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Cradle to C oast l i n e s Newsletter of the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee

Edition 1• 2015

Feature Story Our Natural Values

Pages 4-5

In this issue: Community Activities


Project News


Events 6 Sustainable Agriculture

Green and Gold Frog. Image: M. Wapstra



Protecting migratory shorebirds at Moorland Beach

Remote help for the Tasmanian Devil

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Cradle Coast

Cradle Coast NRM is proud to support Devils@Cradle in continuing their Infra-Red Remote Camera Survey

NRM have teamed up to improve the management of

in the Vale of Belvoir Reserve over the next four years. The survey is undertaken to establish the effects of

migratory shorebirds at Moorland Beach. An increase

Project News

Community Activities

Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) on the Tasmanian Devil population and provide an insight into population

of unauthorised vehicles accessing the beach in

dynamics across three species: the Devil, Spotted-tail Quoll and Eastern Quoll.

recent times has disturbed the feeding sites of Ruddy Turnstones and other migratory birds.

In 2012/13 the survey was established on 473Ha of Tasmanian Land Conservancy land, bordering the Reynold

By positioning large rocks in order to restrict access

Falls Reserve. From November last year, with additional funding from Cradle Coast NRM, the survey was

to part of the beach, it’s hoped that the birds will be

expanded to include the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service managed land in the Vale and around Lake

protected and encouraged to return to this important

Lea, encompassing 4,217Ha bordering the Black Bluff Nature Reserve.

site. The Ruddy Turnstone migrates to Australia each

Moorland Beach coastal work. Image: A.Wind

provide new insights into the disease. Data collected from the remote cameras will be combined with road

year from their breeding grounds in Siberia. With a

kill statistics from the area between the sanctuary and the Vale of Belvoir and provided to the Save the

wingspan of less than 60cm and weighing only

Tasmanian Devil program on a six monthly basis.

85 – 150 grams, it is one of the many wonders of nature that these little birds can fly such amazing

If you are interested in learning more about the survey and keeping up to date with the latest findings visit the

distances. BirdLife Australia estimates that one Ruddy

Devils@Cradle Facebook page for regular postings.

Turnstone flies a round trip of up to 27,000km a year. Australia has international agreements with Japan,

A technological health assessment for playtpuses

Korea and China to protect these birds on their remarkable migratory flight path. Moorland Beach is a favourite feeding site as large masses of seaweed and seagrass wash up and accumulate there. Ruddy Turnstones feed by overturning stones and seaweed

Moorland Beach coastal works. Image: A.Wind

to find insects, crustaceans, molluscs and spiders.

First Aid training

Conservation & Land Management course TasTAFE are running a Certificate III in Conservation

community groups in the Cradle Coast region to

& Land Management commencing late February.

groups via the provision of First Aid kits.

Mark Wisniewski from Cradle Coast NRM has been

By working with the data collected by James, Mark

using his experience and enthusiasm for Geographic

was able to develop maps and visually demonstrate

Information System (GIS) technology and mapping

the results of this study.

support to assist in local platypus research.

Cradle Coast NRM is offering sponsorship to

improve volunteer skills in First Aid and support

The Devils@Cradle research not only assists in understanding how DFTD is evolving in the wild but may also

PhD student James Macgregor developed a holistic health assessment for platypuses to investigate environmental, temporal and individual patterns in

and mapping support for your work or project, please contact Cradle Coast NRM Project Officer, Mark Wisniewski, on 6433 8400 or mwisniewski@cradlecoast.com

data, and provide insights into potential threats.

The course will be run each Tuesday and Wednesday over a one year period. This is an entry

Platypus distribution and population density in two

Sponsorship is open to all Landcare, Coastcare,

level qualification providing employability skills

river catchments in North West Tasmania were

Aboriginal and ‘Friends of’ group volunteers who

for those wishing to create a career pathway into

investigated in a live capture/release field study of

are actively engaged in natural resource

Conservation & Land Management or for those

154 animals. Data was collected on the timing and

management projects in North West Tasmania

wanting to increase their knowledge.

frequency of platypus movements, the timing of the

For more information please contact

breeding season, genetic diversity and geographical

Full details are available via the link in the Latest

Sharon Young at TasTAFE on 6477 7487 or

distribution as well as other factors used to determine

News section on www.cradlecoastnrm.com


baseline population health.

(including King Island).

To discuss the potential of using GIS technology

Platypus being released from cotton holding sack. Image: H. Robertson



Feature Story

Our Natural Values The value of our region’s natural assets can sometimes be underestimated, overlooked or unknown to all but a select few in the community. Cradle Coast NRM in conjunction with ECOtas extended the opportunity to learn more about our natural values through a series of free events during October, November and December last year. The opportunities included nature walks, workshops and field trips and were open to the community and those involved in land management in the Cradle Coast region.

