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Cradle to C oast l i n e s Edition 2• 2015

Newsletter of the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee

Feature Story

Communities voice their environmental priorities Page 5

In this issue: News & Events Community Activities Project News

Giant Freshwater Lobster. Image: A.Wind

2 - 3 4 6 - 7


Funding opportunity Natural Connections grants available now Are you involved in a community group undertaking activities that restore and maintain urban waterways and coastal environments? Perhaps your group contributes to conserving and protecting threatened species vegetation, or you work to Friends of Don Reserve working bee with Phil Murray. Image: A.Wind

increase community engagement and participation in natural resource management?

Available now Community Group sponsorship Cradle Coast NRM is offering up to $500 sponsorship per year to community groups working in the Cradle Coast region to support local projects. Landcare, Coastcare, Aboriginal, and Friends of community groups working on projects that benefit the environment in the Cradle Coast region are

If the answer is yes to any of the above you may be eligible for a Natural Connections grant of up to $5000. Cradle Coast NRM is calling for project proposals from community Landcare, Coastcare and Friends of groups to deliver Natural

Examples of activities considered for funding

small scale on-ground projects, communications and

include revegetation, protection of flora, fauna and

Items considered for funding include: •

Purchase of hand tools, personal protective equipment, office supplies, communication

habitat, enhancement of coastal reserves or urban waterways, interpretative signage and activities to conserve protected species.

materials, signs or banners

Two levels of grants are available: from $500 to

Revegetation materials

$2000, and between $2000 and $5000 for projects

Propagation supplies

Site maintenance

First Aid training

Engaging a technical specialist or educator to build the capacity and skills of the group.

Applicants must complete a Cradle Coast NRM Community Group Health Check questionnaire to

Myrtle Rust (Puccinia psidii) poses a significant threat to Tasmania’s nursery, forestry and beekeeping industries, as well as its public parks, gardens and native forests and is a declared List A disease organism under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997. It has been a regulated disease in Tasmania since the first incursion in New South Wales in 2010. On February 19th, a Biosecurity Tasmania plant pathologist identified the plant disease pathogen, Myrtle Rust, on a sample of twigs and leaves that had been handed to a biosecurity officer undertaking a routine inspection at a nursery near Burnie. Three additional infected plants were detected in early April. These were within a known cluster in the urban North West rather than in a new diseased area. The detections were made during routine follow-up visits to known sites, reinforcing the value of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment procedure, whose aim is to survey, detect and destroy all prescribed matter infected with Myrtle Rust in Tasmania by August 2015 and reclaim area freedom by August 2016. Keep an eye out for Myrtle Rust in your local area and report any potential sightings. Significant information and resources are available online at http://www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/myrtlerust or by contacting the Myrtle Rust Public Information Manager at publicinfo@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

Myrtle Rust. Image: DPIPWE - Biosecurity Tasmania

Connections projects in the Cradle Coast region.

eligible to apply. Sponsorship is aimed at supporting capacity building of volunteers.

Biosecurity: Myrtle Rust update

News & Events

News & Events

that have a high level of environmental outcomes, meet Cradle Coast NRM strategic objectives and are of regional priority. Full details and guidelines are available at www.cradlecoastnrm.com

Health and hope for Giant Freshwater Lobster The Flowerdale River is providing a safe haven for the protected Giant Freshwater Lobster. Recent survey work undertaken by Cradle Coast NRM and Ecologist, Todd Walsh found healthy numbers of adults and juveniles living in the upper regions of the river. An increase in river sediment and loss of riparian vegetation has strongly impacted the species with their disappearance from many of the lower catchments in North West Tasmania. Thankfully the Flowerdale River is bucking the trend and is home to a healthy population. Numerous large female lobsters were captured during the latest round of research and have provided pleasing data on moulting and growth rates. Two of the females captured are amongst the largest on record.

