Category Archives: Land for Wildlife

Frogwatch Census 16-22 October

The annual Frogwatch Census is being held during National Water Week, 16-22 October, and training for new participants will be held at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands on 13 Oct.

For more information on the census, guides to identifying frogs by their calls, or information on how to register for the course, please visit http://www.ginninderralandcare.org.au/frogwatch/frogwatch-census .

A great project in which to be involved considering the importance of frogs as indicators of the health of our environment.

“NSW farmers stepping up tree felling even before land-clearing laws loosened”

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 June, reports on the the likely terrible impacts of the NSW Government’s proposed biodiversity legislation; the article is here.

The NSW Nature ConservationCouncil, of which FuturePLANS is a member, has initiated an advocacy campaign to protect native vegetation in NSW. This is the  Stand Up For Nature campaign.    You are invited to visit the campaign website to familiarise yourself with the issues and to consider engaging in advocacy to protect biodiversity in our region. Remember, submissions close on 28 June.

The SMH wrote: “The state’s farmers have lopped paddock trees at an accelerating rate in the past 18 months even before a new land-clearing law eases controls further, government data shows.

“The new figures, which reveal the rate of clearing of paddock trees has more than doubled since November 2014, come as the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists wrote to all MPs to call for a reversal of “retrograde changes” planned in the new Biodiversity Conservation act.

“NSW farmers used a new self-assessment code to remove 21,716 paddock trees – or more than 50 a day – over the past year and a half.

“The rate, at an average of about 50 per day, was 140 per cent more than the average over the previous seven years, data from the Office of Environment and Heritage showed. Paddock trees, judged to be single or small patches of trees, make up 40 per cent of remaining woodland cover, OEH says.”

See the full article for more details.

Native vegetation map for Palerang

The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is conducting public information sessions on the revised native vegetation layer for the former Palerang Council area that it has placed on public exhibition: Bungendore – Tuesday 21 June, Bungendore Council Chambers, 6pm-7pm and Queanbeyan – Tuesday 28 June, Committee Room, Queanbeyan Council Chambers, 6pm-7pm.

‘The layer will be used to update the Palerang Local Environmental Plan 2014 Terrestrial Biodiversity map, to identify areas of native vegetation that require additional consideration in the strategic and statutory planning processes. The layer will also enable interested parties to search for certain types of native vegetation classifications to assist if an area for a biodiversity offset is being sought or where funding is being accessed to manage a particular vegetation community’.

Details are here.

What #Action4theLand will your local councillor take?

FromLandcare Australia:

With over 5,300 registered Landcare groups across the nation, even the smallest of actions from a single Landcare group can add together – across the Landcare movement – to make a large difference.

As part of our World Environment Day 2016 activities, Landcare Australia will be running a fundraising and environmental awareness initiative, where we ask every individual, business, government agency, politician and media outlet we engage with across the nation “What positive #Action4theLand will you take?”

It is our hope that the #Action4theLand campaign can create a groundswell of awareness, and accompanying activity – where every dollar collected through our fundraising efforts will make a difference, by supporting Landcare groups and projects across Australia.

We’re reaching out across our network to encourage each and every one of you to start a positive #Action4theLand conversation. Over the next few months, get out there and ask your friends, family, colleagues, and local representatives, “What #Action4theLand will you take?”

In particular, we encourage you to reach out to your local councillors, and state and federal elected representatives to invite them to join your Landcare group for a day to see the positive #Action4theLand you have taken in your local community.

Report on the Native Vegetation of the Palerang Local Government Area

At its Ordinary Meeting to be held in Bungendore on Thu 24 March, Palerang Council will consider the ‘Report on the Native Vegetation of the Palerang Local Government Area, November 2015, prepared by Umwelt Australia’. The proposal is: Recommended that Council:
1.        Exhibit the draft revised Palerang native vegetation layer via Council’s Intramaps software from mid April 2016 to mid June 2016.
2.        Hold an information session in Braidwood and Bungendore to discuss the revised native vegetation layer.

For details, please visit http://www.palerang.nsw.gov.au/council/council-meetings/business-papers/business-papers-2016/meeting-no-7-ordinary-business-paper – this topic is agenda item 11.7.

FuturePLANS Bird Nesting Box Project

One of the aims of FuturePLANS is to enhance and protect local wildlife habitat. We also deliver education and support for landholders wanting to provide habitat for wildlife on their properties. The nesting box project was developed to assist local landholders to provide suitable nesting sites for birds in the Palerang district which has seen large-scale habitat loss since European settlement. Other pressures on native flora and fauna include the loss of suitable nesting sites, predation by domestic animals, competition for food and nesting sites from introduced species.

The FuturePLANS Bird Nesting Box project is a collaboration with the Bungendore Men’s Shed to build bird boxes for two hollow-nesting birds in our district. The building of the bird boxes is now complete. FuturePLANS and Land for Wildlife Members in the Palerang District can order one bird box, we have 10 bird nesting boxes suitable for the Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)/spotted pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus) and 9 White Throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea). Further information on these species can be found at www.birdsinbackyards.net

An information sheet about the habitat requirements for these species and the plight of hollow nesting birds written by David McDonald from the Canberra Ornithologist Group can be downloaded here: “Hollow nesting birds and mammals”.

You can also download a copy of the nest box plans and installation diagrams from this link: Nest Box Plans. The website Nest Boxes for the Gippsland Region by Maffra and District Landcare Group has a comprehensive guide to the building and care of bird boxes.

A copy of the press release for the project is also available for down load here: FuturePLANS Bird Box Press Release.

If you would like to reserve your box contact the Land for Wildlife Assistant at landforwildlife@futureplans.org.au.

