Petition Call From The VNPA (Victorian National Parks Association)

We are asking members to please sign this petition, share it with your friends, and mail it to the VNPA or, preferably, go online to their website http://www.vnpa.org.au and sign there.

If Victoria’s national parks do not get the resources they need, our natural areas will continue to decline and recovery will be difficult.

If they are well resourced, nature has a very good chance for the future. And we’ll all benefit from a healthy environment.

Therefore, I call on the Victorian Government to:

  • Immediately return Parks Victoria funding to at least 2010-11 levels (an increase of at least $30 million a year).
  • Develop a future funding plan ensuring substantial increases to build the resources and expertise to fix up our parks, and address the many threats including weeds, pests and the pressures of climate change.
  • Make parks special places with appropriate tracks, signs and facilities so they are welcoming
Read the rest
Posted in 2016 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

Sallow Wattle

Wendy

At one of our meetings with parks staff last year Ryan suggested a possible project for FOGGs would be to photo monitor some areas of Sallow wattle. In the northern Grampians there has been an explotion of Sallow wattle since the January 2014 bushfires. There had been a survey for Sallow wattle in this area back in 2013 before the fires. From this survey we had photos and GPS points that had had been taken during the survey. It was hoped we could use some of these spots to continue monitoring. However the knowledge and technology to find these spots again proved beyond my capabilities so we decided to find new points in the same areas, Rodney and Wendy went out in early December and hammered in star pickets and took photos to get the project started. People who indicated last year they wanted to be part of this … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Naural Values Update

Outstanding native mammal research in the Grampians wins award

A team of researchers from Deakin University has been recognised on World Environment Day for their outstanding research investigating the effects of fire and climatic changes on native mammals in the Grampians National Park.

The Nancy Millis Science in Parks Award recognises outstanding contributions to fostering excellence in applied science for the benefit of park management.

Parks Victoria Chief Executive, Dr Bill Jackson said: “This long-term research and monitoring project is greatly improving our understanding about how native mammals respond to major climatic changes and fires in the Grampians landscape. The research is directly helping to guide how we manage the park to help protect native mammals in this region.”

The project began in 2008, to investigate how small mammals re-colonised after the bushfires that affected the park in 2006. It then evolved into an ongoing program and each year since, … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Natural Values

A Quick Update On The Orchid Conservation Program

FOGG members may remember that we have been supporting the work of Dr Noushke Reiter in the  conservation of  orchid species, including some of our threatened local ones. I asked Noushka to give us an update on the move to Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

orchid lab 2 orchid lab 1As you are aware the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Australian Network for Plant Conservation joined hands to raise funds to fit out an Orchid Conservation Centre at the Botanic Gardens. The response was overwhelming thank you to all  who contributed, both individuals and organisations. On Christmas Eve boxes were unpacked and now 6 months later we have a fully functioning laboratory and nursery full of threatened orchids grown from seed with their mycorrhizal fungi being prepared for re-introduction back to their native environment. We have six regular volunteers in the laboratory including Wendy Bedggood who still manages to make it into the lab from Horsham.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Natural Values

Birds and Mice in the Grampians

February Saturday 21st 4pm

FOGGs donated some money to the Museum of Victoria some time ago to help with student research projects. Phoebe Burns and Kara Joshi are a couple of these students, working on Smoky Mouse and bird detection. They came and presented their findings to a good group of FOGGIES and other interested locals.

BIRD DETECTION METHODS

Kara’s presentation was on her work trialling a new bird detection method using an audio recorder. Currently bird surveys are carried out by live humans listening to, and looking for, birds out in the field. It is usually very accurate, but time consuming and depends on people having easy access at suitable times of day. It is hard to make it comprehensive and unbiased. Is there a way to use the technology of recording bird calls and then machine reading them? Kara set up recorders and got many hours of bird … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Autumn Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Platypus in the Wimmera River

Two related interesting articles in local papers.