Todd Walsh has been monitoring the Giant Freshwater Lobsters in Tasmania for decades and hopes the information gathered from the two large females will help to rewrite the forecast lifespan of the animals. Cradle Coast NRM Strategy and Implementation Manager, Ernst Kemmerer is also encouraged by the results and hopes to further restore the habitat of the threatened species by working with landholders and key industries to establish a Healthy Rivers Restoration program. To find out more about the Healthy Rivers Restoration program contact Ernst Kemmerer on 6433 8400 or ekemmerer@cradlecoast.com

Applications will be assessed on a quarterly basis with submissions due by 31 May, 31 August, 30 November 2015 and 28 February 2016 respectively.

be eligible for sponsorship and may only apply for funding for one project within a 12 month period. For more information on Community Group Sponsorships call you lead contact at Cradle coast

For assistance in developing your project ideas and obtaining an application form for Natural

NRM on 6433 8400 or download the guidelines and

Connections grants, talk to your lead contact at

application form at www.cradlecoastnrm.com

Cradle Coast NRM on 6433 8400.


Giant Freshwater Lobster. Image: W.Hogg


Discovering fun on our beaches

Summer with the Discovery Rangers

In partnership with Environment Tasmania, Cradle Coast NRM took advantage of the summer season to encourage children and families to explore their local marine environment.

Cradle Coast NRM is proud to continue our partnership with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and support the Discovery Ranger Program in locations outside National Parks.

The Marine Discovery series presented free marine and coastal awareness activities at beaches in the Devonport and Port Sorell areas. The events provided the community with an opportunity to explore what lives along our coastlines in a safe and fun way with help from the experts.

With the objective to reach and teach Tasmanians and visitors about our natural values, the summer season program was a huge success.

Exploration included discovering the creatures that live between the tides, enjoying a Whale of a Time building whale sandcastles and learning how to rescue the giant mammal, as well as ocean film nights featuring the award-winning surf film ‘North of the Sun’. More than 100 people attended the various events with plenty of enthusiastic whale-loving children keen to learn and share their knowledge with others.

Healthy Oceans: Healthy Planet We all depend on a healthy, clean ocean to survive and thrive, so take time out on World Ocean Day - the UN-recognised day of ocean celebration and action – to reflect on what the ocean means to you and your lifestyle. This year’s World Ocean Day on June 8th features a Better Bag Challenge, calling on people to replace plastic bags with re-usable bags for a year. Register for the challenge on the World Oceans Day website –


Close to 750 children and adults met with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Rangers at more than 20 sessions held in Ulverstone and Wynyard. The free, fun educational activities on offer included Fishing for the Future, Whale of a Time, Better the Devil you Know, Nature Detectives, Wonder Table and Rockpool Ramble. The Rangers also took the opportunity to discuss the importance of habitat and biodiversity, responsible pet ownership, marine and coastal awareness, and Tasmanian devils. If you’re interested in this program, or our other educational activities, contact Education Officer, Sherrie Jaffray on sjaffray@cradlecoast.com

http://www.worldoceansday.org/ and browse around the site to find educational resources. The website covers how to be an ocean-friendly pet owner, photo contests, divers’ perspectives, ideas on ways to connect kids to the ocean environment and much more. For a local activity, join the Cradle Coast NRM team for a marine debris collection at South Burnie Beach. We’ll be meeting at the South Burnie car park at 12.30pm on Tuesday 9 June for an hour of litter collection. BYO gloves and sturdy walking shoes. We hope to see you there! To RSVP for the beach clean-up, call Sherrie Jaffray on 6433 8400.

Feature Story

Dsicovery Ranger fun at the beach. Image: TPWS

Community Activities

Communities voice their environmental priorities North West Tasmania’s five-year strategy for natural resource management is being updated to guide the region through to 2020. The Strategy is developed on behalf of the region by Cradle Coast NRM and is a reference document that any individual, business, community group, and public or private landholder can use to prioritise their local environmental activities. Cradle Coast NRM also contributes to achieving the Strategy’s regional goals through our program of projects. Determining the region’s environmental priorities has involved an extensive period of community surveys, and five landholder and special interest group workshops. Most of the 276 street surveys were completed by Cradle Coast NRM’s Strategy and Implementation Manager, Ernst Kemmerer, and were conducted in both urban and rural areas, across all age groups and professions. The surveys revealed that rivers are considered the most important feature in our region’s environment, followed by natural landscapes and then coastlines. “This finding reflects the high value people place on water quality for a range of uses including recreation, fishing, agriculture, household water supply, and to maintain biodiversity values,” Ernst said. “Water quality improvement is therefore likely to be a centrepiece of the regional Strategy and will require the commitment of communities, industry and government to achieve what the people of the region expect.” The people’s expectations were often aligned with scientific research findings which further reinforce recommendations that will be contained in the Strategy. A key area of consistency was the preference to invest in fauna populations in decline before they become threatened, rather than reacting only when they are on the brink of extinction. Regional workshop participants prioritised habitat maintenance and protection of biodiversity, particularly in coastal landscapes. “These areas have varied landowners and issues ranging from weed and litter control to introduced pest species, all requiring a cooperative effort in order for the region to maintain and improve its environment,” Ernst said. Lisa Marshall, survey analyst, summed up the collaborative approach required when she said: “The responsibility for prioritising activities to address environmental issues does not just rest with environmental managers. Everyone in the region must determine how these issues are addressed because everyone is inherently involved in managing environmental outcomes.”

