Inbox and Environment News: Issue 473
November 8 - 14, 2020: Issue 473
Goray'murrai—Warm and wet, do not camp near rivers
This season begins with the Great Eel Spirit calling his children to him, and the eels which are ready to mate make their way down the rivers and creeks to the ocean.
It is the time of the blooming of the Kai'arrewan (Acacia binervia) which announces the occurrence of fish in the bays and estuaries.
Acacia binervia, commonly known as the coast myall, is a wattle native to New South Wales and Victoria.
Bark Shedding Time - Pittwater Spotted Gums
photo taken this week - by A J Guesdon.
Watch Out On The Pittwater Estuary Water Zones & Beaches: Seals Are About
Residents have filmed and photographed the seals living at Barrenjoey as far south as Rowland Reserve and over at Clareville beach in recent days and ask that people keep an eye out for them and ensure they are kept safe from boat strikes and dogs are kept off the beaches they're not supposed to be on.
This slug (Triboniophorus graeffei) feeds on microscopic algae on smooth bark eucalypts, and algae on other smooth surfaces, leaving a narrow wiggly track. The Red Triangle Slug is Australia's largest native land slug. The distinctive red triangle on its back contains the breathing pore. This one was photographed in the Pittwater Online backyard this week amid all the rain we've had.
More at: australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/molluscs/red-triangle-slug
First Christmas Bells Of The Year
photo by Selena Griffith, November 7, 2020
Blandfordia nobilis, commonly known as Christmas bells or gadigalbudyari in Cadigal language, is a flowering plant endemic to New South Wales. It is a tufted, perennial herbs with narrow, linear leaves and between three and twenty large, drooping, cylindrical to bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are brownish red with yellow tips. It is one of four species of Blandfordia known as Christmas bells.
Blandfordia nobilis was first formally described in 1804 by English botanist James Edward Smith who published the description in Exotic Botany from dried specimens sent from Sydney by the colonial surgeon, John White. The type specimen was collected from Port Jackson about the year 1800. Blandfordia nobilis was first published in 1804 by English botanist James Edward Smith, and it still bears its original name. The specific epithet (nobilis) is a Latin word meaning "well-known", "celebrated" or "noble".
This photo of a stem of Christmas Bells was taken by a lady who lives here and loves to go for long walks through the bush in our area - bright, aren't they?
2020 BirdLife Australia Photography Awards Winners
Earlier this week an email from BirdLife Australia announced the results of the 2020 BirdLife Australia Photography Awards are now live on the official Awards website.
A huge congratulations to prize winners and short-listed entrants! All the entries were outstanding. With a record smashing 6207 entries the judges didn’t have an easy task!
Most importantly, thanks to the volume of entries BirdLife Australia will be able to donate a sizeable amount of the funds raised by the Awards to support BirdLife Australia's Preventing Extinctions Grey Range Thick-billed Grasswren project to help bring this critically endangered bird back from the brink.
The 2021 Awards will open again mid-year with a new special theme: Plovers! So get those cameras and get some gorgeous photos for your chance to win.
Radio Northern Beaches
Draft Bush Fire Management Policy
Can You Help Restore Our Environment? R&R Grants Open
The Serpentine Bilgola Shared Space Consult
- more space for cycling with cycle lanes on the uphill sections of The Serpentine
- a 10 km/h posted speed limit
- planter boxes, pavement paintings and marked parking bays.
Newport - Avalon Pedestrian & Cycle Link Section 1
Newport - Avalon Pedestrian & Cycle Link
- 2.5 meter wide shared path from The Serpentine to Surfside Avenue (originally 3.5 meters wide)
- new path on Surfside Avenue (Eastern side) crossing to the western side and continuing into Avalon Parade
Wild Idea Incubator 2021: Do You Have A Great Idea?
- Majell Backhausen, Simon Harris and Hilary McAllister: For Wild Places
- Georgi and Bruce Ivers: Trees for Australia
- David Flood and Kate Torgernsen: Beyond the Fairway – Golf Embracing Nature
- Mark Gardener: Farm Level Environmental Profit and Loss Reporting
- Aimee Bowman and Holly Newman: Planet Warrior Education
- Camille Goldstone-Henry: Xylo Systems, a collaborative conservation reporting tool.
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Discovery Triples Greater Glider Species In Australia
November 6, 2020
Australian scientists have discovered one of Australia's best-loved animals is actually three different species.
A team of researchers from James Cook University (JCU), The Australian National University (ANU), the University of Canberra and CSIRO analysed the genetic make-up of the greater glider - a possum-sized marsupial that can glide up to 100 metres.
JCU's PhD student Denise McGregor and Professor Andrew Krockenberger were part of a team that confirmed a long-held theory that the greater glider is actually multiple species.
As a part of her PhD project to understand why greater gliders varied so much across their range, Ms McGregor discovered that the genetic differences between the populations she was looking at were profound.
"There has been speculation for a while that there was more than one species of greater glider, but now we have proof from the DNA. It changes the whole way we think about them," she said.
"Australia's biodiversity just got a lot richer. It's not every day that new mammals are confirmed, let alone two new mammals," Professor Krockenberger said.
