As lockdown continues here in our region, I hope this newsletter finds you getting through okay.
Disappointingly the COVID restrictions have limited our gatherings, working bees and events. Fingers crossed that group activities will be back on the cards soon. I had been really enjoying catching up with groups and I know that working bees have been a source of joy for many of you, to come together and work to look after your local patch.
I would like to acknowledge the hard work of several groups who have been successful in their applications for grant funding. Barrabaroo and Yowrie Landcare both have projects funded through the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery grant - you can read more here. At Far South Coast Landcare we have attracted some funding from the same stream to expand our native seedbank, so please get in contact to let us know how the seedbank can support your upcoming revegetation projects.
BRAWL (Bega River and Wetlands Landcare) have also been funded through the NSW Environmental Trust to continue their wonderful work along the Bega River. Please keep in mind there are still many grant funding opportunities open and I am here to support your groups to apply for funds for your projects.
During these crazy COVID times, nature continues to provide solace and grounding. We have had some rain and plenty of sunshine, the wildflowers are putting on some beautiful displays of colour and whales can be spotted from our shorelines as they head South. In D'harawal country to our North, this time of year is called Wiritjiribin. It is marked by cold and windy conditions. The Indignenous weather calendar tells us that during this time lyrebirds are calling in the bush as the males build their dancing mounds hoping to attract mates. At the end of Wiritjiriban the wattle flowers of Boo'kerrikin (Acacia decurrens) indicate to the D'harawal people the end of the cold, windy weather and the beginning of the gentle spring rains.
I know many of us don't have much appetite for extra screen time but there have been some amazing webinars and on-line events lately, I have put links to some of these below. In particular, during science week the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness, in partnership with Bournda Environmental Education Centre, ran a terrific series of events centered on citizen science and threatened species here on the Far South Coast, you can catch up on these talks here.
Warm greetings, Jess
Local Landcare Coordinator
Far South Coast Landcare Association
Ph: 02 6494 7856
Mob: 0477 063 920
Old Plumb Motors Office
69-71 Auckland St Bega
(I work Wed, Thurs and Fri)
I made this silly photo of me with a Glossy Black Cockatoo on my head using one of a range of filters the NSW DPIE have released to mark Threatened Species Day (07 Sept) and Biodiversity Month. Their aim is to raise the profile of threatened species on social media and allow users to share the love for our native plants and animals. You can have a go yourself on instagram or facebook.
|Wallaga Heights Care
In the midst of the chaos and anxiety that many of us experienced during the bushfires of January 2020, a group of neighbours at Wallaga Heights came together to support each other. Although rains eventually came and the risk of bushfire eased, the group of neighbours vowed to build on the cooperation and information sharing that had served them well over the summer and they have formed a Landcare group, calling themselves 'Heights Care'.
The group of keen volunteers have turned their attention to the reserve that fronts onto the estuary at Wallaga Lake Heights. When COVID restrictions allow it, the group meets for weekly working bees to control weeds and regenerate the foreshore area with native plant species. The group has been supported by Bega Valley Shire Council with a Community Environment Grant. Like many Landcare volunteers, the Heights Care members have been enjoying the social interaction and shared sense of purpose that working together to look after their local land and water brings. The group has also developed a great webpage that explains their focus and their work.
Farewell Stuart Cameron
Local botanist, founding member and stalwart of Bermagui Dunecare Stuart Cameron is leaving the shire. Stuart has made an amazing contribution to land management in our region and has put enormous skill and energy into rehabilitating the area around Cuttagee Head.
Stuart was also the long running project officer on the Coastal Weeds project and has played a very large role in keeping our coastlines pristine and healthy. We thank Stuart for all his hard work, skills, enthusiasm and contribution, and we wish him well as he heads further North to Narooma.
The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness turns 10!
It is 10 years since a passionate group of naturalists and citizen scientists on the Far South Coast launched the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness.
Happy Birthday Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness!