Natural Values workshops Sixty-five participants from across the Cradle Coast attended a series of four workshops held in Burnie and Devonport. Overview workshops focused on flora and ecology, legislation and tools on how best to source information on threatened flora and fauna and identify plants and animals. Mark Wapstra and Fred Duncan from ECOtas shared their extensive knowledge of Tasmanian ecology with the eager participants. The Threatened Crayfish workshop, led by Dr Alastair Richardson and Mark Wapstra, focused on the Burrowing Crayfish and Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster (tayatea), their habitat and riparian management. Field trips were undertaken to crayfish habitat sites providing the opportunity to discuss and observe the best management options for protection of the threatened species’ habitat. There are five species of threatened Tasmanian Burrowing Crayfish, two of which are found in the Cradle Coast region: the Burnie Burrowing Crayfish (vulnerable) and the Central North Burrowing Crayfish (endangered). The Burnie Burrowing Crayfish, Engaeus yabbimunna, is known only in Burnie and the area immediately to the west (Wynyard approximately). The Central North Burrowing Crayfish, Engaeus granulatus, occurs only in a triangular area running south-west from Port Sorell to the Railton area and north to Quoiba, near Devonport.

Hawley Nature Reserve walk Hawley Nature Reserve is a little known 50 ha reserve located in the bustling suburb of Shearwater in the Latrobe municipal area. Tucked away between Hawk Hill Road and Arthur Street the native bush Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and flora including some threatened species.

to explore the bush and find orchids, lizards and paddymelon bones of their own! For more information on Natural Values contact Cradle Coast NRM Coastal Coordinator, Anna Wind on 6433 8400 or awind@cradlecoast.com

The Reserve had been in need of attention in order to protect its amazing plant diversity and animals. Cradle Coast NRM partnered with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Mersey Field Centre and volunteer field naturalists to raise awareness in the local community, develop interpretive signage and install vegetation protective fencing around the reserve. On Sunday 19 October Mark Wapstra hosted a guided walk through the reserve with 22 adults and 22 children from the local area. Whilst Mark brought along preserved Masked owls, bat skeletons and Tassie Devil bones, the highlight for many was seeing the Green and Gold Frogs that came out to show off their bright colours. Participants also had the chance

Looking at bat skeletons. Image: A.Wind

Burrowing Crayfish live in burrow systems that may be dependent on surface runoff, located in stream beds, or connected to the water table. Burrows typically have ‘chimneys’ of pelleted soil at the entrance. Burrowing Crayfish are omnivorous, feeding on decaying organic matter but also occasionally eating worms. The Giant Freshwater Lobster, Astacopsis gouldi, can be found in streams of all sizes. Native riparian vegetation needs to be predominantly intact in order to provide shade and permanent clean flowing water with boulders or pebbles for these animals. The lobster and crayfish species are classified and protected under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. If you are planning an action that has, or is likely to have, a significant impact these species, seek advice from DPIPWE’s Threatened Species section before commencing.

Central North Burrowing Crayfish. Image: A.Wind


Giant Freshwater Lobster. Image: A.Wind

Green and Gold Frog. Image: M. Wapstra.


Cradle Coast Kids Teaching Kids

Insect pest activity learned throughout the year in a fun and engaging way. Each group of students taught the others on their chosen topic which involved presenting facts, running hands-on activities and quizzes, and evaluating their knowledge. Stella Maris spent months preparing fun activities to teach their counterparts from Somerset about the Little penguin. The diversity of the activities designed by the students was a true credit to their enthusiasm; a penguin photo booth, find-a-word quiz, penguin origami and plasticine model making. Somerset Primary children were equally as inventive having designed a murder mystery game. They led the Stella Maris students through the school’s bushland to find and solve clues along the way to discovering ‘Who killed the bandicoot?’.

Callum as a penguin. Image: S. Jaffray

On Thursday 11 December Cradle Coast NRM hosted the first annual Kids Teaching Kids event with Stella Maris and Somerset Primary Schools. Both schools had worked closely with the Cradle Coast NRM School Education Program throughout the year to enhance their learning about environmental and sustainability issues. The event was designed to allow the children from each school to share with one another what they had

All of the children had a wonderful time and were not only able to share their knowledge on issues relevant to them and their school, but also to build their selfconfidence. In 2015 Cradle Coast NRM will be hosting the second Kids Teaching Kids event as part of the National Target Kids Teaching Kids Week from 7 to 11 September. To find out more about Cradle Coast NRM’s School Education Program contact Sherrie Jaffray on 6433 8400 or sjaffray@cradlecoast.com

coastal environment, inspiring them to continue their good work. The event also provided the opportunity for Cradle Coast NRM to recognise the wonderful Coastcare volunteer efforts. The sun came out and provided a perfect backdrop for the BBQ lunch celebration.


