Inbox and Environment News: Issue 474
November 15 - 21, 2020: Issue 474
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.
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.
Radio Northern Beaches
Can You Help Restore Our Environment? R&R Grants Open
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
Inaugural Australian Institute Of Marine Science Medal 2020 Awarded
November 11, 2020
Passion and collegiate contribution to marine science underpin inaugural awarding of AIMS Medal
A passion for marine biology, recognition of the contribution of colleagues and enduring contribution to excellence has seen marine biologist, Dr Andrew Heyward, awarded the inaugural Australian Institute of Marine Science Medal.
Pioneering the establishment of AIMS in Western Australia almost two decades ago, Dr Heyward was presented with the medal by AIMS’ Research Program Leader in Perth, Dr Karen Miller.
The AIMS Medal will be awarded every two years in recognition of outstanding and enduring contribution to AIMS’s mission, commitment to sustained excellence, and exemplification of AIMS values.
AIMS CEO Dr Paul Hardisty, speaking via video link from Townsville, said Dr Heyward was selected by a panel of his science peers from a list of highly credentialled colleagues. The panel singled out his selflessness and considered leadership which made a real difference to AIMS and enhanced the value of the science that AIMS delivers to the nation.
“Andrew is a visionary science leader. More than a decade ago his pioneering published work on reef restoration and larval survival set the stage for our current major effort on the Reef Restoration and Adaption Program.
“As AIMS’s work with industry grew, in no small way because of his efforts, Andrew led the enhancement of AIMS's safety performance and record into a new era of much stronger safety values and performance.
“He was responsible for building relationships that endure over decades, as well as leading the development of key partnerships with the oil and gas industry which led to dozens of projects and a huge science impact, and established AIMS in the west as a viable long-term operation.”
Dr Heyward described his work as a passion and a pleasure and paid tribute to his colleagues.
“The award reflects an ongoing contribution to our values and our mission and you cannot do that on your own. Every time the best achievements that I have been involved in have been dependent on everyone else at AIMS.
“The Australian Institute of Marine Science has a really worthy mission and has fantastic values, so what’s not to love,” he said.
Dr Hardisty said that Dr Heyward’s attitude, willingness to help, and positive outlook touched all who were lucky enough to work with him and that he could not think of a more deserving winner.
Dr Heyward completed his studies at James Cook University in Queensland, after which he held positions in Japan, Victoria and South Australia. He joined AIMS in 1994 as Scientist in Charge and established its first WA office in Dampier. Around 2001 both the AIMS office and Andrew relocated to Perth.
His current research is focused on exploratory surveys of coastal and offshore habitats in north-west Australia and studies of coral biology related to early life histories. The work is revealing the globally significant diversity of benthic marine habitats in the north-west and Timor Sea. Added to this is reef restoration research which is exploring new ways to assess coral recruitment and enhance post-settlement survival.
“Being custodians of our planet is more important than ever and marine sciences can make a good contribution to the care of the oceans and our future,” he said.
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.
Join Us On Mission: Biosecurity
November 11, 2020
The departments of agriculture and primary industries across Australia have proudly partnered with Costa Georgiadis of Gardening Australia to develop a suite of interactive and digital resources which showcase the importance of biosecurity across Australia.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Deputy Director General, Biosecurity & Food Safety, Dr John Tracey, said NSW DPI, with all state, territory, and Commonwealth Departments of Agriculture (excl N.T) have partnered in a digital collaboration project to encourage people to take action to manage biosecurity risks.
A series of audio-visual materials promoting biosecurity have been developed and will be used in a national publicity campaign throughout 2020-2021, including an independent website, podcasts, mini-videos, and quizzes.
“The Mission: Biosecurity website, comprising a series of short videos, games and podcasts, will enable visitors to discover what Biosecurity is, how it can impact our way of life and how we can all help protect our environment, community and economy from biosecurity baddies,” Dr Tracey said.
