Cradle to C oast l i n e s Autumn/Winter • 2018
Newsletter of the Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Group
Big efforts rewarded in second Macquarie Harbour Clean-up In this issue: The key to flood resilience
Coast to Coast highlights
Meet Jarrod Edwards
Macquarie Harbour clean-up – Sarah Island (Photo: A. Wind)
Volunteers collected debris by raft on the King River (Photo: I. Flett)
Big effort leads to big outcome in Macquarie Harbour Clean-up Every aspect of the second, annual Macquarie Harbour clean-up was big, ranging from the number of participants and their commitment to the cause, to the scale of clean-up sites and volume of debris collected; and it all combined to make the event a BIG success. More than 30 000 pieces of rubbish were hauled from the waterways or collected from the shorelines thanks to the efforts of 168 volunteers and 13 contributing organisations. The Harbour is all the better for the clean-up with 410 bags plus 491 larger items of rubbish removed from the environment over the five-day event which ran from 7 to 11 April. Tassal, Huon Aquaculture, Petuna, West Coast Yacht Charters and Parks and Wildlife had boats on the water collecting from the Harbour shoreline, in addition to Conservation Volunteers, Wildcare members and local residents who scoured the Harbour’s edge within Strahan and nearby Ocean Beach. A total of 36 shoreline locations were included in the carefullycoordinated event.
Many items were recycled such as tyres via Tyrecycle, and polypipe and nylon rope via Envorinex and some larger, intact items such as buoys were salvaged by the aquaculture industry. The remainder of the more than 4 tonnes of debris was safely landfilled including materials such as fencing wire, carpet pieces, furniture and whitegoods. Traditional litter items such as drink cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles were collected in their thousands – 1392, 1250 and 2434 respectively – and were also sorted for recycling. The majority of these items were collected from the King River and its delta, followed by the harbour cleanup area south-west of Strahan. The number of clean-up sites and volunteers involved doubled this year compared to the 2017 clean-up and it was encouraging to see a decrease in the total volume of rubbish collected – although still a startling amount that posed a major threat to the natural environment and West Coast tourism and aquaculture industries.
BY THE NUMBERS:
168 volunteers. 13 organisations including Wildcare,
Conservation Volunteers Australia, King River Rafting, West Coast Yacht Charters, Strahan Primary School, and Strahan P.S. Parents and Friends, Active Strahan, Parks and Wildlife Service, DPIPWE, Petuna, Huon Aquaculture and Tassal.
West Strahan Beach Tourist Park, Strahan Village, Gordon River Cruises, World Heritage Cruises, West Coast Council, Petuna, Tassal and Huon Aquaculture The project was coordinated by Cradle Coast Authority NRM with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
5 days of clean-up activity. 410 bags of debris collected. 855 metres of polypipe salvaged or recycled.
56 tyres removed and recycled. 1090 kilograms of rope removed,
upcycled or recycled.
individual pieces of debris collected.
Josie Riches making a basket from Macquarie Harbour rope at Ecofest (Photo: I. Flett)
Inspiring a waste free future
CVA volunte ers at Sarah Island (Photo: A. Wind).
A triumph of teamwork “A big thank you to all of our volunteers! We couldn’t have completed the clean-up without the dedicated support and efforts of Wildcare, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Active Strahan. “We also acknowledge the contributions of Petuna, Huon Aquaculture and Tassal who kindly allocated staff to collecting, transporting, sorting many bags of marine debris and financial support. We’d especially like to recognise the hard work of Mark Grining (Petuna), Steven Thompson (Tassal) and Rob McKendrick (Huon Aquaculture) for their support of the clean-up event.
Cradle Coast Authority NRM was proud to share its Macquarie Harbour clean-up results and news of other environmental volunteering activities at the Ecofest event in Ulverstone in April. Organised by the North West Environment Centre, Ecofest comprised of 30 stallholders and a variety of thought-provoking presentations and workshops united on the theme of a ‘Waste Free Future’. A number of the Cradle Coast’s Landcare and ‘Friends Of’ groups were also in attendance to engage with the event’s 2000 patrons. The Cradle Coast NRM stall provided advice on local plant species, weed identification, biodiversity hotspots, the recent Reef Life Survey and Macquarie
Harbour clean-up projects to name a few. Details of the clean-up were also shared in an interactive presentation as part of the Ecofest speaker’s program and there was generally a high level of interest in the issue of plastic pollution. There were many beautiful and practical upcycling examples on display too, including artist Josie Riches’ creative reuse of marine debris rope that had been removed from Macquarie Harbour. Josie shares her combined passion for environmental protection and creativity by running Beach Rope Basketry workshops for anyone wishing to learn rope upcycling techniques. Find her on Facebook @JosieRichesArt for details of her upcoming events.
