Keeping our oceans clean for penguins
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cradle to coastlines
cradle to coastlines July 2019
in this issue Page 4 Keeping our oceans clean for penguins Page 6 Cradle Coast NRM secure project funding for sustainable agriculture Page 7 Adopting change in farming techniques
Page 8 Taking action to save two birds from extinction Page 10 Surprises on Three Hummock Island Page 12 Wildlife rescuers in the north-west Page 13 National Science Week
Page 14 Creatures of the Cradle Coast poster available Page 14 Contribute to the Natural Values Atlas Page 15 Cat management update Page 15 Weeds Action Fund
04 50 13
Page 16 What's on
cradle coast nrm 1-3 Spring St Burnie Tasmania 7320 6433 8400
PLASTICS IN OUR OCEANS ARE A POLLUTANT AND NOT ONLY IMPACT MARINE ECOSYSTEMS BUT ALSO HARM FISH, MAMMALS, SEABIRDS AND PENGUINS Perviz Marker, Coordinator, Friends of Burnie Penguins
Keeping our oceans clean for penguins The community is making a difference in Burnie to reduce marine debris in our oceans.
To get involved in penguin guiding and coastal protection projects, you can join one of the “friends of” groups on the coast.
Small actions can make a big difference to our planet. Flying the flag for World Oceans Day on 8 June, a group of 18 Little Penguin pals combed West Beach and the rocky foreshore at the Burnie Penguin Centre for rubbish. They collected three bags of litter. Small objects like cigarette butts, wrappers from food, and tiny pieces of polystyrene foam were high on the pick-up list. Shotgun cartridges from clay target shooting are also commonly found washed up on local beaches. "Plastics in our oceans are a pollutant and not only impact marine ecosystems but also harm fish, mammals, seabirds and penguins. Plastics can be digested by marine life, they can get tangled in it, and it gets passed up the food chain. It's our collective responsibility to take our rubbish home and if appropriate, recycle. Less on the beach and oceans, and more recycling!" said Perviz Marker, Coordinator, Friends of Burnie Penguins.
The Friends of Burnie Penguins are having a working bee on Saturday 20 July. Do your bit to keep the beach clean, join in a beach clean-up and practice the 3R’s at home: Reduce & Refuse. Purchase products that require less packaging and say “no thanks” to that unnecessary bag. Have you heard of Plastic Free July? Take the challenge and go plastic free this month. Reuse. Use a travel mug or reusable water bottle and avoid single-use products. Recycle. Paper, plastic, glass, magazines, electronics, and more can be processed into new products, using fewer natural resources and less energy. For more information, contact Anna Wind on email@example.com.
The risk of marine life swallowing plastic has now been reduced thanks to the great clean-up efforts of volunteers and young helpers.
Volunteers helping to clean-up West Beach on World Oceans Day.
Cradle Coast NRM secure project funding for sustainable agriculture Following successful negotiations with the Australian Government, Cradle Coast NRM, a business unit of the Cradle Coast Authority, have secured funding for a new sustainable agriculture project through the Regional Land Partnerships funding stream. The project, "Protecting our Productive Soils", will work with farmers in our region to improve soil health and farm productivity. The project aims to reduce the impact of hillslope erosion on mixed farming enterprises, and to achieve better management of soil acidification on intensively grazed beef and dairy operations.
If you have a mixed farming or intensive grazing operation and are interested in looking at ways to manage erosion or soil acidification, we want to hear from you! If you would like to join our fabulous team and lead the delivery of the Protecting our Productive Soils Project, we would love to hear from you. Visit the 'work with us' page on our website for the position description and application information. For more information contact Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, Tom O'Malley on 0408 055 272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopting change in farming techniques Soil First Tasmania and Cradle Coast NRM will be hosting internationally renowned soil plant health expert, Joel Williams, for two field days on 23 and 24 July.