Dairy cattle at Highclere. Image: E.Kemmerer

King Island Image: W. Hogg

Cooee Creek. Image: A. Wind

If you have questions regarding the Regional Natural Resource Management Strategy for 2015 – 2020, please contact Ernst Kemmerer at ekemmerer@cradlecoast.com The updated Strategy is due for release in Spring 2015.


How healthy is your farming landscape?

A little bit of support

With the aim to use numbers and variety of native birds as a measure of biodiversity in a region, Cradle Coast NRM recently conducted roadside bird surveys near Forest.

Infrared camera equipment sponsored by Cradle Coast NRM at the Devils@Cradle sanctuary has proven invaluable in monitoring the recovery of a young orphaned devil named Eclipse. In October last year Devils@Cradle Keeper Amie-Lee Dunlop found Eclipse running alongside the road, emaciated and covered in ticks. Given the devil’s young age and poor condition the sanctuary staff took her into care until she was healthy and ready to be released back to the wild.

The presence of wide riparian buffers on the southeast side of Forest strongly impacted the results. Much higher bird diversity was recorded in the south-east as compared to the western side of Forest where the riparian vegetation is narrow or non-existent.

Keepers were conscious of maintaining Eclipse’s wild behaviours to assist in her release. Handling was kept to a minimum, her feeding regime was random and enclosure cleaning was conducted only when necessary. During her stay Eclipse’s enclosure was monitored with an infrared camera enabling staff to follow her nocturnal behaviour and interactions with wild animals.

Riparian buffers (also known as riparian zones) can contain up to three times greater variety of native bird species and up to five times more in abundance than shelterbelts. The benefits of ecosystem services provided by riparian zones can range in scale from soil micro-organism health, to improved pollination levels, through to landscape scale improvements in water quality. Farm systems that include healthy riparian buffers have higher biodiversity values and are likely to be naturally assisted with pest and disease control through improved resilience against climate change.

On 15 January, weighing a very healthy 3.46kg, Eclipse was micro-chipped and released into the Vale of Belvoir Conservation Area. This land, managed by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, is included in a long-term infra-red camera survey being undertaken by Devils@Cradle. With the support of Cradle Coast NRM the infra-red cameras not only keep an eye on orphaned youngsters and their recovery but also assist in monitoring devil populations and understanding the effects of Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Devils@Cradle operate a volunteer program to help their conservation work. If you are interested in finding out more information visit the Devils@Cradle Facebook page www.facebook.com/devilsatcradle Brown Falcon. Image: M.Finzel

Taking the rice grass fight to new heights

Watching, waiting and testing What vegetable grower isn’t looking for a way to grow better crops with fewer inputs? The hard part is finding a cost-effective way to do that, which fits into the production system. Botanical Resources Australia (BRA), the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), RM Consulting Group (RMCG) and Cradle Coast NRM have teamed up to investigate the merits of soil amendments (pyrethrum marc*, biochar and oaten chaff) on experimental fields at TIA’s Forthside Research Station. BRA’s (Australian Government funded) Action on the Ground project has already provided some great information on green beans, onions and broccoli in its first trial, with those crops showing increased vigour and yield with the application of pyrethrum marc. The next crop to go under the microscope is lettuce. A crack team of lettuce planters has already hand planted the 7,500 seedlings needed for the trial.