“Special thanks to the project sponsors: West Strahan Beach Tourist Park, Strahan Village, Gordon River Cruises, World Heritage Cruises and West Coast Council.” Anna Wind, project coordinator
School Students from Strahan Primary ley) collecting rubbish (Photo: J. Row
Weird things collected during the clean-up!
View the full report at: www.cradlecoastnrm.com/latest-news/report-on-macquarie-harbour-clean-up-project-released
Riparian Health is Key to Flood Resilience With winter approaching and the usual increase in rainfall, thoughts turn to flood events and the ability of our region’s riverbanks and water courses to withstand large volumes of rapidly moving water.
Farm Conservation Grants in action Persistence and attention to detail have led to the successful establishment of native plants on Philip Milner’s Lower Barrington property. As the recipient of a Cradle Coast Farm Conservation Grant, Philip outlined a detailed plan to revegetate a number of forested and Poa grassland areas on his farm which had been historically heavily grazed. His plan is to improve plant biodiversity to provide habitat for wildlife such as Eastern-barred and Brown Bandicoots, and to protect naturally regenerating species, like Prostanthera lasianthos. Owing to the large numbers of browsing wildlife that threatened the tender (and tasty!) young growth, Philip needed to construct effective plant guards. He trialled a few designs before settling on a version of John Thompson’s “floppy top” guards that discourage possums. The guards for the grassland herbs required different materials to prevent Pademelons reaching through the mesh and so a rigid mesh of 50 mm x 75 mm was adopted with an additional plastic gutter-guard mesh fixed to the lower edge. Weed mats to temporarily reduce competition and evaporation completed the guard system and provided the plants with the best chance of survival. Philip is a botanist and semi-retired consultant and helped the plants become established with watering through what was a dry summer and late autumn break. A second round of planting in late April has continued the revegetation works and when the plants are mature, Philip hopes they will self- seed to colonise other parts of his property.
Fortunately, natural riparian systems are quite robust if they’re in a healthy condition. Key to this strength is the presence of vegetation not only to slow and diffuse the power of flowing water above ground, but also to stabilise the banks with root mass below ground. Maintaining the integrity of the water edge by reducing erosion caused by stock access is another way to build the waterway’s resilience and encourage recovery after a flood event. Concerns over the incursion of weeds by excluding stock can be overcome by enabling access for limited time periods and in dryer conditions to minimise damage to banks. Riparian systems have the capacity to heal themselves, especially with some basic assistance, but it can take many years to see the full effect. Where time and budgets are tight, it is recommended to start with the outside banks of bends. If in low-lying areas, fencing to protect riparian vegetation from browsing wildlife and livestock should be constructed with floods in mind. Deep-driven posts and solid strainer assemblies help withstand water pressures and assist with faster repairs should the fence be damaged. New fencing systems designed for floodprone areas are also now available and help reduce breakages. This type of knowledge is being shared in the Agricultural Landscape Rehabilitation Scheme workshops and put into practice by locals across the region, including Barbara Alsop. Barbara has 10 years’ experience in riparian rehabilitation, having started in the field when studying at UTAS and discovering the importance of freshwater ecosystems to plant, animal and human health. She has worked on the Inglis, Minnow and Dasher Rivers among others and encourages landowners to regularly monitor waterways – including rivers, streams, drainage channels and small waterways - and take photos to help detect gradual changes. “Climate change predictions for Tasmania indicate that an increase in flash flooding events is to be expected, and we need to be prepared for this possibility; as seen in the recent flash flooding in Hobart,” said Barbara. “Planting native vegetation along stream banks, as well as vegetating damp courses, drainage channels and smaller tributaries helps in slowing water velocity. It also traps sediment and organic matter, which will in turn reduce impacts such as erosion and land slips.” “So many species rely on healthy freshwater ecosystems and yet we still haven’t learnt our lessons from the past. Many of our waterways are degraded, with low water quality, and improving their health should be our priority.”
