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Field assessment of the impact of the K’gari wildfire on ecological values, particularly vegetation communities, was undertaken from 31 January to 12 February by the Department of Environment and Science ecologists, local Rangers, and Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation staff.(more…)
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February – the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the city of Ramsar (Iran) in 1971. 2021 marks an incredible fifty years since the signing of the convention.(more…)
On 14 October, campers in the Ngkala Rocks vicinity left an unextinguished campfire at their campsite in the North of the Island. A raging South Easter was blowing. The coals reignited, fanned by the wind, and the fire spread into the adjacent vegetation. That was the start of the calamity.(more…)
Lighthouse keepers manned Sandy Cape Lighthouse between 1870 and 1997. Like many lighthouses in remote locations, supplies came in, but nothing left the site, with rubbish dumped ‘over the hill.’ With only tank water, hardy plants were introduced by keepers. Many of these survived and escaped, spreading out over 1Km radius.(more…)
Reporting on the 8th Biennial K’gari (Fraser Island) Conference(more…)
Great Sandy Strait is already listed as a Ramsar Wetland of International Significance, but along with Cooloola, it is has been nominated for inclusion on Australia’s National Heritage list as well as the World Heritage Tentative List. Great Sandy Strait and its natural integrity are vitally important to Fraser Island. There is now a groundswell of public concern over the future of Great Sandy Strait if the proposed Colton coal mine proceeds, as it currently has approval to do. (more…)
Led by FIDO, a huge Fraser Island (K’Gari) BioBlitz from 28 November to 4 December will bring together experts from many areas of biology to carry out a stocktake of the natural resources of the World Heritage island.
Based at the Dilli Village Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre, the BioBlitz is being well supported by the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and FINIA.
The study area extends from the ocean beach to Lake Birrabeen, covering all six dune systems and encompassing most ecosystem types from heathlands, tall forests, swamps, fens and perched dune lakes except for the estuarine environments. It is hoped to achieve more by maintaining a tight and intense focus on this particular study area rather than an island wide hunt.
The study area is very accessible with a number of tracks through it that will allow scientists to easily access representative places of interest.
Several papers were published recently (2016) that may be of interest to FINIA readers including a review of coastal dunefield evolution in SEQ, Ground Penetrating Radar observations in the Great Sandy National Park (including Moon Point),patterns of phylogenetic diversity in subtropical rainforests, and the diet and body condition of Fraser Island dingoes. Details and links are provided below. (more…)
A BioBlitz on Fraser Island (K’gari) has moved a few steps closer to reality with FIDO setting the proposed dates for the Blitz as 28 November – 4 December 2016. However, before FIDO can launch the promotion for the BioBlitz, which is supported by FINIA, the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, supplementary funding is required to engage a coordinator to liaise with scientists and other participants and retrieve the vital data collected. At this stage, FIDO is only issuing advance warning to alert people to the proposed BioBlitz event: Beach to Boomanjin and Birrabeen.
Details of Beach to Boomanjin and Birrabeen
Fraser Island (K’Gari) is inscribed on the World Heritage list because of its biological, geomorphological and aesthetic values; however, much more biological research is needed to know the extent of K’gari’s natural resources, with a BioBlitz of a discrete part of Fraser Island standing to add greatly to the ecological understanding of this site.
The BioBlitz, which is to be based at Dilli Village, aims to bring together teams of entomologists, botanists, ornithologists, zoologists, herpetologists and other specialist groups (fishes, fungi, etc.) to scour the study area. Each team will develop its own program and modus operandi. It is expected that the team leader will be responsible for compiling a report of the team’s findings to add to the existing data banks being built at USC.
FIDO is seeking to appoint a coordinator before this project can proceed. The coordinator will recruit specialist scientists from a range of disciplines to study the defined research area, which covers a diversity of habitats, to develop an inventory of the natural resources and species within that area. FIDO will also recruit volunteers as necessary to assist scientists and specialists logistically.
The study area includes samples of all six dune systems, including Dune System 4 east of Lake Birrabeen and Dune Systems 5 and 6 in the vicinity of the Boomanjin airstrip. In addition, the area includes three large perched dune lakes, two creeks and a number of old swamps, as well as various forest types. It will be a broad transect of a wide range of ecotypes, from the beach through the foredunes and the freshwater aquatic environments of Govi and Gerrawea Creeks. It will also enable comparison between mined and unmined areas in both the foredune and hind dune areas. It will include the large peat swamp, with its flarks and fens, never before studied in detail.
Dilli Village has accommodation for up to 60 people, as well as a large camping area and 24-hour 240V power, which may be needed for some equipment. It also has a large meeting area. There will be opportunities at Dilli Village each night for the various teams to compare notes and share observations of their field work.
John Sinclair (AO), FIDO
In this FIDO Backgrounder, rhyme describes the nexus between K’Gari’s soil formation and vegetation types.
John Sinclair (AO), FIDO