"Differences in size and physiology gave us hints that the one accepted species was actually three. For the first time, we were able to use Diversity Arrays (DArT) sequencing to provide genetic support for multiple species."
Greater gliders, much larger than the more well-known sugar gliders, eat only eucalyptus leaves and live in forests along the Great Dividing Range from northern Queensland to southern Victoria. Once common, they are now listed as 'vulnerable', with their numbers declining.
Dr Kara Youngentob, a co-author from ANU, said the identification and classification of species are essential for effective conservation management.
"This year Australia experienced a bushfire season of unprecedented severity, resulting in widespread habitat loss and mortality. As a result, there's been an increased focus on understanding genetic diversity and structure of species to protect resilience in the face of climate change," she said.
"The division of the greater glider into multiple species reduces the previous widespread distribution of the original species, further increasing conservation concern for that animal and highlighting the lack of information about the other greater glider species."
She said there have been alarming declines in greater glider populations in the Blue Mountains, NSW and Central Highlands, Victoria and localised extinctions in other areas.
"The knowledge that there is now genetic support for multiple species, with distributions that are much smaller than the range of the previously recognised single species, should be a consideration in future conservation status decisions and management legislation," Dr Youngentob said.
The research is published in Scientific Reports.
Greater Glider photo by Denise Taylor
Tick Population Booming In Our Area
Residents from Terrey Hills and Belrose to Narrabeen and Palm Beach report a high number of ticks are still present in the landscape. Local Veterinarians are stating there has not been the usual break from ticks so far and each day they’re still getting cases, especially in treating family dogs.
To help protect yourself and your family, you should:
- Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
- Wear light-colored protective clothing.
- Tuck pant legs into socks.
- Avoid tick-infested areas.
- Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks and carefully remove any ticks using a freezing agent.
- If you have a reaction, contact your GP for advice.
Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points
Drones As Stinger Spotters
Buffalo Fly Faces Dengue Nemesis
Program Helps Skill Up School Leavers Over Summer
The NSW Government's Skilling for Recovery program offers fee-free training places for school leavers, young people and job seekers.
Hundreds of fee-free training courses are now available for school leavers, young people and job seekers, as part of the NSW Government’s Skilling for Recovery initiative.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the courses came from the $320 million committed to delivering 100,000 fee-free training places across the state.
“There are more than 100,000 fee-free training places available for people in NSW as the workforce looks to reskill, retrain and redeploy in a post-COVID-19 economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a school leaver or looking for a new career path, I encourage everyone impacted by the pandemic to see what training options are available to them.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said enrolments were now open for in-demand skills leading to career pathways in areas such as aged care, nursing, trades, IT, community services, logistics and accounting.
“We are not training for the sake of training, we are training for real jobs with real futures and equipping the people of NSW with the skills they need to thrive in a post-pandemic economy,” Mr Lee said.
“There are hundreds of providers right around NSW who are ready to deliver this important training.”
As part of this Skilling for Recovery initiative, school leavers have the unique opportunity to experience a range of skills to find out what suits their passions using the Summer Skills program.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said some Year 12 school leavers were still deciding what they wanted to do next.
“In designing the Summer Skills program, the NSW Government has ensured the training on offer is aligned to local industry needs,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We need to provide opportunities that help the 2020 Year 12 school leaver cohort to find their feet during these uncertain times. That’s why we’re delivering practical, bite-sized and fee-free training opportunities this summer.”
The Summer Skills offered will cover a range of industries including agriculture, construction, conservation, fitness, engineering, coding, communication and digital literacy.
You can find further details of the courses on offer as part of Skilling for Recovery and the Department of Education Summer Skills program on the respective websites.
New Study Reveals Poisoning Exposures In Australian Schools
- The median age was 12 years old and exposure peaked in children 14 years
- 55 percent of cases were male
- Deliberate self-poisoning was predominantly reported in girls (79 percent)
- More than 25 percent of poisoning cases were hospitalised, with deliberate self-poisoning exposures being the most common reason (92 percent), recreational exposures (57 percent) and other intentional exposures (33 percent)
- Accidental exposures (15 percent) and medication errors (11 percent) had low hospital referral rates
- Over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen were most commonly taken in self-poisoning incidents
- Medication errors occurring at school accounted for nearly 12 percent of cases with the most common medications involved being methylphenidate and clonidine (ADHD medications), and paracetamol. Where recorded, 150 cases involved a dosing error with a medication prescribed for the child involved, while 40 cases were prescription medication administered to the wrong child
- Science class poisoning exposures accounted for 19 percent of accidental exposures, and a range of substances were involved. Copper sulfate was responsible for approximately one-quarter of all science class exposures, of which 45 percent resulted in hospitalisation. Most science class exposures were accidental.
- Accidental exposures, dares, pranks and recreational exposures occurred more frequently in boys
- Poisons calls were not just about medicines, but included everything from insect bites, mushrooms and hand sanitiser, to glow sticks, soap and disinfectant.
Radical Diagnostic Could Save Millions Of People At Risk Of Dying From Blood Loss
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.