Conference organiser, Chris Rees, with Anna Wind at the conference
Coast to Coast Conference highlights The national bi-annual Coast to Coast Conference was held in Hobart this year and was well attended by community group members from across North West Tasmania, thanks in part to a registration sponsorship program provided by Cradle Coast NRM. The gathering encourages the sharing of marine management ideas and successes in an effort to inspire future leaders. The achievements and invaluable contribution of people working in coastal management are also highlighted, as was the case when Cradle Coast NRM’s own Coastal Coordinator, Anna Wind received a Special Award for her 20-plus years of community service in the area. There was something for everyone in the inspiring agenda of presentations and workshops from scientists, NRM practitioners, industry members and government representatives. Topics included Indigenous Sea Country management and the work of Indigenous Rangers from around Australia, the Derwent Estuary Program, interstate citizen science and coastal management projects involving volunteers, and marine debris
analysis from Denise Hardesty’s team at CSIRO. Six community groups in the Cradle Coast region received sponsorship to attend the event, with seven participants travelling to Hobart. Reported highlights from these delegates included attending the Little Penguin workshop, meeting different people from around Australia, the quality of the keynote speakers and the ability to network with NRM staff and Councils while learning the latest in coastal management practices. Sponsorship recipients who attended the conference: • Circular Head Landcare: Sue Jennings and Anthea Fergusson • King Island NRM: Ondrea Richards • Friends of Burnie Penguins: Perviz Marker • Reef Life Survey: Rick Stuart-Smith • Rubicon Coast and Landcare: Eugene Holloway • Shorebird Monitoring Project: Hazel Britton
Recognition in AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award King Island Regional Landcare Facilitator and beef farmer, Ana Pimenta, has been presented with the Tasmanian Women in Agriculture Development Award after being named as one of three Tasmanian finalists in the coveted AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award. Ana attended Parliament House in Hobart in early May to receive her award and be recognised for her initiatives to increase the financial literacy of farming businesses and encourage participation in training opportunities presented to family-based farming enterprises. “Family farms are particularly time and resource-pressured, so it is very common for only one partner in the family business to be able to attend agricultural workshops,” said Ana. About 70% of workshop participants are male but Ana’s idea that sparked the interest of the Rural Women’s Award judges aims to see that change. Congratulations Ana on your Award and for the great NRM outcomes you’re achieving with the King Island farming community!
Short-tailed Shearwater (Photo: A. Silcocks)
Tools for the Citizen Scientist If you’ve been to an NRM workshop lately, then chances are you’ve heard about “apps” – short for ‘applications’, these digital tools make it easier to accurately record observations on a smartphone when out and about. Here’s a snapshot of some of the useful and interesting apps that are assisting NRM projects and allowing all community members to participate:
Understanding our Key Biodiversity Areas
Birdata: upload bird-spotting information to Birdlife Australia so it is available for use by scientists and conservationists. birdata.birdlife.org.au
Do you know where to find the most important wildlife habitats in Tasmania’s Cradle Coast? BirdLife Australia’s Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) program guides conservation work in these highly valued areas in our region. Some of the Cradle Coast’s KBAs have been identified as globally important for the preservation of wildlife according to the rigorous scientific KBA standard. Prime examples include King Island, which is the migratory route for the Orange-bellied Parrot, one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species, and home to the critically endangered King Island Brown Thornbill. Earlier this year, the Cradle Coast Authority’s NRM team was host to BirdLife Australia’s Dr Golo Maurer and other special guests for a two-day monitoring workshop and field trip. Dr Maurer recognised that the KBA approach to conservation
relied on local experts, community groups and other partners to identify, manage and monitor these important sites. To encourage this level of engagement, the 50 local participants learnt about the globally important hotspots and threatened wildlife, migratory bird flight paths, and developed skills in bird monitoring with BirdLife Australia’s free Birdata app. “Whether you want to get handson or just do the right thing, KBAs are there to guide your actions,” Dr Maurer said. KBAs are not only focused on bird species. Local guardians are also encouraged to monitor Burrowing Crayfish, threatened orchids and other at risk species and there are a range of smartphone applications, web resources and discussion groups available to ensure high quality evidence is collected to guide future habitat management decisions. To find out how you can get involved as a KBA guardian or in other monitoring work, contact the Cradle Coast NRM team.
Feral Cat Scan: record feral cat sightings which are then mapped to identify hotspots and support control programs. www.feralscan.org.au
Frog ID: make audio recordings of frogs on your smartphone and use the app to identify the species and map its location. www.frogid.net.au
Waterbug: identify and report invertebrates in water to help determine water quality and the health of freshwater ecosystems. thewaterbugapp.com
iNaturalist: one of the most popular apps used worldwide to identify and record biodiversity based on uploaded photographs taken from your smartphone. www.inaturalist.org
Zooniverse: collating a range of citizen science opportunities across a range of topics, you’re sure to find one to spark your interest. www.zooniverse.org
Protecting Short-tailed Shearwaters from feral cats Short-tailed Shearwaters, Muttonbird or yula, are a well-known inhabitant of Tasmania’s north-west coast. The birds are EPBC-listed and have been a resource for Tasmanian Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Their importance to Aboriginal culture continues to this day. They are under threat from feral cats, particularly the vulnerable chicks which are raised in burrows.
