Cradle to C oast l i n e s Newsletter of the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee
Edition 3â€˘ 2016
Feature Story The Next Stage of Flood Recovery Support Pages 4-5
In this issue: K i d s Te a c h i n g K i d s
Wo r k i n g N e a r Wa t e r w a y s G u i d e
Devils@Cradle Monitoring Program
Photo Credit Cradle Coast NRM
Project Update/Research Findings
Devil and Quoll Data Continues to Grow With a little help from infra-red cameras and a team of volunteers, Devils@Cradle has successfully captured a second season of Tasmanian devil data within the tussock grasslands of the Vale of Belvoir. The grassland habitat is home to one of the world’s most concentrated populations of marsupial carnivores, including the endangered Tasmanian devil and vulnerable spotted-tailed quoll. Collectively, these special marsupials come from the Dasyuridae family and the latest round of data has confirmed their strong numbers but also the threats that they contend with daily. Feral cats were seen again in the camera footage and, for the first time, a case of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) was visually confirmed. Chris Coupland from Devils@Cradle noted that DFTD was known to exist in the area.
Photo Credits Devils@Cradle
“This year we had a visually confirmed case of DFTD… it was not observed in the previous camera monitoring which took place last year,” Chris said. Devils@Cradle are keeping an eye on disease spread and planning actions to further protect the devil population. The infra-red cameras were secured via a National Landcare Program grant from Cradle Coast NRM and the project has been amassing data with thanks most recently to 16 students who volunteered to check the cameras in the field, collect the images and videos and analyse their contents. The commitment and enthusiasm of the Devils@Cradle team, their volunteers and the support of Cradle Coast NRM is combining to build a comprehensive understanding of the Dasyuridae family to help ensure a long and healthy future for these iconic animals.
A Helping Hand for Narawntapu’s Wombats The wombats at Narawntapu National Park are being well cared for in their fight against a debilitating and deadly outbreak of mange thanks to the intervention of the University of Tasmania’s School of Biological Sciences students. Coordinated by Wildlife Ecology Lecturer, Scott Carver, the UTAS students have been conducting an intensive on-ground treatment using innovative, medicated burrow flaps. The flaps transfer mange medication onto the wombats’ backs as the animals enter and exit their burrows. This essential project is helping preserve the Park’s wombats which have seen numbers plummet to an estimated <15% of the once thriving population. Students maintain the burrow flaps and continue to monitor the wombats’ condition and numbers. Primary and Secondary Schools across the Cradle Coast region will be hearing about the UTAS project over the coming months as the university students embark on a presentation tour. To ensure its ongoing success, the project is on the lookout for industry partners and non-student volunteers. To find out how you could assist, contact Scott Carver at UTAS on 6226 2794.
The Next Stage of Flood Recovery Support It is a long road to recovery when communities experience a natural disaster as severe as the June floods. The force of the floodwaters carved new courses for rivers and streams, eroded river banks, removed valuable topsoil, and revealed masses of rocks and debris. The scale of environmental change was large and rapid, but thankfully so was the level of support offered by individuals, organisations and government. That support continues today, including a two-staged project being led by Cradle Coast NRM staff. Cradle Coast NRM staff have been meeting with property owners across the region to assist with immediate landscape rehabilitation work so that they can quickly resume normal operations. It’s a personal and customised response that is being positively met by landholders. In the longer term, assistance will be provided to landholders to obtain funding for projects to improve river health across the impacted catchments. The economic, social and environmental benefits of the region’s river systems were highlighted in the aftermath of the floods and demonstrate the need for sustainable catchment management of these valuable natural assets. Cradle Coast NRM is continuing to assist the Tasmanian Flood Recovery Taskforce with damage assessments and keeping communities informed of progress and new initiatives. A key part of the assistance is Cradle Coast NRM’s use of photographs and satellite images to monitor the progress of rehabilitation works. In the last edition of Cradle to Coastlines we shared contact details and information on the variety of flood recovery support available to communities across the region. If you missed it and would like a copy, visit our library at www.cradlecoastnrm.com or call 03 6433 8400.
Photo Credit Cradle Coast NRM
Floods Recovery Support
Working Near Waterways With nearly 150,000 kilometres of waterways, Tasmania depends on the health of its rivers and the quality and reliability of water supplies for its economic and social well-being. A new easy to follow guide has been released to help farmers, land managers and Landcare groups understand their legal obligations when carrying out work near streams, rivers and other Tasmanian waterways.