April will see a survey in the McKenzie river by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority. Among others they hope to find the two baby platypuses first recorded last April, the first time in a decade that juveniles had been detected. The survey will also provide valuable information about the impact of environmental water releases in the river.

The researchers will also be trialling a new technique called eDNA  which tries to pick up traces of DNA in the water (from hairs, faeces etc) . This can indicate the presence of platypus without actually trapping them or even seeing them. At this stage it can’t pick out individuals, or how recent the activity is, but it can be a basis for where it is worth taking a closer look.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

The status of Long Nosed Potoroo in the Grampians

Mike Stevens, Grampians Wildlife Trust

The Grampians is highly significant as it is the single inland population of Long Nosed Potoroo in Victoria1. Until 2003 there was thought to be only a single population on private property at Pomonal1 with oral history existing of Potoroo visiting peoples veranda’s along at Waterhole Road.  This population was found by John Seebeck during a Christmas field trip in 1970 by members of the Mammal Survey Group of the Field Naturalists Club of the Victoria2.

Yet, in the space of only 8 years , 5 new colonies were found.

The first, in the head waters of the Glenelg River (north of Syphon Road). The second (and only two weeks later), Wimmera Reserves Ranger-in-Charge John Harris picked up a road kill on Grampians Road in the button grass heath of the Wannon Divide.  In summer 2009, the first ever widespread … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Natural Values

NATURAL VALUES NEWS

Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby

        The Moora Creek colony population has been stable for almost a year (touch wood), the last mortality was in April last year. The population is currently 7 animals. Images are retrieved weekly from a series of remote cameras that have been deployed through the release site. Image attached, female 82 who is our longest surviving wallaby (close to 8 years old!). Individual wallabies can be identified from the colour or pattern of their radio-tracking collar antennae and ear-tag.

 Quoll

      Further remote camera images have been obtained of a spotted-tail quoll. The quoll has now been detected on four separate occasions, all at the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby colony location. Parks Victoria is attempting to gain a hair-follicle sample from the quoll in order to determine where it has come from. To achieve this rangers have established cage-traps adjacent to the rock-wallaby colony and will trap periodically, will establish hair-tubes within Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Autumn Newsletter, Articles, Natural Values

ADVISORY GROUP REPORT Monday 18th March 2014

 

 

Advisory Group Meeting Minutes

 

Much of our meeting was of course fire related as we came to terms with the intensity of the fire and the damage done. But we first had a few items of business arising from the December meeting.

 

1. Recruitment process for Advisory Group:advertisements will go in local papers very soon, calling for expressions of interest. Procedures for forming a Traditional Owner Reference Group are nearing completion.

 

2. Camping:Asbestos at Staplyton campground is being cleaned up this week. Staplyton will be included in the Online booking system being rolled out. However Staplyton campground doesn’t easily align with the Grampians Peak Trail. A second campground in the Northern part of the Park would be desirable. Coppermine could be changed from an informal campground into a formal one or a private sector could run a campground on the edge of the Park whether Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Autumn Newsletter, Grampians National Park, Natural Values

HAVE YOU SPOTTED A PLATYPUS?

 

PLATYPUS SIGHTINGS

 PlatypusSPOT is an online group wanting to involve more people in reporting platypus sightings. They invite community environmental groups including Friends groups to contribute to their new website. The website will use citizen science to improve our understanding of platypus distribution and occurrence, while at the same time raising awareness of some of the conservation issues facing platypuses. If we want to improve management and conservation outcomes for the platypus we need to know more about their distribution. If you’ve been lucky enough to see a platypus, jump onto the new website (www.platypusSPOT.org) and let them know.

 

This website allows you to submit your sightings, upload a photo, viewsightings in your local area, learn about platypuses, and interact with other ‘platypusSPOTters’.

 

Human activities pose the biggest threat to the long-term health and survival of platypus populations, but with goodmanagement, conservation efforts and community engagement it’s Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Summer Newsletter, Articles, Natural Values