We’re getting organised now and you can choose your surveys and register for the Four Winds BioBlitz November 11/12th. This year our BioBlitz will be a festival of nature with music and art mixed in so it will be a lot of fun for everyone. See this website for more details and go to the Four Winds website to sign up for the music concert and photography/botanical illustration masterclasses.
Click here for the link to our new recording database NatureMapr.
You can download the easy to use app for your phone or tablet and see all our sightings as they happen. Do give it a try and tell us what you think. feedback so far is that everyone thinks it’s great – many thanks aaron Clausen the software developer who created it.
Many congratulations to Glenn Cocking(ANIC) who undertook moth surveys at our last BioBlitz in December.
This is an amazing total and a really good species list for this area.
“I have now sent the final moth report from the Wallagoot bioblitz. I think it gives a good account of the adult moths active on the nights of the Bioblitz, and a few of the Lepidoptera flying in the daytime (some moths aren’t attracted to light, and the daytime observation effort wasn’t extensive).
There was a total of 401 species observed, with 321 of them at Bournda field hut, 128 at Turingal LALC, 82 at Wallagoot West LALC, and 176 at either of the Aboriginal Land sites.
Please note the final line “Unidentified Oecophorinae” with a total of 21 species spread across the three sites. I’ve kept this line separate at the bottom so it shows these species in the site totals, but I don’t think it would be helpful to add a further 30 odd “Oecophorinae unidentified” sighting records to ALA (other opinions are possible). The Oecophorinae are a particular challenge to identify because there are many thousands of species, many are superficially similar, and a significant number have not yet been assembled into species groups at ANIC, let alone described. They are particularly important here in Australia where many of them feed on leaf litter and help decompose it before it burns, and the Australian species are the majority of the world fauna for this family. “
Everyone at the Atlas of Life would like to thank Glenn
for his great contributions – I would like to say a personal thank you for being allowed to be part of the surveys – they were spectacularly interesting. Glen also attracted much interest from school students and other BioBlitz participants as in the mornings of the BioBlitz he prepared the specimens he needed to take back to his lab for identification.
Here are the minutes of our first meeting on February 9th 2016
Present: David Jackson, Libby Hepburn, Liz Allen, David Jones, Barbara Jones, Maggie Clowes, Nick Yee, Linda Churchill, Denise Krake, Graeme Krake
Expressions of interest but not able to attend this meeting: Grant Brewer, Danie Ondinea, Paul Whittock, Diane Whittock, Kerry Vance, Olivia Forge, David McCreery, Angelika Erpic
David welcomed everyone to this first meeting to discuss the interest in establishing a regional field naturalist group. He spoke of his experience with similar organisations including the Victorian Field Naturalist club and the South Australian Field Naturalist Society. David described the activities of a farmer in SA who had become interested in invertebrates and had become sufficiently expert to write a book on Ants of the genus Camponotus. David also spoke of his experience of establishing a FNSociety in Broome – The Kimberley Field Naturalist Society, which may still be in existence today.
The group was invited to talk about their thoughts on this suggestion and their own interests. Maggie said that BioBlitzes were great, but only carried our over a couple of days and that serious scientific investigations will need repeated surveys of chosen locations if they are to be really valuable in answering many important ecological questions. She described the Eurobodalla Natural History Group which is of long standing and has regular monthly meetings as well as producing an annual report of sightings observed by members.
Graeme and Kate talked about their work with the Healesville wildlife sanctuary and would be happy to be part of something locally here. Graeme suggested not setting up another group but meeting informally at least to begin with.
Barbara cautioned about the activities seeming too scientific for ordinary people. We need to offer things at a level that will attract the general community.
Linda’s interests are soils including microbiology and she would be interested in coring the beds of local estuaries. David jones would like to see regular botanical surveys of Bournda Nature Reserve. Maggie knows of a property near her own, at CooribarNP which is of difficult access, but which has a different rich diversity of birds to her own property. It would be interesting to compare the two.
Other suggestions for possible activities of a FNG: • short courses on survey methodologies to develop the skills base of the group
• regular visiting speakers such as the Canberra Ornithological Group when they come for their regular surveys, or Steve Sass & colleagues
• Danie Ondinea suggests seagrass surveys of our estuaries using a dronePat Hutchins 1980’s surveys of invertebrates in Merimbula Lake could be revisited
• Maggie’s land surveys • Four Winds have requested Atlas of Life help to develop baseline data for their property
• surveys associated with the Bundian Way Discussion around how best to establish a group.