EDO Tasmania lawyer, Jess Feehely said that the guide ultimately helps people protect Tasmania’s waterways.
The sometimes complex laws have been laid out in Working Near Waterways, a free resource created in partnership by EDO Tasmania and the State’s three regional NRM bodies with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
“For many farmers and land managers working alongside waterways it can be difficult to figure out which laws apply, when they might need approval Pho to Cre dit and who they should Env iron me nta l De fen de rs Off ice contact. Working Near Waterways is designed to make complying with the law easier.”
It’s a particularly timely release, as many land managers are undertaking works to remove debris, restore riverbanks, control weeds and repair access roads following Tasmania’s recent flood events.
Working Near Waterways is available for download at www.edotas.org.au/waterways. Printed copies are also available by contacting the Cradle Coast NRM office on 6433 8400.
Putting the Squeeze on Compacted Soil Soil compaction can be a big problem for farmers, especially in the high rainfall and highly-intensive, productive landscapes of North West Tasmania. So when neighbours around the Freer Farm in Burnie saw TasTAFE and Cradle Coast NRM staff deliberately compacting a section of healthy paddock with excessive vehicle and stock traffic, they’d be forgiven for thinking we’d temporarily forgotten the principles of natural resource management! A joint project of Cradle Coast NRM and TasTAFE is underway to test whether severely compacted soil can be successfully renovated. That meant a test base of compacted soil was needed which typically arises from heavy stock or vehicle traffic in paddocks when soil moisture is high, and when the water table is close to the soil surface.
Once this air is squeezed out of the soil, it forms dense clods that are hard to penetrate. Puddles of water on vehicle tracks are a common sign of compaction, indicating that the water can’t easily be absorbed into the ground. If this were to occur in a cropping paddock, nutrient-rich water would not be easily accessible to the roots of the crop and there is likely to be a higher incidence of surface run-off. As the trial at Freer Farm continues and the seedlings begin to emerge, results will be shared on the Cradle Coast NRM Facebook page: keep an eye on our progress!
Seven treatments were sown into the trial site during August at two different seeding rates. The test treatments include wheat, tillage radish, Caliente and perennial rye grass. Each test treatment is designed to be easily replicated on any sized landholding across the region. Soil compaction negatively effects soil structure by squeezing out the space between soil granules – space that is necessary for water absorption and for the gases required to sustain healthy soil micro-organisms.
r G ib bs it Sp en ce Ph ot o Cr ed
Inspiring Future Environmental Leaders Students from seven schools across the region came together at Camp Clayton during the National Kids Teaching Kids Week to share their environmental knowledge and learn from each other while having fun.
Waterways Clean, and Worms Keep us Healthy – all delivered with great passion and enthusiasm!
Coordinated by Cradle Coast NRM’s Sherrie Jaffray with support from Ally Borgelt of Kids Teaching Kids, the full-day program required students to research an environmental topic of interest to them and then share that knowledge in a presentation to other students.
• Yolla District High School
Some of the fascinating presentation topics included the Human Impact on Plants and Animals, Keeping our
• Cooee Primary School, and
Kids Teaching Kids
Kids Teaching Kids:
Congratulations to the participating school students and teachers: • Sassafras Primary School • Somerset Primary School • Burnie Primary School • Havenview Primary School • Boat Harbour Primary School.
Kids Teaching Kids
Kids Teaching Kids
Student Feedback from Kids Teaching Kids 2016
What was one new fact you learnt? • Only 24 rabbits came to Australia and now there is over 600,000,000 • That we can use recycled materials for our environment and that we don’t have to go out and buy everything.
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Tasmanian App Shines Light on Fire Fuel Hazard A ground-breaking fire fuel hazard reporting application (app) is now in the hands of smartphone users across Tasmania. The Fire Gauge App was commissioned by Cradle Coast NRM and designed by the Burnie IT company, 41st Degree Software. It features reporting functions developed in conjunction with the State Government’s LISTmap services to enable anyone, anywhere to quickly and easily measure and report fire hazards present in ground fuel including leaf litter, grass and shrubs.
“This Tasmanian project is likely to go national, as it is the first time that the community have been provided with a reliable, easy and enjoyable way to report fire fuel hazards via a mobile phone app,” Dr Kemmerer said. Its reliability and ease of use was tested by Penguin High School students at the end of last summer and these on-ground trials guided the app’s development to ensure it was publicly available before the start of the 2016/2017 fire season.
