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A plant out of place – the Beach Almond

A weed, they say, is a plant out of place.  Well, the Beach almond (Terminalia catappa) a.k.a. Indian almond or Tropical almond is out of place on Fraser Island.  (more…)

The future of waste on K’gari

Since the last FINIA meeting, the Fraser Coast Regional Council has been dealing with submissions on the Future of Fraser Island Waste.  FINIA and FIDO both made submissions with long-term resident, David Anderson representing FINIA at the Council’s Fraser Coast Future Waste Forums held on K’gari.  (more…)

The Great Easter Cassia Blitz of 2018!

The idea of a Blitz near Happy Valley while the Easter Cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) was flowering might have been my idea. However, the credit for the success of the Cassia Blitz goes to FIDO’s John Sinclair and Peter Shooter who organised the week-long event and to BMRG (Burnett Mary Regional Group) who funded it. (more…)

The Tale of a Drunk Dingo!

We know that dingoes eat figs to supplement their diet. But what happens when they have a belly-full of fermenting fruit?  Can they over-imbibe and become inebriated like the parrots?  It seems they can. They might stagger around a bit, but at least they don’t fall out of trees! (more…)

We need you for the Easter Cassia Blitz!

Cassia photos 4-09 009

Flowing Easter Cassia

29th April to 5th May 2018

Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO), Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance (FINIA) and the Fraser Island Association (FIA) are collaborating on a joint assault on Easter Cassia when it is in full flower and easier to locate.

Additional volunteers are invited to join this program register Email John Sinclair or sign on at the Happy Valley sign shelter at 7.00 am Monday to Friday 30 April to 4 May.

 

 

Easter Cassia is easiest to locate when it is flowering. This Joint blitz aims at reducing the worst infestation on Fraser Island (K’gari)

Where Have All The Birds Gone?

In the last FINIA newsletter, FIDO’s John Sinclair raised concerns about the apparent diminishing number of birds on Fraser Island.  He points to the evidence provided by a group of bird watchers who recorded 65 species of birds in a trip across the island in a 24-hour period in November 1968.  John said that over five days at Easter on the island this year he managed to see or hear only 20 species through the bush and on the beach.

John asked the question: where have the island’s birds gone? Without being too smart, I could say … to the Anderson bird baths at Eurong. (more…)

A little landscaping improves the natural integrity

Back in 2011, FINIA had a dilemma about how to use the nursery-raised plants using island genetic stock that needed planting out.  It was resolved to plant them at the western entrance to Eurong as a demonstration garden.  (more…)

FINIA Meeting held on Fraser Island (K’gari)

The March 2017 FINIA meeting, which was on held on Fraser Island, provided an excellent opportunity for the members of FINIA to see first-hand the work being undertaken on the island by teams of FIDO volunteers (supported by BMRG through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme), the Fraser Island Association [FIA], and the Fraser Coast Regional Council with the support of Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service.  (more…)

Propagating Natives instead of Weeds

Since Fraser Island’s World Heritage nomination was prepared 25 years ago, the number of identified weeds has grown from 40 to 200.  Most of the additions to the weed list are garden escapees or alien grasses and pasture plants.

Most of these alien grasses and pasture plants have arrived on K’Gari as hitchhiking seeds stuck in the under-bodies of vehicles that haven’t been cleaned adequately before going to the island, or in the luggage and freight brought inside those vehicles by island visitors.  This is evident by the fact that the epicentres for the invasion of almost all of the grasses and pasture plants, such as Green Panic and Siratro, are in the township or camping reserves.  By diligence, we are whittling away at these weeds that arrived essentially as stowaways.

A more difficult challenge is countering the weeds that were deliberately taken to Fraser Island as garden plants.  Landholders sought to establish hardy plants that could thrive on the island with little care or attention when they were absent for long periods.  Thus they came up with a group of plants that were ideal to survive if they got loose in the Fraser Island bush.   Roses and many of the more classic garden plants just can’t survive on Fraser Island.  However, garden plants like Clivias, Coral Creeper, Singapore Daisy, Easter Cassia, Mother-in-Law’s Tongues, Glory Lily, Mother of Millions and Fish-bone Ferns, which looked attractive around the houses and required little care, all escaped their garden enclosures and ran riot on the island.  Because these plants are so hardy they are now very difficult to eradicate.

seed collecting

Coolum-based volunteer, Suzanne Wilson, gathering seed for the Eurong QPWS nursery. These are attractive plants that can be grown by Fraser Island landholders

Landholders are being encouraged to plant and cultivate attractive native plants.  However, sourcing those plants has been a major problem. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has a nursery, but lacks the staff to operate it as a supplier of plants on demand to landholders who are told not to take any plants at all onto the island.

Now, as another FINIA collaboration, FIDO and the Fraser Island Association are building up a stock of plants to entice landholders to opt to grow natives that are grown from seed collected on the island, and which, with a little tender loving care to establish them, can do just as well as the weeds we are working to eliminate.  As well as purchasing pots and other nursery supplies, FIDO has been scrounging cleaned used pots and recruited a very experienced seed collector to help build up the nursery.

The resorts at Eurong and Happy Valley have set the tone by purging their properties of weeds and establishing wonderful rich gardens of natives.   FIDO is prepared to cooperate with other landholders to replace exotic plants with plants from the Eurong Nursery as part of a long-term strategy to reduce weeds on Fraser Island.

John Sinclair (AO), FIDO

Using Bufo Toxin to Control Cane Toads

An innovative scientific trial using cane toads’ own defense mechanism (bufo toxin) against their own spawn could bring about the eradication of these pests from Fraser Island. (more…)