The bird boxes are given to Land for Wildlife and FuturePLANS members for free, however, a donation for the box would be appreciated so we can continue our work in this area. If you wish to make a donation using paypal, please use the “donate” button below:




 

For further Information: Please contact our Land for Wildlife Assistant: landforwildlife@futureplans.org.au

About the Lake George Men’s Shed

The Lake George Men’s Shed provides men with a supportive social meeting place to go to talk to others about health issues, share information, experiences, use the wood and metal working facilities, learn & teach others as well as creating opportunities to participate in the community.

The Lake George Men’s Shed operates from the 130 year old railway goods shed just along the track from Bungendore Railway Station.

Contact Gary 0435 255 464.

Bird box builder Steve

Bird box builder Steve from the Lake George Men’s Shed

FuturePlans workshop

J.P. Favre and David McDonald holding the bird boxes at the Bird Box Building Workshop in December 2015

 

Managing Your Land for the Future – Resilience and Adaptation for Climate Change – a two-day forum Fri 18 & Sat 19 March

This two-day forum includes some terrific speakers, such as :

  • Dr Mark Stafford Smith, Science Director with CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship – will speak about some of the climate impacts already being observed on the Southern Tablelands and the Monaro, and five key elements in adapting to climate change.
  • Richard Taylor, Chair of Monaro Farming Systems group who will speak about they formed and how they are helping  farm businesses to be more profitable and resilient in the long term on the Monaro
  • Phil Graham from Yass Department of Primary Industries will speak on managing livestock under changing conditions
  • Agribusiness consultant Michelle Jacobs will speak about the business side of managing climate change risks.There are lots of other speakers including Alison Elvin from Natural Capital who will speak on managing native grasses, Donna Hazel from South East Local Land Services on managing wetlands and Professor David Freudenberger from ANU who will speak on biodiversity winners and losers as the climate changes.

    There will also be a  field trips to different parts of the catchment in the afternoon of both days to learn about ‘whole-of-paddock’ rehabilitation (Gunning) and looking after your River Paddocks (Sutton).

    When: Friday 18 & Saturday 19 March 2016, 9.00am – 4.00pm

    Where: Day 1 – Murrumbateman Recreation Hall, Barton Highway, NSW. Day 2 – Jerrabomberra Community Centre, Queanbeyan, NSW. Buses will be provided from there for field trips.

    Cost: $50 for two days, fully inclusive. ($30 for one day)

    For details go to: www.umccc.org.au

    Cheers
    Anna van Dugteren
    Anna van Dugteren | Natural Resource Management Facilitator
    Phone: +61 2 62052914 | Mobile: 0455299657 | Email: anna.vandugteren@act.gov.au
    NRM Programs|Environment and Planning |ACT Government
    Dame Pattie Menzies House, Challis Street Dickson | GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601

Identification of animals and plants is an essential skill set

A recent article in The Conversation by Susan Lawler, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution at La Trobe University, explores the importance of students of biological and related sciences developing skills in identifying animals and plants.

Her article commences:
‘I have recently been made abundantly aware of the lack of field skills among biology students, even those who major in ecology. By field skills we mean the ability to identify plants and animals, to recognise invasive species and to observe the impact of processes such as fire on the landscape.

‘My colleague Mike Clarke calls it “ecological illiteracy”, and identifies it as a risk for nature at large. While people spend more times indoors in front of screens, we become less aware of the birds, plants and bugs in our backyards and neighbourhoods. This leads to an alienation of humans from nature that is harmful to our health, our planet and our spirit.

‘On a more practical, academic level, I was in a meeting this week where an industry representative complained that biology graduates are no longer able to identify common plants and animals. This limits their employment prospects and hampers the capacity of society to respond to changes in natural ecosystems predicted by climate change.’

Well worth reading in full.

‘Genius community grants – it’s the process that counts’

Les Robinson’s approach to enabling social change, ‘Changeology’,  including his book by that name, and his Changeology blog, are  fantastic resources for members and friends of FuturePLANS.

His 15 February blog post is titled Genius community grants – it’s the process that counts.

He explains that ‘Most councils and government agencies have community grants programs.
‘And most of those programs kill innovation.
‘Why? Because the typical applicant is so desperate to be funded they try to second guess what the agency is looking for by packing the grant application full of buzz words extracted from the agency’s documentation, and what got funded last year, rather than gamely having a go with imaginative ideas. There is simply no incentive for innovation in the conventional grant process, and plenty of fear of being knocked back for being too radical.
‘And because the application form is usually completed 5 minutes to midnight before the close-off date by a tired group president or secretary, there is simply no way that much deep or original thought goes into most project plans.’

He then discusses how our South East Local Land Services (SELLS) ‘is being innovative, having fun, creating love, and transforming community Landcare projects, by innovating the conventional Landcare grant process’.

His description of how well the SELLS is operating is here.

Well worth a read.  And emulating and building upon it.

Birds and Boxes – Building Homes for Hollow Nesting Birds

The Palerang Action Network for Sustainability (Future PLANS) has partnered with the Lake George Men’s Shed to build 20 bird nest boxes. We are holding an information session on the value of providing bird nesting boxes, the plight of hollow nesting birds in a changing environment, how to build boxes and a demonstration on how to put one up.

Guest Speakers will include David McDonald from the Canberra Ornithologists Group who will speak about the bird species we have built boxes for and why providing nesting sites is important in our environment.

Penny Kothe from Caroola Farm will also be at the gathering to provide information on the community garden and talk about growing garlic.

Followed by the AGM at 12 noon.

Time and Date

Sunday, 13 December 2015, 10 AM – 12 noon for Bird Box Information session.

Sunday, 13 December 2015, 12 noon for FuturePLANS AGM.