Data collected from the app is uploaded to the LISTmap service for use by communities and organisations in coordinating their bushfire preparedness. The formula for determining fire fuel hazard was developed by Cradle Coast NRM’s Dr Ernst Kemmerer with funding support from the National Bushfire Mitigation Program in partnership with the Tasmanian Government. Image Credit Emmark Studios
A celebration of our Committee Members We celebrated the contribution of some of our longest serving exiting committee members in August. Their time on the committee has been invaluable to the role of Natural Resource Management in the region. Rick Rockcliff, Sue Jennings and Bill Walker were congratulated by Cradle Coast Authority Chair Cheryl Fuller and Manager of Cradle Coast NRM Richard Ingram for their commitment and contribution over the years.
Rural Living Round-up 2016 North West Tasmania’s biggest smallholder event is on again: the Rural Living Round Up! Come along to Freer Farm in Burnie on Sunday 13 November for Cradle Coast NRM’s interactive field day designed especially for hobby farmers and small acreage landholders.
A key feature of the Rural Living Round Up is that the information is geared to people who live (or want to live) on small rural properties. There are no stuffy seminars or unnecessarily technical talks; just practical, relevant information delivered in an approachable, friendly and interactive format. This year you’ll hear about weed management techniques, how to make the most of small patches of pasture, fencing tips, and get the low down on bushfire safety and farm safety. There will also be presentations on land management, weather forecasting tools and managing native flora; not to mention the great opportunity to meet other local landholders and swap insights into rural living.
EE FR TRY EN
Special guest presenters will be sharing their knowledge alongside practical demonstrations and a host of stalls, information booths, local produce sales and fun activities for kids.
Community activity / Upcoming event
SAVE THE DATE:
Small Holder & Hobby Farmer Field Day 2016 Rural Living Round-up
Special guest presentations, ma rket stalls, chats with experts, practical farming demo nstrations, fun activities for kids and much more.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13 10am - 2pm See you at the farm… TasTAFE FREER FARM Mooreville Road, Burnie
Staff R ichard In gram Executi v e O f fi c e r
Find us on Facebook! Find us on Facebook to stay updated with Cradle Coast NRM activities and events https://www.facebook.com/CradleCoastNRM/
G ra nt P e arc e Opera ti on s M an age r Er nst K emm e re r S trategy & Im pl e me n t a t ion M a na g e r W i l l Ho gg C oordi nato r: B i o di ver s it y
SAVE THESE DATES
On Friday 28th – Sunday 30th April, 2017 There will be a three day celebration of the BIRDS OF KING ISLAND
Anna W in d C oordi nato r: Co astal Di o nna N e w to n Project Officer: Coastal, Estuarine & Marine S herri e J af fray Proj ect Of fi c e r: Co m m unit y Ed u c a t ion
and launch of the
King Island Natural Resource Management Group and BirdLife Australia’s ‘WINGS ON KING’ project. Watch this space for further details.
M ark W i s n i e w sk i Proj ect Of fi c e r: G IS a nd N R M
To find out more about the Wings on King project visit http://www.birdsofkingisland.com/wings-on-king
S pencer G i bbs C oordi nato r: Pro du c t iv e L a nd s c a p e s Tom O’M al l e y R egi ona l L an dc are Fa c ilit a t or
October Renewable Energy Field Day Cost: free event Date: Tuesday 25 October – Time: 10:00am-2:00pm Location: 542 Nine Mile Road, West Pine. RSVPs are essential as there will be a BBQ lunch included. Email Tom O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org
November Rural Living Round Up Unless otherwise acknowledged, this publication and the projects featured are supported by Cradle Coast NRM, through funding from the Australian Government.
What: Cradle Coast NRM’s interactive Field Day designed especially for hobby farmers and small acreage landholders. Date: 11 November – Time: 10.00am–2.00pm Location: TasTAFE Freer Farm Campus, 128-206 Mooreville Road, Burnie
Postage Paid Australia
Cradle Coast NRM 1-3 Spring Street PO Box 338 Burnie TAS 7320
ph: 03 6433 8434 fax: 03 6431 7014 email: email@example.com Cradle Coast NRM is an independent committee hosted by the Cradle Coast Authority
Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 3, 2016.