“The materials delivered through this collaboration will bolster our digital engagement and help promote the benefits of, and need for, strong biosecurity in Australia.
“They will also showcase the vital work that our staff and researchers undertake in the biosecurity space nationally.
“This project aims to highlight each of the participating state’s priorities and provide a nationally consistent biosecurity message and approach,” Dr Tracey said.
To join the mission, visit: www.missionbiosecurity.com.au
Serpentine Leafminer Detected In Western Sydney
November 11, 2020
Residents in Western Sydney Region are urged to look out for signs of damage and presence of fly larvae following the detection of Serpentine leafminer in a vegetable crop.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Manager Biosecurity Prevention & Preparedness Dr Chris Anderson said Western Sydney is a major horticultural and vegetable growing region.
“The Serpentine leafminer, also known as Pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis pose a serious threat to melons, vegetables, onions, grains, cotton, ornamentals and production nurseries,” Dr Anderson said.
“Leafminers look like tiny blackish flies, but the most obvious sign is the distinctive trails or squiggle patterns the larvae leave behind on plant leaves.
“The larvae feed internally on plant tissue, particularly the leaf, creating the classic mining trails that are associated with infestation.
“The larvae then pupate in soil, hatching out as flies, which lay eggs on surrounding host plants spreading infestation and increasing damage.
“Damaged plants commonly have reduced yield and in some cases are completely destroyed.
“It’s important for growers to be alert and report signs of this unwanted pest species in vegetable crops and nursery production.”
Currently NSW DPI and Greater Sydney Local Land Services staff are undertaking surveillance surveys across Western Sydney vegetable growers and nurseries to determine the extent of the incursion, which will inform the feasibility of eradication.
Everyone is encouraged to report any signs of leaf mining in vegetables to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or send clear photographs via an online form or to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details.
Watch Out For Environmental Invaders Frogbit In Camden
November 10, 2020
Camden Council residents have been alerted to be on the lookout for frogbit, an invasive, smothering waterweed which poses a serious threat to our environment, after the weed was found by a council biosecurity officer in local Rossmore dams and in Rileys and South Creek.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Priority Weeds coordinator, Charles Mifsud, said DPI is working with council and Greater Sydney Local Land Services to eradicate the frogbit, Limnobium laevigatum, infestation.
“It’s likely frogbit was flushed downstream during heavy summer rain events from an upstream infestation and surveillance is continuing to detect and eradicate the weed,” Mr Mifsud said.
“Fortunately, no frogbit has been found during inspections of properties near the confirmed infestation sites.
“Frogbit, or Amazon frogbit, is native to Central and South America and it is illegal to grow or sell the plant in NSW as it poses a serious biosecurity risk.
“Plants which have been illegally sold for use in ponds and aquariums were dumped and have now infested our waterways."
The first known incursion of frogbit in NSW waterways was at Green Point in 2017 and infestations have since been found in the Georges River, Prospect Creek, Fairfield, Smithfield, Greystanes, Plumpton, Bulahdelah, Cowra, Forster and Lismore.
All known infestations in NSW have been treated to eradicate the devastating weed, which forms large dense mats across the water's surface, prevents native water plants from growing, reduces light, food and shelter for fish and other aquatic animals and can block waterways and irrigation channels.
Mr Mifsud said frogbit has been found in backyard ponds and aquariums and for sale in aquarium shops, at markets and online.
“If you suspect a plant in your yard or our waterways or for sale at a market, shop or online is frogbit, please call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244 or your local council, who can assist in identification and eradication,” he said.
“Frogbit is a nasty weed and we need everyone to know this plant must not be sold or grown in NSW.”
More information and photographs of frogbit are available online.
Wanted: Seeds To Save Critically Endangered Plants From Fungal Disease
November 9, 2020
Land holders and property owners across the state are being asked to keep their eyes peeled for scrub turpentine and native guava on their properties as the NSW Government Saving our Species program establishes an emergency seedbank for these critically endangered native shrubs.