Meet the team: Jarrod Edwards In this edition of Cradle to Coastlines we get to know Project Officer, Jarrod and learn how he is inspired by his work with Aboriginal community groups. What does your role as Cradle Coast NRM Project Officer involve? I see my role as complementing that of all the other amazing team members we have working on NRM projects in the Cradle Coast region. I really enjoy working with Aboriginal community groups on their NRM projects and aspirations and seeing them to completion. What is your favourite thing about living in the north-west? I was born in Burnie, raised in Rosebery and now work on the West Coast at Marrawah so it’s in my blood and part of who I am. Candy and I live in Wynyard and want to raise our son Malyn here because we believe it is spiritually important to us as Aboriginal people to maintain and strengthen our connection to this landscape as a family. What do you like most about working in NRM? Working in NRM provides me with the opportunity to work on and connect with my country and I really enjoy working with such diverse, talented and passionate people. I hope my involvement
and experiences helps inspire the next generation of Aboriginal people to see that working on country is a very rewarding life choice. What is the most important NRM issue facing the region? A lack of adequate funding to undertake much needed projects like biodiversity preservation, waterway health and invasive weed control especially Spanish Heath and Gorse which continue to spread. Also, educational awareness of important issues especially Aboriginal values and a lack of broad-scale ownership amongst our community on issues we can control and eliminate. What NRM project are you most looking forward to getting involved with in the future? I am excited about the opportunity to be involved in NLP2, growing our NRM team and engaging with new project recipients, environmentalists and volunteers. I hope to be involved in the establishment of new and improved relationships between NRM and Aboriginal People in the Cradle Coast region.
Members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) have been developing feral cat management skills in order to control cats on Aboriginal lands in Tasmania. This has been complementing a program of feral cat trapping at the Point Sorell Short-tailed Shearwater colony and Little Penguin rookery. Experienced cat trapper, John Bowden, was contracted by Cradle Coast NRM over a 12-day period and in this time removed 26 feral cats from the environmentally sensitive area. He also caught and safely released a number of domestic cats. Evidence of the cats’ impact on the shearwater population was seen in the number of bird carcasses found; it was not uncommon for John to come across eight to 10 partially eaten birds in a small area. “It’s important for people to be aware of the damage even a pet cat can do,” John said. “Bells on collars don’t always work. By the time the bell tolls, it’s all over for the shearwater chicks. “Cats should be kept indoors or in their own yards. Not only are they decimating vulnerable wildlife such as birds and bandicoots but they’re also reducing food for native predators,” said John. In addition to feral cat trapping, the Cradle Coast Authority has added a Cat Management Coordinator to our staff to work with local government on implementing the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan. We will introduce our newest team member, Haylee Kaplan, in our next edition of Cradle to Coastlines. Feral cat sightings can be reported using the Feral Scan app (see page 6).
Your Cradle Coast NRM Team S pencer G i bbs Opera ti on s M an age r
Upcoming Events 17-22 June:
milaythina nuritinga kani, on country trip at Preminghana, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Facebook page for more information.
J ay Ro w l e y C oordi nato r: B i o di ve r s it y
NRM Committee meeting
J arrod Edw ards Project Officer
Plastic Free July
M ark Wi s n i e w sk i I n formati o n M an ager , N R M
Schools Tree Day
National Tree Day
Anna Win d C oordi nato r: Co asta l
Tom O’M al l e y R egi ona l L an dc are Fa c ilit a t or I o na Fl ett Pr o j ect Of f i c e r Ha y l ee Kapl an R egi ona l Co o rdi n ator , C a t Ma na g e m e nt
With the input of orchid enthusiasts and field botanists Philip Milner and Ian Ferris, the Cradle Coast Authority’s NRM team has published a guide to our region’s most common species.
Contact and follow us: ( 0 3 ) 6433 8400 nrm@c radl e c o ast . c om w w w . c radl e c o ast nr m . c om facebo o k . c o m /C r a d le C oa s t N R M
BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE
COMMON ORCHIDS Unless otherwise acknowledged, this publication and the projects featured are supported by Cradle Coast NRM, through funding from the Australian Government.
OF NORTH WEST TASMANIA
Beginner’s Guide to the Common Orchids of North West Tasmania has been produced to improve the knowledge of orchids in the North West Tasmanian community. Copies of the book are available from the Cradle Coast Authority, 1-3 Spring St, Burnie.
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: email@example.com Cradle Coast NRM is an independent committee hosted by the Cradle Coast Authority
Cradle Coast NRM's newsletter, Cradle to Coastlines. Autumn/Winter, 2018.