Over the past decade the Atlas has held many wonderful events and have been central to an impressive range of citizen science projects that document and discover more about the incredible array of plants and animals here in our region. This long term community project has created an amazing database that showcases our local biodiversity. Each of us can be involved in this great community project by adding sitings of local species (plant, insect, bird, sea slug, fungus - any living thing!) onto the iNaturalist platform. It is a great way to get a correct identification of a species of interest to you and to connect with other keen naturalists locally and across the world.
The Atlas has a great range of resources and information on their website. To learn more head here.
OzFish x Landcare NSW Partnership
Have you heard of Ozfish? OzFish Unlimited are a relatively new not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping recreational fishers to look after rivers, lakes and estuaries and in doing so, improve fish habitat.
OzFish Unlimitied have joined forces with Landcare NSW to support local communities across NSW to improve their local waterways. The partnership centers on local groups working together to determine their waterway's fish habitat needs and then designing and implementing projects to improve it. This project has been running for about a year and in this time the partnership has achieved around $1million worth of habitat restoration works. You can read about the various projects here.
OzFish Unlimitied are looking to fund and support projects on waterways on the Far South Coast. Under the guidance of the OzFish team and with assistance from Landcare, groups can devise a range of projects including re-snagging, re-planting, fencing, weeding, fish monitoring and clean-ups. If you want to know more or have a great project idea, please get in touch!
Spot a Cocky: Gang-gangs and Glossies
Two of our beloved cockatoo species, the Gang-Gang and the Glossy Black, are declining and our help is needed to document and protect them. Local citizen scientists have teamed up with researchers from the ACT in a project to map and better understand the nesting behaviors of these two bird species. The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness is putting the call out for locals to record sightings of either Gang-gangs or glossies on iNaturalist.
To learn more and get involved please head to the Gang-Gang and Glossie Black pages.
Glossy Black Cockatoos 📷: Mick Bettanin
The Science of Nest Boxes
Does your Landcare group have nest boxes in place? Have you ever wondered about the need for more hollows in the landscape or how we can best design and install boxes to support threatened local animals who are dependent on hollows? During Science week there was a great talk about the science of nest boxes by expert Dr Susan Rhind. I learned that keeping nestboxes cool is critically important and that this can be achieved by designing and building nestboxes that are insulated and pale in colour to deflect the sun, and positioned to avoid the hot afternoon sun from the West.
You can catch-up on the talk here and Dr Rhind has kindly provided some great notes on how to make good nest boxes.
NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust - Conservation on Private Land
Do you want to know more about conservation agreements on private land? The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is running online Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA) sessions in September.
These sessions will explain the process of establishing a biodiversity stewardship agreement (BSA). BSAs generate biodiversity credits which can be sold to interested parties. The information sessions will assist attendees by identifying if a BSA is an opportunity, explain the steps involved in establishing a BSA, define who is involved and in what way, detail the benefits and risks, and clarify the ongoing management and obligations associated with a BSA. There are sessions for interested landholders on Wednesday 15th and Friday 17th September.
Registrations are essential so book your spot here!
We have two new seedbank officers at Far South Coast Landcare, many of you will be familiar with Merryn Carey and Jens Birchall in their capacity as local nursery operator and bush regeneration contractor. Merryn and Jens have started in their new roles and would love to hear from Landcare groups to plan for locations and species to target to meet revegetation project needs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the grant funding this additional seed bank capacity we are hoping to deliver some native seed collection and plant propagation workshops. If your Landcare group would be interested in attending or hosting one of these workshops (when COVID restrictions allow) please email me with your EOI!
As a consequence of these COVID times, there is a veritable smorgasbord of information sessions, events and webinars on-line. Many are held in real time and are recorded so you can catch up later if you missed a session. There have been some great and relevant sessions if you are looking for something interesting to watch. Here are a few I can highly recommend.
You can watch any of the sessions that were held over this two day event in early August here. There is an amazing variety of talks that were aligned in four streams; Sustainable Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Landcare Impact and Community Partnerships.
I really enjoyed the plenary talk by ANU's Prof David Lindenmeyer on Natural Asset Farming. Slides here and talk here.
There is still a fair bit of grant money available under various streams at the moment. I am here to help support your group to find and secure grant funding that fits in with your strategic plans for the sites you work on. I encourage you to please give me a call to look at different funding options available and how I can support you through the grant application process.