Cat monitoring on Three Hummock
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cradle to coastlines
cradle to coastlines March 2019
in this issue Page 4 Three Hummock Island cat monitoring project Page 8 Search is on for island's threatened birds Page 9 Stanley's Nut the focus of feral cat monitoring
Page 10 Clean Beach honours for Harbour clean-up Page 11 Funding secured to continue eradication Page 11 Point Sorell cat trapping update
Page 12 Keeping Little Penguins safe Page 14 Hemp field days draw a strong farming crowd Page 15 Digital upgrade for property management
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cradle coast nrm 1-3 Spring St Burnie Tasmania 7320 6433 8400
NOTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT VOLUNTEERS NRM's Anna Wind on the Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Cleanup winnning the Tasmania Clean Beach Award
Tom O'Malley gives us a wave from Three Hummock Island.
Three Hummock Island cat monitoring project Cradle Coast NRM are working with Biosecurity Tasmania, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Three Hummock Island caretakers to assess the level of feral cat activity on the island.
Three Hummock Island is the second largest island in the Fleurieu Group, 45 km off the north-west coast. The island has a rich history of Aboriginal occupation, and is home to many special species currently protected in a nature reserve. There is also a small privately leased area on the island, where a beautiful homestead is operated as a tourism business. Cradle Coast NRM are working with Biosecurity Tasmania, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Three Hummock Island caretakers to assess the level of feral cat activity on the island. In January, Tom and Iona worked with the caretakers, and Alex, of Northwest Boat Charters, to set up wildlife monitoring cameras. Most are focused on the Short-tailed
Shearwaters and Little Penguin colonies dotted around the coastline. We’d like to know whether feral cats are a threat to the native species on the island, especially the burrownesting birds, and the beach-nesting birds like Hooded Plovers that breed around the coast. It’s nearly time to return to download data from the cameras, and then start the process of analysing the images. We hope to work there in the future to help reduce the threats to endemic, native and migratory species. The Australian Government has provided funds to the Tasmanian Government to assist the development of natural resource management in the Cradle Coast region.
One of the 24 cameras set up on Three Hummock Island to monitor feral cat activity.Â Pictures: Iona Flett
Cape Barren Geese,Â Short-tailed Shearwater burrows and Three Hummock Island's caretakers Taylor and Jesse.
The search is on for threatened birds of KI Two small birds on King Island are in real danger of becoming extinct in the next 20 years. Surveys are planned soon to determine how many King Island Scrubtits and King Island Brown Thornbills exist, and which habitat is critical for their survival. Cradle Coast NRM is working with Australian National University researchers, the Tasmanian Government and BirdLife Australia to search for these cryptic bush birds. Surveys are planned in remnant patches of Swamp Paperbark forest and Brooker’s Gum forest. The King Island Scrubtit (Acanthornis magnus greenianus) is endemic to King Island. It is highly vulnerable to habitat degradation. It was listed as Critically Endangered under the EPBC Act in 2002, with the total population estimated at fewer than 50 birds. The King Island Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla archibaldi) is also endemic to King Island, and recognised as Endangered under the EPBC Act.
King Island Brown Thornbill. Picture: Mark Holdsworth
Today, its status is unknown; the last definite sighting was two years ago. Researchers have estimated that without action, both sub-species have a >80% chance of becoming extinct within 20 years. The survey aims to increase our knowledge about these threatened birds. The information will be used to improve management of their habitat, which is essential to their survival. The Australian Government has provided funds to the Tasmanian Government to assist the development of natural resource management in the Cradle Coast region. This project is also funded by BirdLife Australia.
Cat Management on The Nut, Stanley Cradle Coast NRM through the Tasmanian Cat Management Project, is partnering with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Circular Head Council, on a new project to protect native wildlife from the impacts of feral and stray cats on The Nut State Reserve in Stanley.
Cradle Coast NRM through the Tasmanian Cat Management Project, is partnering with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Circular Head Council, on a new project to protect native wildlife from the impacts of feral and stray cats on The Nut State Reserve in Stanley. The Nut is an important cultural and ecological asset to the region and home to a number of native faunal species threatened by the impacts of cats. In particular, nesting and fledging seabirds, such as the Little Penguins and Short-tailed Shearwaters, are highly vulnerable. This project aims to encourage the responsible ownership of pet cats in the Stanley community and reduce the population of feral cats on the Reserve.