Saving our Species Senior Threatened Species Officer Craig Stehn said populations of scrub turpentine (Rhodamnia rubescens) and native guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides) were in rapid decline due to Myrtle rust, a fungal disease that affects plants within the Myrtaceae family.
"Myrtle rust is most easily identified by the bright yellow spores which develop on new growth," said Mr Stehn.
"The fungus usually attacks young leaves and new shoots. With post-fire re-sprouting and germination events starting to occur, understanding the impact and spread of myrtle rust is more important than ever.
"Scrub turpentine and native guava are two critically endangered species from the Myrtaceae family that are extremely susceptible to Myrtle rust, with both of these species experiencing severe population decline over the past decade as a result of the disease.
"To save them, we're working with the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and their Australian PlantBank facility to establish an emergency collection of seeds and plant material, which will be used for important research into disease resistance and breeding, as well as a source for potential future translocation projects.
"While we've collected cuttings from approximately 300 plants at more than 40 locations between Sydney and the Queensland border so far, collecting more seeds is our priority and we need the community's help.
"With the scrub turpentine and native guava across the state currently flowering and fruiting, now is the perfect time for land holders with these plants on their properties to get in touch with us and help to conserve these critically endangered native plants," said Mr Stehn.
Saving our Species has projects in place for three threatened plants currently impacted by Myrtle rust and is also leading a larger Myrtle Rust Key Threatening Process project to look more broadly at Myrtle rust impacts and conservation actions to help.
Land holders with flowering or fruiting scrub turpentine or native guava on their properties are encouraged to contact Craig Stehn on email@example.com
Scrub turpentine (Rhodamnia rubescens) is a rainforest tree which grows to 25m tall, with reddish-brown, stringy bark, triple-veined leaves, small (8mm) white fragrant flowers and fleshy berries (7mm) turning black when mature.
Scrub Turpentine, Rhodamnia rubescens flower Credit: Gavin Phillips/DPIE
Scrub Turpentine, Rhodamnia rubescens Credit: Gavin Phillips/DPIE
Rhodomyrtus psidioides usually grows to around 12m tall and has brown scaly bark, white flowers (15mm) and a fleshy berry (12mm) turning yellow when mature.
Native Guava, Rhodomyrtus psidioides Credit: Gavin Phillips/DPIE
NSW's Only Wangarru (Yellow-Footed Rock-Wallaby) Population Bouncing Back
November 9, 2020
Recent rain in outback NSW is bringing good news for the state's only population of Wangarru (yellow-footed rock-wallabies) after years of drought impacts.
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Saving our Species Project Officer Dr Sarah Bell said the most recent survey has finally shown an increase in numbers.
"In NSW the Wangarru is known from a single population on and adjacent to Mutawintji National Park and Mutawintji Nature Reserve.
"The wallabies have been surveyed every year since 1980 in one of the longest running aerial survey studies in NSW.
"We know the drought conditions of the last few years hit them hard.
"Numbers fell from 155 to 63 between the survey in 2017 to last year.
"The good news is this year's count has seen an increase to 75.
"This is a promising sign for the species and means considerable effort in fox and goat control, funded through the Saving our Species program, is helping to give the wallabies their best chance at bouncing back, now that conditions have improved.
"The Wangarru is not just ecologically important as the most easterly population of the species, but is also culturally significant to the local Aboriginal community.
"Its significance was a key consideration by the Mutawintji Board of Management when they purchased Nuntherungie station which was added to the national parks estate in 2019.
"Numbers are still low, but with the far west receiving more rain in the last few weeks, improving their habitat, we are hopeful next year's surveys will see a further increase in numbers," Dr Bell said.
Yellow-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) photo by Peripitus
Population Boom For Kooragang Island Frogs
November 11, 2020
Once struggling from drought conditions, Kooragang Island has recently become a veritable frog haven, and vulnerable populations are thriving.
Saving our Species staff and bush regeneration volunteers combined their efforts to improve the habitat of species such as the green and golden bell frog, following a period of prolonged drought.