These events will give participants practical and technical information to apply on their own farms. Joel is the founder of Integrated Soils, and works as an independent consultant and educator presenting lectures and practical workshops to primary producers across the globe. Joel engages growers across topics including soil health, soil biology, soil fertility, plant nutrition, composting, integrated pest and disease management, and soil and leaf analysis interpretation. He has built his career on communicating the complex nature of soil/plant relationships, simply. Achieving healthy soil is a “chicken or egg” puzzle. Grow healthy crops in healthy soil or grow healthy soil with healthy crops? A revival of interest in soil health and a more regenerative approach to farming continues in the Cradle Coast region, and Joel’s presentations champion this change. “Many farmers understand that soil is the foundation of their business and they want to know how they can support and enhance their soils to improve profitability” David RobertsThomson (President Soil First Tasmania). A healthy soil is rich in soil biology, have a welldeveloped structure and improved nutrient cycling for growing healthy crops.
Healthy soils also host organisms such as earthworms, insects, fungi, bacteria and protozoa. These play a major role in enhancing soil structure, supercharging nutrient cycling and even help to raise pH. Farming practices which reduce tillage and ameliorate soil compaction include: the strategic use of pasture, green manure or cover crops, enhanced management of crop residues, and maintenance of seasonal ground cover levels. These techniques help provide a healthier environment for beneficial soil organisms, increase carbon and moisture storage, and reduce the volume of topsoil lost through erosion. The field days are being hosted by Soil First Tasmania and supported by Cradle Coast NRM, the Tasmanian Landcare fund and Landcare Tasmania. Unlocking the plant-soil link field day. Register your interest here: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/unlocking-the-plantsoil-link-joel-williams-day-1-field-day-tickets64417936783?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
The advanced plant soil nutrition workshop on 24 July is fully booked, but there is a waiting list. Contact Cradle Coast NRM or Soil First to register interest in future events.
Taking action to save two birds from extinction Taking decisive action now is essential to save these two species from extinction. A workshop and public forum was held on King Island to plan the next steps to save the King Island Scrubtit and King Island Brown Thornbill from extinction. The threatened birds are hanging on in small remnants of eucalypt forest and tea-tree scrub. BirdLife Australia organised a conservation action planning workshop at which threats and stresses to the birds were identified and ranked. These included habitat loss through fire, land clearing and wallaby browsing, and potential lack of genetic diversity and in-breeding.
Successful recovery will rely on strong partnerships between the King Island community, State and Federal Governments, NGOs and specialist scientists to address the threats. Urgent actions required:
Key messages from the workshop: The King Island Scrubtit and Thornbill are nationally significant and a unique part of King Island’s biodiversity. Populations of each species are now estimated at fewer than 50 individuals. Without intervention they are facing imminent extinction.
Tasmania's Black Gum and Brooker's Gum communities are now recognised as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Protecting these woodlands will also help protect a variety of threatened species including the Swift Parrot.
• Complete the surveys of potential habitat to better understand both species' distribution and requirements. • Update State and Federal assessment processes with improved habitat descriptions, vegetation mapping and on-ground assessment methods. • Increase the level of protection at Pegarah State Forest and focus management on turning this area into a stronghold for both species. • Increase capacity to prevent and respond to fire in key habitat. • Identify and protect critical areas on private land. A draft conservation action plan will now be developed and circulated to the wider community for input. For more information, contact Anna Wind on email@example.com.
Above: Conservation planning workshop participants. Below: Surveying for the King Island Scrubtit and Thornbill.
Surprises on Three Hummock Island Our recent State-funded project to assess the feral cat population and its impacts on Three Hummock Island has provided interesting insights into the behaviour of not only feral cats, but some of our native animals too. Along with visitors to the island eager to have their photo taken, we have captured images like the ones below of birds, mammals and reptiles going about their business, unaware that we were spying! Short-tailed Shearwaters, otherwise known as muttonbirds, are Australiaâ€™s most numerous seabird and are migratory, spending summer months here before migrating to Japan, Siberia and Alaska for breeding.
