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Have you got what it takes to be a Weed Spotter?

The cost of weeds to Australian agriculture now exceeds $4 billion per year. No estimate has been made of the cost of weeds to the environment, but environmental biosecurity is a rapidly developing area.  Prevention and early intervention are the most cost-effective means of dealing with potential, new and emerging weeds in Queensland.

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Inaugural John Sinclair Memorial Lecture

A year after losing Fearless Leader and friend of Fraser Island (K’gari), Dr John Sinclair AO, his legacy continues through the work of FIDO and the members of FINIA. 

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Community, Culture, Collaboration and Conversations

Reporting on the 8th Biennial K’gari (Fraser Island) Conference

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Getting Together on K’gari

FINIA was founded on K’gari in 2005 and meeting on the island at least once a year has become an important part of the group’s calendar.  Aside from the opportunity to spend some time looking at the issues and progress on-ground, it also provides an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to the island, share knowledge, meet new partners and discuss approaches as we face emerging challenges – like myrtle rust and visitor management.  The 2019 trip, held on 7-8 May, was no exception. 

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‘Snap Up Some Paradise’ photo competition

The ‘Snap Up Some Paradise’ photo competition celebrates the 25th anniversary of Fraser Island’s (K’gari) inscription on the World Heritage List. (more…)

Butchulla Celebration Day at Central Station

On the 28 of October, 2017, a Butchulla Celebration Day was held at Central Station, K’gari to mark the third anniversary of the Butchulla Peoples’ Native Title Consent Determination on 24 October, 2014.

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Time, Tide and Tourism Conference

Never underestimate the power of sharing knowledge – especially when it comes to a World Heritage property.

One hundred people attended the 7th Biennial (Time, Tide and Tourism) Conference at the University of the Sunshine Coast Sippy Downs in August.  Like the previous six conferences there was much informal interaction between the attendees, all of whom have a strong interest in K’gari.  While some of the issues discussed such as managing K’gari’s invasive species are perennial topics, it was helpful for the audience to gain an insight into the progress being made and the on-going effort required.  (more…)

Find a Frog in February!

Community assistance is needed to find out where our frogs are living from Burrum Heads south to Peregian and west to Conondale Range, Kilkivan and Mt Walsh. Frogs are a vital component of ecosystems and can be good indicators of environmental health. But they are in trouble world-wide due to habitat loss, pollution and disease and we need to know more about where they are. (more…)

Fraser Island to be BioBlitzed by Scientists

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.

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A BioBlitz for Fraser Island

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.

BioBlitz study area

The proposed study area will include a diverse range of ecotypes, including all 6 dune system types

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