No one had enthusiasm for setting up another organisation at this stage, so it was decided that David Jackson and Libby would put together a calendar of activities for a year and we would see from the levels of interest and engagement what we might do in the future. For the moment the group will operate under the auspices of the Atlas of Life and a further meeting on the subject of the establishment of a FN group was not scheduled at this time.
At our “Celebration of Science” in 2013, organised by the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness, CSIRO colleague Jim Peacock, a former Chief Scientist of Australia and a past President of the Australian Academy of Science, told the audience that they probably didn’t recognise just how good a scientist Dane was and that in our midst was an outstanding scientist with an international reputation; Jim is certainly well qualified to make that assessment and it did open our eyes to some of the achievements of this humble man.
Dane’s initial interest in science and botany were stimulated by childhood rambling around in bushland on the small farm he grew up on near Northmead in Sydney. He couldn’t do biology at school as he was already doing physics and chemistry so his initial contact with the biological sciences was during university when he was able to study botany and zoology. At the end of 1956 having finished final exams at Sydney University, Dane Wimbush and Jim Peacock took a holiday student’s job in the Snowy Mountains at Island Bend, assisting Dr Alec Costin with his ecological work. Dane stayed on with Alec after graduation and joined the Alpine Ecology Section in the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry.
Initially Dane’s work concentrated on the damage that had occurred to alpine and subalpine ecosystems over a century of grazing and autumn burning. Concurrently a study of the hydrology of sphagnum bogs was undertaken and this led to a master’s thesis, submitted in 1970. Among other things the work involved monitoring the recovery of vegetation after grazing and burning ceased in 1958, and included sediment sampling from the bottom of Blue Lake. The impacts of grazing were clearly reflected in the increased sedimentation rates, established using carbon dating of the sediments. Other studies included: runoff and soil loss from alpine and subalpine vegetation; snow surveys within the Guthega catchment; grazing trials; and surveying for, and co-authoring Kosciuszko Alpine Flora, which is now in its 2nd edition. His last seven years before retirement involved a co-operative study with the CSIRO Division of Wildlife on the effects of rabbits on snowgum woodland & subalpine frost hollows near Kiandra.
Dane had an exquisite understanding of the vegetation dynamics and ecology of the high country and he never stopped working to protect our fragile alpine environments from the damage caused by wild horses and other impacts. Dane was a firm opponent of the reintroduction of alpine grazing; decades of field work and monitoring meant he fully understood the destruction that would ensue. One of the great benefits of Dane’s precise and accurate long term studies of Australian alpine vegetation is that we have a magnificent baseline data set to assess the impacts of climate change on the alpine area.
After retiring he undertook vegetation mapping from satellite imagery across the southern half of NSW for the NPWS and later acted as a consultant on the Snowy Water Enquiry. Another smaller job was to search for threatened and endangered species along the Alpine Way below Dead Horse Gap. In most of this work his wife Robyn assisted; in all things they were great partners.
During their life at Waste Point, they both learned to fly and took great delight in showing friends the Alps from above. Jindabyne Dam started filling in about 1966 and they started sailing dinghies on the rising waters. Dane became Commodore of the Lake Jindabyne Yacht Club and raced against Robyn, each with one of their two kids as crew. This started a long love affair with boats, culminating in buying a cruising yacht and sailing to Tasmania and the Whitsundays before down-sizing to a trailer sailor.
In recent years Dane was involved with the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness, and catalogued many plant and animal species encountered on the Far South Coast. He also acted as a moderator, ensuring the integrity of data flowing into the CSIRO Atlas of Living Australia. Dane supported environmental education activities and established a herbarium for Bournda Environmental Education Centre; he also participated in the digitisation of that resource which is now online.
Dane was a committed conservationist who devoted much time and energy into the long term campaign to protect our natural heritage. He brought to that work a fine analytical mind and wealth of scientific knowledge.
As a man of science, he helped us to understand better our precious alpine areas. His work is influential and substantial and will continue to inspire others.
Dane was a lovely man and a great contributor and will be sorely missed by Robyn, his family and his friends throughout the world.
A tribute written by Doug Reckord and echoed by all of us who were fortunate to know and work with Dane – a good life – lived to the full.
For the Atlas, Dane was a great contributor and moderator – a scientist who shared all his passion and expertise with his community of friends.
Tiny, charming & elusive, the Peacock Spider is dancing up a storm on the Sapphire Coast.
Known for their brilliant blue colours and elaborate courtship dances which can last up to 2 hours, the male Peacock Spider is a creature we’re hoping will make an appearance at Wallagoot BioBlitz on December 4 and 5th.