NPWS Bush Regeneration and Volunteering Officer, Boyd Carney, said the results of the project were extremely positive.
"Frogs in this area were greatly affected by low rainfall, so the idea was to enhance their habitat through plantings and weed removal and make it easier for them to move across the landscape and access the available wetland habitat across the island," he said. "Luckily, we did get some rain, and this has greatly benefited the frog populations and improved the odds of survival.
"Volunteers play a major part in threatened species conservation, not only with their contributions to on-groundwork, but also in other ways, such as reporting sightings of threatened species which help researchers track what is happening with species over time. They bring so much energy and passion to their work, and their efforts are much appreciated.
"This work will improve terrestrial habitat long term, support the booming population, and assist in the ongoing survival of frog species."
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will continue to work with Hunter Local Land Services and Conservation Volunteers Australia to prioritise the ongoing recovery of the frogs.
The site is also partly managed by Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation, BHP, Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group and University of Newcastle.
Green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea).
Trail Bike Operation Keeping Northern Rivers National Parks Safe
November 12, 2020
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and NSW Police have conducted a joint law enforcement operation tackling illegal trail bike riding in Northern River's national parks.
NPWS Area Manager Jenny Atkins said that while the vast majority of visitors to national parks in the Northern Rivers area are fantastic, NPWS does unfortunately see some people engaging in illegal activities.
"Riding unregistered motorbikes or driving in areas closed to vehicles, without authorisation, can attract heavy penalties. These activities are not only dangerous, but they also disturb park neighbours and put other visitors, local wildlife and park assets at risk," said Ms Atkins.
"This joint operation gave NPWS the chance to work closely with local police and address these issues.
"Over the course of the two-day operation, police issued one infringement notice and several cautions for offences including riding where vehicle access is restricted and riding unregistered trail bikes.
"As we head into summer, we'd like to remind visitors to our region's parks to ensure they abide by NSW law and NPWS regulations.
"There are a number of public trails available across the Northern Rivers region for four-wheel drivers and licenced trail bike riders to legitimately enjoy.
"Our national parks are home to many rare and threatened species, including the Bush Stone-curlew and the Red-legged Pademelon. We want to continue to protect these special plants and animals, as well as ensure our visitors feel safe while they are enjoying our beautiful parks," said Ms Atkins.
Bush Stone-curlew, Burhinus grallarius, Endangered Credit: David Martin/DPIE Red-legged Pademelon (Thylogale stigmatica), Vulnerable Credit: Dave Watts/DPIE
NPWS is also targeting unsafe and illegal 4WD usage in parks and reserves on the Tweed Coast. Eleven driving offences and seven infringement notices have been issued in the last two weeks for individuals driving a vehicle in a national park, not on a recognised road or trail.
Further joint operations between NPWS and local police are planned over the summer period.
Members of the public can call the NPWS general enquiry line on 1300 361 967 to report illegal activity.
Local Police on NPWS trail bikes during joint operation Credit: Public Affairs/DPIE
Energy Superpower Plan To Turbocharge Renewable Energy Zones And Pumped Hydro
November 9, 2020
More than 9000 jobs and $32 billion of private investment is expected to roll into the regions by 2030, under the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, released today.
The Roadmap lays out the Government’s 20 year plan to deliver Renewable Energy Zones, energy storage such as pumped hydro, and on demand supply like gas and batteries, needed to reduce emissions and provide cheap, reliable electricity across the State.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Roadmap will deliver Australia’s first Renewable Energy Zones in the Central West and New England regions by 2030.
“The stimulus the Renewable Energy Zones will provide to regional communities will unlock over 9000 new jobs and will be a huge boost to farmers and land owners, with $1.5 billion in lease payments expected to go to landholders hosting new infrastructure by 2042,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The Roadmap will make sure that renewables are developed where regional communities want them and where they are compatible with farming.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Roadmap will grow the economy, create jobs and deliver an expected $32 billion of private sector investment in electricity infrastructure by 2030, part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
“Coming out of this crisis, not only are we stimulating the economy to create jobs now, we are looking towards the reforms NSW needs to secure our future,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This is a big productivity reform, with the Roadmap projected to deliver NSW some of the cheapest energy prices in the OECD and shore up our energy security.”
Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Roadmap will support the private sector to bring 12 gigawatts of renewable energy and 2 gigawatts of storage, such as pumped hydro, online by 2030.
“Our priority is to keep the lights on and get power prices down, with the Roadmap forecast to save NSW households an average of $130 and small businesses an average of $430 on their electricity bills each year,” Mr Kean said.
“NSW has some of the best natural resources in the world and this Roadmap is about acting now to leverage our competitive advantage and to position NSW as an energy superpower.”
Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the Roadmap includes $50 million in grants to support the delivery of pumped hydro projects.
“Pumped hydro is a proven form of large-scale storage and NSW has some fantastic pumped hydro opportunities,” Ms Pavey said.
“This plan delivers the long term certainty needed for the private sector to invest now and drive jobs and investment in the regions.”
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the Roadmap cements the region as the renewable hub of the future.
“Our community is thrilled to have the State’s first Renewable Energy Zone right here in the Central West unlocking opportunities for jobs and investment that will be the foundation for our future prosperity,” Mr Saunders said.
The Roadmap sets out a plan to modernise the State’s electricity infrastructure by:
- cutting red-tape and speeding up approvals for transmission infrastructure in Renewable Energy Zones, while protecting the interests of consumers
- reating a long term investment signal for new generation in Renewable Energy Zones, long duration storage such as pumped hydro, and on demand supply, like gas and batteries
- making sure that renewable projects proceed where local communities want them and in ways that are consistent with farming.
For further information and to view the Roadmap visit: Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap
Manufacturing Renewables Taskforce To Boost Regional Jobs And Local Industry
November 10, 2020
Local manufacturing will boom, with a new Manufacturing Renewables Taskforce to find ways to drive the use of NSW materials in building the State’s Renewable Energy Zones, announced today.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said we need to support our NSW manufacturers by putting the policies in place that create local jobs and support local industry.
“We currently import the more than 86,500 tonnes of steel that form the foundations for critical energy infrastructure – including some finished manufactured goods,” Mr Barilaro said.
“As we come out of this recession, we need to lead by example by backing our local supply chains, local manufacturers and local jobs.
“This Taskforce will make sure we have the knowledge we need to do just that, and unlock regional NSW’s renewable energy manufacturing potential.”
Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Taskforce will look at everything from material sourcing and supply to contracting arrangements, and explore ways to give NSW manufacturers a competitive advantage in emerging ‘green’ supply industries.
“Industry tells us we will need more than 650,000 tonnes of steel to deliver our three Renewable Energy Zones – my priority is finding ways to make sure that the steel and other products that power NSW, are made in NSW by NSW manufacturers,” Mr Kean said.
“The Taskforce will look at terms we can put in our electricity infrastructure contracts and tender rules which will drive the use of NSW products, where they are cost competitive.”
The Manufacturing Renewables Taskforce will include representatives from the steel, aluminium, cement, concrete and manufacturing industries, the workers unions, renewable development stakeholder groups and the NSW Government.
A Jobs in Renewable Energy Zones Taskforce will also be established to ensure jobs created in local communities hosting the new infrastructure, go to local people.
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
NSW Senior Australian Of The Year
Finalists - NSW Senior Australian Of The Year
Senior Australians Of The Year Everywhere Else
Keep It Green: 1970
Pandemic Mental Health Support – Online And A Phone Call Away
- The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement will provide specialist information and support to residential aged care and home care recipients and their families who have been affected by COVID-19;
- Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health will deliver a sector-wide trauma-informed care package that provides trauma training and resources for aged care residents, their families and aged care staff, including through the establishment of a dedicated website; and
- Dementia Support Australia will implement a proactive engagement program to help alleviate the impacts of lockdown on aged care residents living with dementia.