To ensure the welfare of pet cats that may venture up The Nut, owners are strongly advised to microchip their cats and fit them with collars and tags. If you are a Stanley resident who would like to find out more about the project, please come along to our Information Session at 10am on Saturday 16 March at the Stanley Town Hall. Contact Haylee Kaplan firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the great TassieCat website for more information. The Tasmanian Cat Management Project is a joint initiative to implement the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan funded from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up wins Clean Beach Award The committee supported by Cradle Coast NRM to execute two Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-ups won the Keep Australia Beautiful (Tasmania) Clean Beach Award last year. “The marine debris clean-ups were a mammoth coordination effort that took months of planning by Cradle Coast NRM staff and the Macquarie Harbour Shoreline Clean-up Steering Committee," Cradle Coast NRM Coastal Coordinator Anna Wind said. "We achieved incredible results, but nothing would have been possible without Conservation
Volunteers Australia, Wildcare volunteers, King River Rafting, the support of the aquaculture and tourism industries, and the community.” The Clean Beaches program celebrates and awards communities who actively work for a cleaner, more sustainable coastal environment. Coordinating the logistics of a five-day marine debris clean-up covering land and water sites and involving volunteer teams, aquaculture farms, tourism operators, school and local groups, to clean up a harbour six times the size of Sydney Harbour, impressed the KAB judges.
PICTURED (front, from left) Anna Wind, Cradle Coast NRM; Julie Marshall, Active Strahan; Tia Rowlands, Strahan Beach Tourist Park; Leanne Hayes, Gordon River Cruises (and back, from left) Rob McKendrick, Huon Aquaculture, Dianne Maynard, Petuna, Depha Miedecke, Tassal; Mark Grining, Petuna; Todd Roberts, Strahan Village. Picture: Victoria Sales
Point Sorell cat trapping update You might remember that last year, Cradle Coast NRM contracted John Bowden to control feral cats at the Point Sorrell shearwater and penguin colony. Over the course of two weeks last autumn, he trapped and killed 26 feral cats at the site. So what’s happened since then? Southern Cross University student, Amber Maguire, went to the colony armed with wildlife monitoring cameras to find out. Amber did some very thorough monitoring and found only one cat. That is a good indication that cats are not travelling to the site in large numbers, and that regular cat trapping could be effective in protecting shearwaters there.
Rice Grass eradication program continues The far north-west coast of our region has the largest tract of coastal saltmarsh wetlands in Tasmania and provides critical feeding habitat for migratory and resident wader birds. One of the threats to this high biodiversity ecosystem is Spartina anglica (Rice Grass), which Circular Head Landcare Group has been working to eradicate since 2012. The group managed to secure funding to undertake further work over this summer period, engaging the help of two weed contractors to treat core infestations. Dedicated volunteers from the group covered 60 km of shoreline and undertook follow-up control in the Duck Bay to Boullanger Bay area.
Keeping Little Penguins Safe
This occurred in a penguin colony in an urban residential area at West Ulverstone where dogs killed more than one hundred penguins in a few days. Even walking a dog near a penguin colony can be harmful. They leave their scent which attracts other dogs to the same spot to sniff out and disturb or kill penguins. You can help keep penguins (and other beach birds) safe by: • Sticking to tracks to avoid trampling and collapsing burrows. • Making sure your dog is secure in your yard night and day. • Not walking your dog on a beach that has penguins or is a no-dog zone. • Always walking your dog on a lead. • Only viewing penguins at the designated viewing areas at Burnie, Lillico and Stanley. Interest in viewing penguins is growing on the coast. Last season more than 20,000 people viewed Little Penguins at the Burnie Penguin Centre and the Lillico Viewing Platform. At these places, volunteer penguin guides talk to people about penguins and advise on best practice viewing guidelines.
Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) nest and breed along the north-west coast. Each evening in summer, penguins emerge from the sea after a hard day’s fishing, clambering up the rocks to change shifts with their partner sitting on eggs or guarding chicks. In March, adult penguins are either out at sea feeding, or onshore moulting (changing feathers). They are very vulnerable during the moulting stage as they need to stay ashore without eating for two weeks. If they are disturbed by humans or dogs and go back out to sea without having finished growing new waterproof feathers, they can drown. There are natural threats to penguins at sea such as seals, raptors and seasonal changes in food supplies. Human-caused dangers include oil pollution, collisions with boats and jet skis, and entanglement in marine debris and fishing nets. Threats to penguins on land include attacks by dogs or cats, collisions with cars and trains, clearing of coastal vegetation, housing developments and fires. Uncontrolled dogs can hunt and kill penguins individually or in a pack. Once they get a taste of blood, they can return to the same colony and kill again and again.
Last November, local volunteer group, Penguin Rehab and Release, completed the construction of an enclosure, aviary and pool, specially designed for looking after injured penguins and other seabirds. There have been 14 patients treated there already! To report injured wildlife call DPIPWE on 03
61654305, or Bonorong on 0447264625. They will put a local wildlife carer in touch. If you find an injured penguin, contact Kathy Grieveson at Penguin Rehab and Release for advice: 0437565672, or email@example.com
Little Penguins are very vulnerable during the moulting stage. Picture: Perviz Marker
The Future Is Hempy!
A fascinating hemp field day was held at Deloraine last month. More than 60 farmers across two sessions heard speakers from around Australia. The Tasmanian Hemp Association president Tim Schmidt, with the help of local hemp seed buyer and processor, Tim Crow, has planted more than 20 trial plots featuring many hemp varieties. With recent legislation changes governing the use of hemp seed, and booming markets for seed, fibre, and hemp-based materials such as “hempcrete” and hemp “plastic”, momentum in the industry is building. It is predicted there will be great demand for chemical-free food-grade hemp in the near future. Tasmania is already growing about twothirds of Australia’s hemp crop, and farmers in north-west Tasmania have a natural advantage with an ideal climate, ready water access and experienced hemp agronomists to provide advice. Growers of all farm sizes were encouraged to consider growing hemp, and contact the Tasmanian Hemp Association.
Property Management Planning Program
Cradle Coast NRM have developed an online Property Management Planning (PMP) program for landholders that will assist them to realise their vision for life on the land in the region. That dream might be to live on a few acres and move towards self-sufficiency or live on 250 acres and farm commercially. The comprehensive package of land management and whole-farm planning information will replace the facilitated PMP program delivered by Cradle Coast NRM over the past seven years. The package will provide resources such asÂ
property maps and a PMP workbook, with more detailed content than the program it is replacing. The flexibility of participating from home willÂ allow them to set their own pace. Topics covered include soil and nutrient management, pasture and grazing, weeds, biodiversity on-farms, mapping and whole-farm planning. A range of customised face-to-face workshops for participants in the online PMP program will also be offered. To register your interest please email Tom Oâ€™Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org
what's on what
where & who
Conservation Landholders Tasmania – Revegetation and Weed Management Field Day
Community Hall, Forth Gail Dennett for more information email@example.com
Saturday, March 9, 9am to 4pm
Stanley feral cat info session
Town Hall, Stanely firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 16, 10am to 12pm
Rocky Cape Reef Life Survey weekend
Contact Antonia Cooper for information. email@example.com
Introduction to being a Wildlife Carer
Devonport City Council Aberdeen Room, paranaple centre, 137 Rooke St, Devonport. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, March 26, 6pm
Our Patch Strahan local community town clean-up
Strahan Contact Julie Marshall or Trevor Norton or email strahanaquaculture email@example.com
Sunday, April 7 and Monday, April 8
Ecofest, “Back to the Future”
Ulverstone Wharf Contact the Northwest Environment Centre for more information
Saturday, April 13, 10am to 4pm
Where? Where? Wedgie!
Sites available to survey around Tasmania email Clare Hawkins on firstname.lastname@example.org
May 10-12 and May 24-26
contact us Spencer Gibbs, Manager email@example.com Iona Flett, Project Officer firstname.lastname@example.org Anna Wind, Coastal Coordinator email@example.com Jay Rowley, Biodiversity Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Tom O’Malley, Regional Landcare Facilitator email@example.com Haylee Kaplan, Regional Coordinator, Cat Management firstname.lastname@example.org
cradle coast nrm 1-3 Spring St Burnie Tasmania 7320 6433 8400 www.cradlecoast.com/nrm www.facebook.com/CradleCoastNRM/
Cradle to Coastlines is the newsletter of the Cradle Coast NRM.