The species is endemic to Australia and part of the jumping spider clan, but at 4 to 5 mm, it’s so small that most of us don’t see it.
Canberra man Stuart Harris has been chasing them for years after snapping one while bushwalking in Namadgi National Park. The photo attracted the attentions of global specialist Dr Jurgen Otto, who believed it may be a new species. Fast forward, and Stuart is a pioneer researcher of this remarkable little arachnid. He’s one of around 40 experts leading bound for Bournda National Park to lead expeditions to survey wildlife and celebrate citizen science.
The nature of citizen science is that anyone can join in and team up with experts to broaden our knowledge of the world around us.
It’s fun too, you can learn ways to study animals up close without harming them, lure them with pre-recorded calls, make various traps to record prints or hair and good old fashioned foraging.
Expeditions will target reptiles, shorebirds, mammals, birds and frogs at all hours of the day and night. Basecamp will be set up in the heart of Bournda National Park.
Organiser Libby Hepburn said the far south coast arm of the BioBlitz movement, Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness, is at the forefront of BioBlitz’s in Australia. A similar event at Mimosa Rocks last year recorded 1008 species pushing the database to over 11,500 since it was created four years ago.
“(Bournda) in between Tathra and Merimbula, is a important site for the history of our region. We will also be searching for sea centipedes and other marine creatures, birds during the morning chorus and spotlighting during the evening for gliders and frogs.”
Ecologist Steve Sass (On the Perch aviaries at Tathra) is the key ecologist for the BioBlitz and will lead the mammals, birds and frogs expeditions.
“What makes Bioblitzes such inspiring events for everyone who wants to learn more about the mysteries of nature is this special chance to work with people who are both knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects,” Libby said.
“Interested people can register for surveys online, and we’d love to welcome you to explore, enjoy, learn lots and make a valuable contribution all at the same time.”
Browse and register for surveys http://bit.ly/bioblitzbournda
Thanks to Sarah Chenhall for this blog from Sapphire Coast Tourism
Our judges, Max, David and Graeme have been deliberating with difficulty who shall be the winners of this year’s photocompetition. We will be announcing the winners and exhibiting the winning photos at Basecamp at Bournda during the BioBlitz on December 4th and 5th.
Once again the standard has been commended by the judges and there has been a very interesting range of images entered. Thank you and congratulations to everyone who has taken part.
Weather permitting there will be hazard reduction burns in the Bodall Forest Park next week May 25 – 30th. A couple of weeks later, we may be lucky enough to see some amazing “fire fungi” and orchids.
Teresa Van Der Heul is offering to take walks (one or two) to explore and share her knowledge of the phenomena of post-fire fungi and plants. “It could be a very interesting time this year as there has been a lot of rain, so conditions will be good’, says Teresa.
If you are interested in joining a walk, could you let us know if you would prefer a weekday or week-end. We will decide on the final details when we know the burns have happened and what the majority preferences are.
Please contact Liz Allen if you are interested. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 0434 375 568
Meanwhile Teresa has found a couple of articles to whet your interest on the subject from WA, but Teresa says most species mentioned should be found here too.
The beautiful and impressive eagle sculpture at Panboola was stolen last year and we are hoping to raise sufficient funds to replace it.
Will you help return the Spirit of the Eagle to Panboola?
You can help us achieve this dream!
Simply go to www.pozible.com/panboolaeagle choose your pledge and reward or just make a donation. Ever little bit counts and is greatly appreciated. Currently the
campaign has raised 20% of the required funds – with only 18 days to go, we need your help to reach our target of $6500
Return the eagle spirit to Panboola by Pambula Wetlands & Heritage Project Inc
We need your help to return the guardian eagle spirit to Pambula Wetlands.
Landcare NSW and Pozible have partnered to create the new crowdfunding category on the global crowdfunding site www.pozible.com/landcare The recently launched Landcare & Environment Collection on the crowdfunding site Pozible has so far successfully raised $194,181 for independent, local and international Landcare and environmental projects.
Thanks for your support and please share this with your friends.
PO Box 614
Merimbula NSW 2548
Ph: 6495 0422
Mob: 0427 583 055
It has been a roller coaster year with so many things happening, including two Bioblitzes in six months!
We had outr AGM last week and all agreed it is time to take stock of what we have achieved and consider what goals we set ourselves and what project we would like to undertake in the next year/18 months.
We would very much like your contributions to this discussion, so please join us at Bournad Environmental Education Centre on December 9th at 3pm, or, if you can’t make that, please send ideas and comments to Libby at : email@example.com