Cedar Leigh-Jones - Kalani Ball Win Volkswagen Cronulla Open
CRONULLA BEACH, SYDNEY
Monday, 9 November 2020
by Surfing NSW
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) and Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon) have taken top honours at the Volkswagen Cronulla Open, the first NSW stop on the 2020 Australian Open Surf series after an array of exciting heats in playful two-foot conditions.
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) capitalised on his opening day momentum taking out the Open Men’s division. The lightning-fast natural footer shone over the entirety of the event, eliminating top seed and fellow Scarborough Boardriders member Nic Squires (Corrimal) in his opening heat and then backed it up with massive scores in his following heats. Ball finished the final with a gigantic 18.04 two-wave heat total to sneak ahead of event standout Dylan Moffat (Narrabeen) in the dying moments of the heat.
“This is the first event I’ve done this year so to get the win feels awesome,” said Ball. “I think the win ahead of Nic yesterday helped give me the confidence to keep getting through heats. That final came right down to the wire but I knew I had to get those rare waves that would dish up two steep sections. I’m stoked I found them.”
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon) surfed a smart heat en route to her victory, striking in the final minute of the heat with an 8.33 to get the jump on Sarah Baum (Wallsend) who held down the lead for a giant portion of the final. The 16-year-old natural-footer nailed an array of beautiful snaps and carves to claim the win ahead of some fancied opposition.
“I’m so stoked to have won this, especially against some of the girls in this final,” said Leigh-Jones. “I look up to all the girls in the final so much, so to get a win against them feels incredible. It was quite hard to find a good wave out there, but my whole game plan was to just find the best wave I possibly could and hope it would link right through to the inside shorebreak.”
On Tuesday, November 10, it was announced the Australian Open of Surfing series will now welcome events in Port Macquarie and the far south NSW coast as the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, comes on board as a new partner for the series of events.
The series which will now feature eight events that will take place in the latter months of 2020 and provide professional and aspiring surfers with the opportunity to win prize money and gain momentum going into 2021.
The event in Port Macquarie will be the first Surfing NSW event hosted there in close to five years, while the Far South Coast Open will be the first Surfing NSW event in close to a decade.
NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government was proud to support the series giving a much-needed boost to local hotels, restaurants and attractions, including in areas affected by the summer bushfires.
“Our support for the Australian Open of Surfing has helped Surfing NSW expand the 2020 Series to secure two additional events for regional NSW – the Port Macquarie Open this weekend and the Far South Coast Open in December,” Mr Ayres said.
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.
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Frogs
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment published a great page this week for FrogId Week, which shares all kinds of information about frogs. As we live in an area where so many of us hear all kinds of frogs of an evening, and so many of us like watching tadpoles turn into things that can jump, or finding out more about our local frogs, such as the Peron's Tree Frog we found in the yard here a little while ago, this information may be something that interests you.
The Department put the call out on Twitter for your frog-related questions and brought in one of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service’s frog experts, ecologist Joanne Ocock, to answer them. If you missed their live Twitter Q and A, fear not, they’ve pulled together their favourite questions (and answers) below.
This is Ecologist Joanne Ocock taking a frog selfie. Photo: Joanne Ocock
How do I identify the frogs in my backyard?
The best way is to use the FrogID app from the Australian Museum. You don’t have to see the frog, just record the calling noises with the app, submit it and the experts will let you know what you have! It’s quite addictive.
What kinds of things can I do to invite more frogs into my backyard?
Great idea! Firstly, don’t use too many chemicals in your garden. Build ‘frog ponds’; shallow pools with slope-y sides and a variety of vegetation in and around it and include some rocks and crevices for the frogs to hide if possible. Make sure you keep any curious pets at bay.
How long can a frog live without water?
