Consultation Seems To Be The New Fashion

Rodney has already talked about the local consultation he and Bill attended, but wait, there’s more:

Did you take part in  a web survey “Join the conversation about Strengthening Parks Victoria”? It has now closed – the time frame was extremely short and it was not well publicised. I tried to put in my 2c worth but I see from the website that my story is there but not my plea for better funding. (It seemed to be for individuals not groups, so no FOGG response). Here is a little about the survey:
Victoria has one of the most comprehensive parks systems in the world, spanning a total
of 18 per cent of the state, including land and sea, and supporting citizens and visitors.
Strengthening Parks Victoria is a project about celebrating the spectacular landscapes,
habitats and places we have managed for nearly 20 years, and understanding how we
Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Natural Values

Fire And Climatic Extremes Shape Mammal Distributions In A Fire-Prone Landscape

Ryan Duffy has sent me a paper recently published in Diversity and Distributions.  It is too long and detailed to include here but most thought provoking. The authors include Susannah Hale who spoke to us earlier in the year. If you would like to read the whole document I can email it to you, but I am giving you the abstract and then a few more details.
Fire and climatic extremes shape mammal distributions in a fire-prone landscape

The Grampians Fire and Biodiversity Project is a collaboration between Deakin University, Charles Sturt University and Parks Victoria. The team is interested in the ability of land management to enhance the capacity of the Grampians ecosystem to cope with and recover from changes in climate
and disturbance regimes.

ABSTRACT
Aim: Extreme climatic events and large wildfires are predicted to increase as the world’s climate warms. Understanding how they shape species’ distributions … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Natural Values

Local Landcare News

The Wildlife Art Museum group, Greening Australia, Jallukar Landcare  and the Pomonal Australian Plant Society have joined forces to establish a local Seedbank Project. The long term project aim is to conserve native grasses and habitats which are on the verge of becoming threatened and to improve agricultural sustainability in the Jallukar Landcare area. The Project has been fortunate in receiving funding to get started, from the Wimmera Regional Community Grants Round Three. Under the grant, in the first year, the aim is to collect, store and propagate native grass seeds from the Jallukar Landcare area. They will also be inviting people from the local community to join in. Subsequent years will see mass propagation and revegetation of local land.

Also a new Landcare group has just started in Halls Gap. They will be concentrating on foxes, cats, and weeds. Hoping for a grant for some professional help, but also … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Natural Values

Bird Observing in the Grampians

JanBert Brouwer

The joint outing with the Birdlife Horsham branch on Sunday July 3rd started with a bleak weather outlook following rain and low lying clouds. Not something that is likely to make the birds put on an active show. However a large-turn out of bird observers often means many keen eyes to detect birdlife.

The Birdlife group always prepares their trips very thoroughly with a reconnaissance visit preceding the outing to find interesting birds. Tim Mintern and Ian Morgan had recently sighted emu wrens near the air strip in the western part of the park but these birds proved to be too elusive for this outing. However the Scarlet Robin put on a splendid display there and was a real highlight. It was surprising that even water birds were very scarce on the Moora Moora Reservoir.

Hennie and Bill Neve hosted us for our lunch break at their … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Photo Point Mapping of Sallow Wattle

Last year  FOGGs volunteered to keep a pictorial record of Sallow Wattle at 20-30 spots in the Park. We would mark each spot with a star picket and it would be a matter of going back to the same spot twice a year and taking a photo at a time that suits the individual volunteer. It has been a slow start but we now have the map with the spots to be monitored and enough volunteers to spread the load.  The actual photo work is about to start on this long term project.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Update On The Orchid Conservation Program

Our contractors have erected a locked fence to keep grazing animals away from the highly endangered orchid  Caladenia audasii —(or McIvor Spider-orchid, Audas Spider-orchid) in the Stawell Ironbarks Forest, and there is a remote camera to deter any human predators. The team will keep a close eye on it and when (if?) it flowers it will be crosspollinated from the other surviving colony near Bendigo and eventually more plants can be grown at Cranbourne then released back into the wild.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Cultural Arts Site Excursion

I don’t get to enough FOGGs activities because I live in Melbourne and get caught up in activities there. However, as a passionate student of the Aboriginal story of Gariwerd, I made sure I could be at the cultural sites excursion run by Ben Gunn on April 9th. We 2016-04-08 FOGG_29met up at Buandik and I noticed a few keen non FOGGs members also turned up, having found out by various means (thanks to the wonders of the internet) that this rare opportunity was being offered.

Twenty of us set off up the Goat Track – some by foot and some by car to the location Ben had chosen for our adventure. As we tramped through the bush to visit three sites in all, Ben generously filled us in on many aspects of the archaeology of Gariwerd art sites and discoveries. We learned about the changing nature of interpretations … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Autumn Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Brushtail Rock-Wallaby Site

Although there have been issues with remote cameras in the last month, the two young at foot were alive and healthy when last detected in early March (as in photo).

The quoll has not been seen since last July, so it has either moved away or died.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

Platypus Survey

The Wimmera CMA conducted a platypus survey  of the McKenzie River near Zumsteins in early April. It showed that despite the ongoing extremely dry conditions the fragile population is holding its own. They captured a new juvenile about 4 months old, the fourth year in a row that this has happened. They also recaptured  a 16 month old female. The Wimmera CMA chief executive said that environmental water releases through ongoing dry conditions  had a focus on maintaining suitable conditions for as long as possible so platypus, fish, bug and plant communities could stay in good shape.

Members of the public (including us FOGGIES) are urged to register any sighting on the platypusSPOT.org website.  Enjoy the very informative site anyway!Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

New Tourist Loop?

Northern Grampians, Southern Grampians, Horsham and Ararat councils are looking at developing a tourist ring route encircling the Grampians. It would be all bitumen, and allow visitors to enjoy views of the Grampians from across the plains as well as from nearby, as well as enabling local producers to showcase their products. Planning is still in the early stages and would involve sealing part of Winfields Rd and Flat Rock Rd.

 … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values