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Conservation Versus Visitation

National parks were established in Queensland to protect the state’s natural heritage. This ethos continues to be at the heart of why protected area estates are established and managed around the world. For the past several decades in Australia, new areas for national parks have been identified and gazetted affording protection to threatened species and ecosystems. As the protected area estate in Queensland grows, so do the pressures and threats putting these unique areas at risk. In parallel, visitors in some parks are increasing, placing further pressure on park staff and infrastructure. This article explores why national parks are protected – for conservation or for visitors to enjoy? (more…)

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

Progress With The George Haddock Memorial Walk

John Bristow, National Parks Association of Queensland
We have not been communicating very regularly lately. Now is the time to give you an update and refresh your memory on the background of this vision. We have almost completed the EIS for this George Haddock Track as it is being labelled in the report. (more…)