Not all frogs are the same. Some lose water through their skin very easily, so will dry out quickly if they do not move or shelter somewhere that stops the evaporation, such as a damp place out of the wind. Other species, like the green tree frog can stay away from water for longer because their skin has some properties that make them more resistant to water loss. Other species are a bit extreme and burrow underground then make a cocoon with their skin to reduce their water loss! They essentially go into stasis, an extreme version of hibernation, and can stay down there for up to two years. Once they sense the rain above ground, they dig their way back up again.
How long do frogs live for?
It’s actually not very well known for most species in the wild. We do know that green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) can live for over 30 years in captivity.
Green tree frog (Litoria caerulea) - photo by Bidgee
Are there any species of frogs unique to NSW?
There are 85 species found in NSW, and approximately 12 are only found in NSW. New species are being determined still, such as Mahoney’s toadlet (Uperoleia mahoney) and Litoria watsonia.
What makes a frog a frog and a toad a toad?
‘Toad’ is a name we tend to give some frogs that look more warty, upright and tend to have shorter, stubbier legs with short hops. But it’s not very precise or uniformly applied. In taxonomic classification, ‘frog’ is actually the name of the higher level (Order), and the ‘true toads’ are a Family within that Order. So, all toads are really frogs!
Should people pick up frogs for selfies?
No! if you're not wearing gloves you may pass on any bacteria or germs that are on your hands to the frog, as they absorb things through their skin. If you really want that selfie photo, choose a frog that is in a clear, safe spot, keep a safe distance and smile!
Southern Corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) - photo by Michael McFadden, supervisor of Herpetofauna at Taronga Conservation Society
What’s the best way to spot frogs?
Start by bringing a friend, as it can be easier to track down where a frog is calling from if two sets of eyes are looking. You’ll also need a torch so you can use both hands to search any vegetation. Sometimes frogs are easily spotted on places like windows when the light is on, or toilet blocks (if you’re somewhere west of the divide). Other times it can be tricky, as sometimes the frog making the big noise is actually quite small and can be well hidden. So you’ll also need patience. Remember not to pick up the frog if you’re not wearing gloves, and if you need that photo then don’t interfere with the frog and take it quickly!
How are frog populations currently tracking?
We are seeing improvements in our understanding of why some frog species are declining, for example identifying the disease or virus that causes mortality, pesticide use or the loss of important habitat. Some species do seem to be doing better, such as some populations of the southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis) in areas of NSW. And some populations are recovering after being infected with the chytrid fungus. But loss of habitat and climate change continues to make frogs more vulnerable.
Southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis) - photo by Tereza T
Salmon-striped frog (Limnodynastes salmini) - photo by Donna Flynn
Are there pink frogs?
The turtle frog, found only around Perth, WA is a pink frog. There is also the salmon-striped frog, found across eastern NSW. It’s mostly brown but has bright pink racing stripes!
Turtle frog (Myobatrachus gouldii) - photo by Paul J. Morris
How many different coloured frogs are there?
Frogs can come in quite a few different colours. Green is the colour that most people think of, but frogs come in all shades of green, as well as red, blue, purple and yellows. One of the most colourful frogs in Australia is the crucifix frog, which happens to be one of my favourite species.
Crucifix frog (Notaden bennettii) - native to western New South Wales and south-western Queensland - photo sourced from Pin interest
What's the latest on the impacts of recent bush fires on frog populations in Eastern Australia? Are there signs of resilience and recovery?
Unfortunately, it’s too early to tell for sure, but it’s potentially not as bad as first feared. Frog calls submitted to FrogID (Australian Museum’s national citizen scientist frog-monitoring project) recorded all species heard before the fires, and again after the fires in burnt areas, including rare species, which is encouraging. It may be that these frogs are more resilient to fire than we thought, and were able to hide in good, damp spots. It also may have been that the fires weren’t as severe in all frog-populated areas, so once the rains came the frogs came out. In the longer-term, we’ll need to continue monitoring these populations to make sure they’re breeding successfully and continue to survive.
Where can I go to learn more about frogs in NSW?
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment frog page is a great place to start!
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