Most of our cameras were placed in shearwater colonies on the island, because when the chicks are preparing to leave the rookery, they are fat and flappy, making a tasty snack for native predators like sea eagles, ravens and tiger snakes, but also, unfortunately, for feral cats. We have also noticed that possums are very active in shearwater colonies. There are records of Brush-tailed Possums eating shearwater chicks and eggs elsewhere in Tasmania. For more information, contact Iona Flett on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Left: Little penguins coming ashore. Right: Juvenile Sea Eagle.
Above: Sea eagle. Below left: Shearwater chick. Right: Brown quail.
Wildlife rescuers in the north-west
About 100 enthusiastic wildlife-lovers braved the stormy weather last weekend to attend two training sessions run by Bonorong Wildlife Rescue. The participants spent a fascinating afternoon with Greg Irons, and are now ready to participate in Bonorongâ€™s state-wide 24/7 wildlife rescue service.
Throughout the training day, Greg shared techniques and stories designed to help new rescuers learn about catching, assessing and handling injured and orphaned native wildlife. Last year, Bonorong have received 8,500 calls to their hotline, reporting injured or sick animals. They have been able to help in 95% of cases thanks to the dedicated efforts of a network of volunteer rescuers and carers across Tasmania. Did you know that joeys of marsupials can survive up to 3 or 4 days in the pouch if their mother is killed? It is worth checking the pouches of recent roadkill to see if you can help save a life. If you see any injured or orphaned animal, record the location and call Bonorong on 0447 264 625 at any time of the day or night. More information about Bonorongâ€™s Wildlife Rescue training, or their 3-day Wildlife Caring courses, will be available on their Facebook page periodically.
Greg from Bonorong with a Tasmanian Devil.
National Science Week • Daily screenings of the remarkable documentary, Sixteen Legs, about the mysterious Tasmanian Cave Spider will be held at the Marakoopa Café, Mayberry. • Creating a frog-friendly garden, with local frog (and orchid) enthusiast, Craig Broadfield. Craig is opening up his amazing garden, with practical demonstrations of methods for encouraging frogs and creating backyard habitats. Come along to ask your froggy questions, see live frogs and tadpoles, and learn how to use the FrogID app.
August 10-18 is National Science Week, and as usual there are all sorts of activities happening around the state. As well as the jam-packed schools program, adults and families are invited to a range of fascinating events designed to spark your curiosity and deepen your scientific understanding. Here are just a few, but the whole program is online now at www.scienceweek.net.au: • The Great Aussie BioQuest is a game you can play from anywhere in Australia. It’s a nationwide Bioblitz with prizes! www.greataussiebioquest.com • Curious Climate Tasmania on Sunday 4 August, 4.00-5.30pm at the Empire Hotel, Queenstown. Meet scientists face-to-face and have your climate questions answered. www.curiousclimate.org.au.
When: Friday 16 August til Saturday 17 August, 10am to 4pm. Where: Bannon Carpark behind Leven Antiques, 23 King Edward Street, Ulverstone. Contact: Craig Broadfield, email@example.com, 0419 509 730.
Litoria raniformis, photo by Craig Broadfield
Contribute to the Natural Values Atlas Creatures of the Cradle Coast poster available now! The team at Reef Life Survey have produced this beautiful poster to celebrate the colourful marine life of the Cradle Coast. Pop into our Burnie office to pick up your copy and get ready to identify some colourful creatures under water next summer! Ask for an RLS project summary on a fish-shaped memory stick too. For more information, contact Iona Flett on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that DPIPWE’s Natural Values Atlas is now able to accept records from iNaturalist? If you are an enthusiastic naturalist, amateur scientist, or anyone who likes to get outdoors on the weekends, why don’t you start snapping your sightings and contribute data to improve our understanding of Tasmania’s biodiversity! iNaturalist is a global project to record observations of plants and animals. Anyone with a smart phone can join and share their observations with fellow naturalists and scientists. Records that include a clear photo and are identified (by the observer who uploads the record and/or other iNaturalist users), will automatically be transferred into the Natural Values Atlas. Information about iNaturalist: www.inaturalist.org. Information about the Natural Values Atlas: www.naturalvaluesatlas.tas.gov.au.
