet of pedestrians and that the biodiversity of the foreshore at the Lake will inevitably decline.

The second evening under a New Moon the increase in temperature and humidity saw an increase in insects at all sites and at Site 1 an explosion in the number of insects, particularly: small insects, a variety of moth appearing like a small stick at rest and many mosquitos, an opportunist small spider had wound it’s web around and down the light pole trapping many small insects. The Mosquito numbers were estimated at 30-40 around each surveyor, and this level of activity was extremely uncomfortable and led to many bites.

The third night survey demonstrated how wind velocity can vary at a micro-climate level producing specific local conditions affecting wildlife. A Venturi effect was in action at the Test Light, Site 2 and this produced an increase in the velocity of the wind to at least 4m to the West of the light. This Venture effect created unpleasant consitions for insects and the number of insects at the light was considerably less than the previous two evenings. The nearby Test Light was not affected by the Venturi Effect and the disturbance to vegetation was clearly reduced with more insect numbers visible even at a distance from the surveyed Test Light. It is clear that vegetation renewal is essential for the protection of habit for the wildlife and this need is apparent in sections around the Lake where vegetation is reduced and in decline.

Rakali Section  this group of interested people are supporting a Rakali Survey at the Lake. The survey is supported by the Australian Platypus Conservancy.

Next Group Survey will be in February 2023.

25/10 Lissa Ryan is the Co-ordinator of the Lake Wendouree Rakali Monitoring and she will collate data collection and be responsible for the ‘hands on’ activities of the group, and she is looking forward to the  first Group Rakali Watch scheduled for Saturday November 19, 2022. 
 A Group Watch involves stationing pairs of observers at the 12 allocated observation points around the lake and North Gardens Wetlands and asking them to scan for Rakali for one hour near dawn and dusk.
The Group Watch will take place at the following times
7.00- 8.00 (meeting at 6.45am)
6.45-7.45 pm (meeting at 6.30pm)
The aim will be to cover each of the allocated 12 observation points the best we can to gain a ‘snapshot’ of Rakali activity. There is a great deal of written information about the Group Watch which I will send out to those participating closer to the time.
RSVP Anyone interested in participating could you please let Lissa know by Saturday, November 12, 2022. 

RakaliCount data form (Wendouree)

LW Locations and Images PDF file

Draft Map Rakali Survey Points to be fine tuned.


Observation Records and Breeding Summary of Blue-billed Ducks Oxyura australis in Victoria from 2015 to mid-2021 Indicating Species Decline.
Based on data from VBA – Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, eBird Australia and Birdata (Birdlife Australia) along with Relevant Site Observations, Lake Knox, Victoria.
Authors : John Cull, Kevin Newman and Russell Plew October 2021


3rd March 2022 FoLWNE supported by a majority of votes has moved to become a Working Group under the Ballarat Dark Sky Community.

FoLWNE Facebook Group


17th August 2018 – Formation of FoLWNE 

A gathering of citizens on the foreshore of Lake Wendouree met on Friday 17th August 2018 to  support the natural environment at Lake Wendouree. 13 people, a number representing other 6 community groups and 4 apologies.

17th August 2018 Groups represented at Formation: Local Residents Jenny Burrell, Annette Ferguson, Pam Griffiths, Birdlife Australia / Ballarat President Louise Humble and Roger Thomas, Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat President John Gregurke, Friends of Canadian Corridor Jeff Rootes, Federation University Dr Penny Greenslade, International Dark-Sky Association Victoria President Dr Russell Cockman, IDAVic Secretary Judith Bailey &(BAS) Ballarat Astronomical Society (BAS)Doug Stenhouse, Ballarat Heritage Watch Merle Hathaway and Sharon Upham.




Ambient Light

Daytime on the Lake

Southern Brown Tree Frog