Project News

Project News

With support and technical assistance from Cradle As a soil conditioner and slow release source of nutrients – particularly nitrogen – pyrethrum marc and similar soil amendments from organic waste are potentially valuable to farmers. This depends on costs (transport, spreading and, if any, of the marc itself) and benefits of using the marc. *Pyrethrum marc is the shoot and flower material remaining after pyrethrins have been extracted from pyrethrum crops for use in insecticides. If you’d like to follow along with the trial, it is being tracked through the Soil Wealth Forthside Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ SoilWealthForthside). Alternatively, contact Productive Landscapes Coordinator, Spencer Gibbs on 6433 8400.

Coast NRM, the Circular Head Landcare Group (CHLG) are taking their fight against rice grass to new heights. Hiring a helicopter to fly over the Duck River estuary, Boullanger Bay and Robbins passage allowed Project Officer, Mark Wisniewski, and CHLG members to view the spread of the weed in areas previously unseen. With the advantage of a birds-eye view both still

CHLG member, Sue Jennings, in flight. Image: S. Cleland

images and video footage of the terrain below were captured. Utilising Geographic Information System (GIS) technology the aerial footage was combined with weed control chemical information allowing Mark to model different weed eradication scenarios. CHLG work closely with local stakeholders and have a limited window of opportunity to undertake the necessary weed control. Rice grass is no longer just a threat to the oyster industry but also to the low lying coastal dairy industry.

Rice grass viewed from the air. Image: S. Cleland

Cradle Coast NRM’s development of a strategic eradication program not only supports CHLG and the local community in defeating rice grass, but also assists in the fight to preserve fragile ecosystems in the Soil amendment trial. Image: S. Gibbs


entire North West.

To discuss the potential of using GIS technology and mapping support for your work or project, please contact Mark Wisniewski on 6433 8400 or mwisniewski@cradlecoast.com


Upcoming Events

Staff R ichard In gram Executi v e O f f i c e r

September Coastal Garden Workshops

G ra nt P e arc e Opera ti on s M an age r

Workshops run by Ruth Mollison from Island Seeds will cover the advantages of growing local plants for coastal gardens, basic garden design for wind protection and fire mitigation and hands on techniques for growing native plants from seeds and cuttings.

Er ns t K emm e re r S trategy & Im pl e me n t a t ion M a na g e r Apri l Lan ge rak I n formati o n M an ager W i l l i am Ho gg C oordi nato r: B i o di ve r s it y

Two workshops will be held:

Anna Win d C oordi nato r: Co asta l

•Saturday 19 September from 1.30pm - Wynyard

Di o nna N e w to n Project Officer: Coastal, Estuarine & Marine

•Sunday 20 September from 11.00am - Port Sorell

S herri e J af f ray Pr o j ect Of f i c e r: C o m m u nit y Ed u c a t ion M ark Wi s n i e w sk i Pr o j ect Of f i c e r: G IS a nd N R M S pencer G i bbs C oordi nato r: Pro du c t iv e L a nd s c a p e s

Image: R. Turner

Sessions will run for approximately two hours. Tea/coffee provided. For more information contact Project Officer, Sherrie Jaffray on sjaffray@cradlecoast.com

‘Like’ us on Facebook

Tom O’M al l e y R egi ona l L an dc are Fa c ilit a t or

Do you like to keep up-to-date with the latest NRM news and information? Are you interested in learning about projects, funding opportunities, events and community activities as they happen? What better way to keep your finger on the NRM pulse than to ‘like’ the new Cradle Coast NRM Facebook page? Simply visit Facebook, search for Cradle Coast NRM and click on the thumbs up icon.

Unless otherwise acknowledged, this publication and the projects featured are supported by Cradle Coast NRM, through funding from the Australian Government.

If you like our Facebook page you might also like to check out the Cradle Coast NRM app available for android users via the Play Store.

Postage Paid Australia

Cradle Coast NRM 1-3 Spring Street PO Box 338 Burnie TAS 7320

ph: 03 6433 8400 fax: 03 6431 7014 email: nrm@cradlecoast.com Cradle Coast NRM is hosted by the Cradle Coast Authority

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Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 2, 2015  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 2, 2015.

Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 2, 2015  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 2, 2015.