Cat management update The Tasmanian Cat Management Project, a state-wide joint initiative funded by the Tasmanian Government, held a cat management workshop in Campbell Town in June. The aim of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for all cat management facilities and shelters across the state to share knowledge and experiences and explore common issues. The eight cat management organisations that participated were: Neonatal Kitten Rescue Hobart, North-East Animal Sanctuary, RSPCA, Ten Lives Cat Centre, Just Cats, Forth Valley Vet, Rescue Cat Safe Haven and Southern Tas Cat. They covered a diverse range of topics, such as options for reducing the number of unwanted cats, improving responsible cat ownership through education programmes, and developing a code of practice for Tasmanian cat management facilities. It was exciting to see so much dedication and commitment to working together to build a sustainable future for cat management in Tasmania.
Weeds Action Fund The Tasmanian Government released the first round of the $5 million Weeds Action Fund to tackle high priority weeds that impact valuable agriculture and environmental assets. • $140,000 is now available as small grants of between $1,000 to $5,000 to landholders and community groups and closes at the end of July. • A further round of grants will be made available late 2019. • Refer to the website for the guidelines, application form, FAQs and information about the priority weed species to help you develop a strategic project proposal.
Visit www.tassiecat.com/downloads to get your copy of our new factsheets on: • Keeping your cat happy indoors • Dealing with nuisance cats • Desexing and microchipping your cat • Roaming cats: common questions and misbeliefs • Legislation for cat owners
www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasivespecies/weeds/weeds-action-fund-small-grants Our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, Tom O’Malley, may be able to help answer questions about the program email@example.com.
For more information, contact Haylee Kaplan on firstname.lastname@example.org.
what's on what
where & who Your backyard - rug up and get outdoors! www.birdsinbackyards.net/conte nt/article/Birds-Backyards-WinterSurvey-2019-rug-and-get-outdoors
Plastic Free July Challenge yourself to reduce your plastic usage
Friends of Burnie Penguins Working Bee
Parsonage Point Pruning and weeding - bring tools and PPE.
Saturday 20 July 9:30am - 1:00pm
Birds in Backyards Winter Surveys
Unlocking the plant soil link field day featuring soil health expert Joel Williams
Latrobe Memorial Hall Register your interest here: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/unlocki ng-the-plant-soil-link-joelwilliams-day-1-field-day-tickets64417936783? aff=ebdssbdestsearch
June - July
Tuesday 23 July 9:30am - 4:00pm
Weeds Action Fund closing date
More info: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasivespecies/weeds/weeds-actionfund-small-grants or email@example.com
First round closes 31 July
National Science Week
Events all over the state including several mentioned on page 13. More info: www.scienceweek.net.au
10 - 18 August
Creating a frog-friendly garden
Bannon Carpark behind Leven Antiques, 23 King Edward Street, Ulverstone More info: Craig Broadfield, 0419 509 703 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 16 August to Saturday 17 August 10:00am - 4:00pm
2040 Film about regenerative agriculture and other solutions
Reading Cinemas 5/7 Best Street, Devonport Buy tickets online: www.fanforce.com/screenings/2040reading-cinemas-devonport/
Wednesday 21 August 7:00pm
Spencer Gibbs, Regional NRM Manager email@example.com Iona Flett, NRM Planning & MERI Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Tom O’Malley, Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator email@example.com Haylee Kaplan, Regional Coordinator, Cat Management firstname.lastname@example.org Anna Wind, Coastal Coordinator email@example.com Jay Rowley, Biodiversity Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
cradle coast nrm 1-3 Spring St Burnie Tasmania 7320 6433 8400 www.cradlecoast.com/nrm www.facebook.com/CradleCoastNRM/
The bi-monthly magazine/newsletter about Cradle Coast NRM's work protecting and enhancing our region’s natural resources