Will we see the return of these high Corbie grub numbers again in 2015? In most cases, probably not. Recent low spring and summer pasture growth indicates suppressed egg laying activity and the expectation of much lower egg survival rates. Individual property owners and managers should, however, be mindful that hay paddocks are always at greater risk. It is worthwhile checking your property from mid-autumn onwards to determine if grubs are present in pastures and what sort of damage they are doing. It is important to note that dry conditions favour egg laying activity of the Blackheaded cockchafer. This pest prefers open bared out pasture and exposed sandy soil. Once autumn breaks it is recommended to check your pastures to see if any damage is being sustained. Other insect pests have also been present in high numbers recently. Record flights of the Diamond Back Moth (DBM) were recorded during spring. DBM larvae only damage Brassica crops such as broccoli, swedes and forage turnips, but have the potential to devastate these crops if they are not adequately controlled. High numbers of Cutworm and Armyworm have also been present in pastures, horticultural and cereal crops. If your property and its crops or pastures are experiencing damage from insect pests and you would like information on how best to manage the situation contact Productive Landscapes Coordinator, Spencer Gibbs on 6433 8400 or sgibbs@cradlecoast.com

A group of property owners and managers on the Cradle Coast has recently been learning the finer points of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The IPM course demonstrates how to better protect pastures from a range of insect pests including Corbies and Red and Blackheaded ockchafers.

To find out more about the Pasture Pest program contact Regional Landcare Facilitator, Tom O’Malley on 6433 8400 or tomalley@cradlecoast.com

Course participants developed an understanding of the identification, lifecycle, population monitoring and management options available for these most common insect pasture pests. Specific attention has been given to how grazing management plays a role in determining if a property may experience pasture pest damage, and whether some form of pest control intervention is required to assist with livestock production targets.

Seventy-four people attended including representatives from community groups and three school groups who delivered presentations to the gathering. Smithton High School gave a very insightful presentation on marine debris; Stella Maris Primary focused on penguins, and Marist Regional College provided insight on sea spurge. Seabird biologist and author Heidi Auman launched her latest book at the event and took the time to endorse the works of all involved in caring for our

During autumn, winter and spring 2014 pasture pest activity was high with plenty of reports of pasture damage predominantly caused by the autumn and true Corbie grub. The high Corbie grub populations were a result of the abundant spring and summer pasture growth in late 2013 and early 2014 creating ideal conditions for adult Corbie moth egg laying and egg survival.

Integrated Pasture Pest Management course update

Wrapping it up coastal style! Cradle Coast NRM wrapped up the end of a week of Coastcare activities with a special ‘Let’s celebrate Coastcare’ event. Held on Friday 5 December at Somerset Surf Life Saving Club the event brought together community groups and schools, and provided the opportunity for each to learn what the other had been doing during the year to care for the coast.

Mother Nature has been rather active in 2014 and early 2015 with respect to generating plenty of insect pest activity in the Cradle Coast region.

Sustainable Agriculture


Penguin burrow models. Image: S.Jaffray

Two demonstration sites have been established and are being monitored closely to assess pasture covers and insect pest activity. The sites allow course participants to witness the benefits of improved pasture management – reduction in the risk of damage from insect pests and improved utilisation and livestock performance outcomes.

IPM demonstration site. Image: S. Gibbs


Upcoming Events

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


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

Shorebird Monitoring Project volunteers will be conducting resident shorebird counts between Stanley and Narawntapu National Park throughout March. If you would like to get involved please contact Project Officer, Dionna Newton at dnewton@cradlecoast.com

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

Volunteer Beachwatch community groups and schools will be conducting beach clean-ups at their adopted beaches throughout March and April. To get involved check out the Beachwatch page on our website www.cradlecoastnrm.com/beach-watch-home

Shorebird counts


Anna Win d C oordi nato r: Co asta l Di o nna N e w to n Project Officer: Coastal, Estuarine & Marine

Sense-T funding opportunity

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

Cradle Coast NRM encourages people with NRM-related projects to make submissions for Stage 2 Sense-T funding.

S pencer G i bbs C oordi nato r: Pro du c t iv e L a nd s c a p e s Br a d Gri f f i t h s Pr o j ect Of f i c e r: S u sta ina b le A g r ic ult ur e & GIS A nal y st Tom O’M al l e y R egi ona l L an dc are Fa c ilit a t or

Proposals are now being sought for leading edge industry research in applied sensor technology and data science that will support industry innovation and economic growth in Tasmania. Projects will receive up to $600 000 each for research across a wide range of areas in the fields of agriculture, tourism, health, new financial services, and infrastructure, freight and logistics. The new projects must be completed by 31 December 2016, with proposals due by 15 March 2015. For further information, contact Sense-T Program Manager Dr Robin Fieldhouse on 6226 2951 or visit the website www.sense-t.org.au/projects/stage-2-projects

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

Sense-T is a partnership program between the University of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Government, CSIRO and IBM. It is also funded by the Australian Government.

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 1, 2015  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 1, 2015.

Cradle to Coastlines - Edition 1, 2015  

Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Edition 1, 2015.