Saturday, February 4, 2023



Stripy lizard holds up $2m safety project

A striped legless lizard “possibly” seen near the Riddoch Highway 17 years ago is holding up a $2million intersection realignment aimed at making it safer for people who use it. The area has been deemed “a significant environmental site”. But there appears to be no photos of the lizard to prove its existence at the site.

Collaboration on aerial baiting for conservation outcomes: National Wild Dog Action Plan

Last month marked the first time wild dog baits have been substituted for fox baits in Bounceback, a flagship program working to achieve conservation outcomes in South Australia’s north ... They replaced the fox baits normally used in their central and northern Flinders Ranges aerial baiting programs which covered National Parks and nine surrounding pastoral leases.

Landcare’s bird survey surprises participants

Narrandera Landcare’s quarterly bird survey at The Wetlands recently surprised the group, with participants finding 25 species! There were almost no waterbirds but lots and lots of woodland birds.

Students’ long walk has its rewards

A group of Denmark Senior High School students took a long walk from Greens Pool back to the school as part of Duke of Edinburgh International awards camp ... Along the way of their walk, the group collected rubbish littering the trails ... Lightning weed was the target species over the morning in what had felt like a gym work out.

New challenges and solutions at WCTTAA Forum: Cape York NRM

It was a year of new challenges for turtle nesting protection on the western Cape York Peninsula, with unprecedented early nesting, vehicle breakdowns, weather events, shifting landscapes and data collection unreliability ... Rangers from Apudthama Land Trust and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC), Napranum Aboriginal Land Council, Mapoon and Pormpuraaw gathered in Weipa in December for the annual forum on the turtle nesting season.

Mineral sands project set for public environmental review

A public environmental review has been set for a mineral sands project proposed for about 21km east of Ledge Point and 800m south of the Moore River due to the extent of further information required, the number of preliminary key environmental factors identified and the moderate level of public interest in the project. When the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) published its decision to assess the Bidaminna project proposal it said out of the 156 submissions received 153 had called for public environmental review.

Skip the seal just keeps swimming: Griffin

"Skip has now travelled more than 2,500 kilometres south, where he’s currently having a feed on the East Tasman Plateau, after spending Christmas week on secluded Craggy Island, north of Flinders Island, where he spent a few days hauled out and making short fishing trips": Minister for Environment, James Griffin.

Busting invasive species in the Clarence Valley

Emma Pritchard. Clarence Valley residents are being encouraged to hop into action this month to help prevent a devastating pest from spreading further across the region by participating in the Great Cane Toad Bust 2023. An annual national incentive, the event aims to raise awareness of the invasive species, to help control their numbers, educate communities to correctly identify them, and to ensure any cane toads captured during hunts are humanely euthanised.

Woodhen survey

Suzie Christensen, LHIB. The woodhen survey has seen another increase in woodhen number with more than 1,000 woodhens counted. This is a record number of woodhens for the Island, surpassing the 778 individuals counted last March.

Review – Why Do Birds Do That?

Whether you are an avid bird watcher or simply a casual admirer I highly recommend adding this to your bookshelf for ready reference. Trust me, you’ll need it - as some people may not believe you when you tell them about some of the avian oddities described.

Bruce – back where he belongs

The rescue of Bruce the macaw has been in the news recently after his escape and rescue by the CFA. The Times paid a visit to the Maldon Takeaway where he resides during the week to see how Bruce was coping after his misadventure, and all seems to be well.

Christmas beetles and koalas – part of the whole big picture: Vic Jurskis

Vic Jurskis. The principles of monitoring animal numbers are no different for koalas or beetles. Monitoring should not be an end. But the first step should always be to look at historical information. They are irruptive animals which sometimes occur in plagues. Koalas and Christmas beetles have both gone through booms and busts in the same places at the same times for the same reasons ... ARR.News asked some further questions of Vic.

Seeing double: critically endangered KI Dunnart detections increases three years post-wildfires

Conservationists are feeling hopeful for the future of the endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart for the first time since the 2019/20 Black Summer fires. The newfound optimism comes after a large increase in detections of the species within the feral predator-free Western River Refuge.

Donation cares for animals

Heather Gibbons. Health Harmony and Happiness Inc. has recently made a donation to Jodie Hutchins Born Free Native Wildlife Care in Millicent. This assists in covering some of the many costs Jodie has such as fencing, food and veterinary bills.

State forests to be protected: Scanlon

A number of state forests across south east Queensland will be conserved earlier, the Palaszczuk Government has announced ... Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said it’s part of the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitment to transfer 20,000 hectares of state forest to Queensland’s protected areas.

Beyond the Fence: Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board 1892-2022

This intriguing book was launched in Warwick last week by Chair of Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board (DDMRB) Lockyer Valley Regional Councillor Janice Holstein. It tells the Board’s story and that of rabbits in Australia. The DDMRB maintains the oldest and longest purpose-built, rabbit-proof barrier fence still in use in Australia, if not the world.

NSW koalas: NSW DPI responds

David McPherson, NSW DPI. Dr Law is one of Australia’s leading forest ecologists, with the sustained excellence of his research and distinguished service to Australian zoology recognised with his appointment in 2021 as a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society of NSW. In the history of the Society there have been fewer than 100 Fellows elected ... Criticisms of the scientific excellence or objectivity of the research undertaken by Dr Law are unfounded.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Christmas beetles seem rare now

Kym Watling. November has come and gone in Unumgar without the sighting of a Christmas beetle – once a reliable reminder that the Christmas season was about to commence. It wasn’t that long ago that Christmas beetles were plentiful in the Northern Rivers.

Fur seal skips Sydney and heads south after landmark release: Griffin

The fur seal spent three months in rehabilitation at Sea World before being released outside the heads of Sydney Harbour last week. It was a great success, with tracking data showing Skip travelled 100 km south within the first 24 hours, and he’s currently swimming about 130 km south of the NSW-Victoria border, an impressive 550 km from where he was released.

Pig hunters urged to get vaccinated against virus

Health authorities are encouraging all Cape York residents involved in pig-hunting to take advantage of the free vaccination program for Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) ... there was heightened awareness of JEV on Cape York following the detection of the virus in some feral pigs in an area north of the Skardon River in June, and a further detection in pigs in the Mapoon area in September.

How you can help protect tiny turtles

February is when our first turtle hatchling emerges from its nest beneath the sand. Before that happens, Sunshine Coast Council is calling on our community to come together to tidy up their local beach as part of the 9th annual Clean up for the Hatchlings event on Saturday, February 4, 2023 ... Volunteers can register now to pick up litter at various beach locations between Noosa and Caloundra from 6am to 7.30am.

Koala monitoring and habitat: Vic Jurskis responds

Vic Jurskis responds to ARR.News questions including about the different methods for monitoring koalas, sustainable koala populations, koala habitat and the relationship with timber harvesting ... "Gathering numbers should not be an end. Deliberations of the TSSC assume that more is better. The koala’s ecological history of irruptions and crashes in numbers after European arrival clearly shows this not to be the case. Effective monitoring requires an understanding of the reasons for any real changes in numbers."

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