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Bitou Bush Surveillance UAV trial

Bitou bush has the ability to out compete and smother native coastal dune vegetation.  Infestations within the Great Sandy National Park have been dramatically reduced since the 1980’s, with only isolated plants being found in the field today.

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A Whole Lot of Rubbish

The Queensland Government is currently considering the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017.  While strongly supporting the Bill for what it may do for waste reduction generally, its implications for Fraser Island were not immediately apparent until I began working on a submission to the Parliamentary Committee reviewing it. Two key features of the proposed legislation are a ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags and the introduction of a container refund scheme for Queensland. (more…)

NAIDOC Celebrated K’Gari Style

Eurong (place of rain) was the gathering place for recent NAIDOC celebrations hosted by QPWS Butchulla rangers who proudly organised an informative session and displayed an array of traditional hunting tools, beautifully painted implements, artefacts and local bush tucker for participants to enjoy. (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…)

Fraser Island Pandanus Rescue

Joel Fostin has launched Fraser Island’s first ever crowd-sourcing campaign. Can you help?

Fraser Island (K’Gari) has suffered catastrophic losses. Up to 50% of the east coast’s Pandanus have perished (approximately 50,000 plants).  A further 20% are likely perish without intervention within the next two months. Preserving the remaining Pandanus is crucial for successful natural regeneration, and vital for the many species of wildlife that rely on them for food and habitat.  The Pandanus on Fraser Island (K’Gari) need help right now.   (more…)

Round Island Weeding Update

Round Island is managed by Fraser Coast Regional Council.  Because of the island’s close proximity to the mainland, it is frequently visited by both locals and tourists.

Two trips (26 July & 23 September 2016) have been made to Round Island this year, the first by two council officers, twelve Lower Mary River Landcare (LMRL) members and community volunteers and a group of twelve from Conservation Volunteers Australia. The second trip included council officers and volunteers with chemical spray certificates (AC/DC) as the trip targeted weeds that required chemical treatment.

These one-day weeding efforts, conducted over the last 4 years, have resulted in a highly significant benefit to this very small, coral sand island of dunal system environment. With the assistance of Juliet Musgrave, her skills and knowledge, the identification of some of the native plants (e.g. Octopus Bush) on Round Island demonstrates that this area is the overlap of vegetation zones on the coast between sub-tropical and tropical. To date, more than 30 native plants have been identified and registered, and the list grows each visit the group makes. (more…)

Weed of the Month – Easter Cassia

Cassia photos 4-09 009

Flowing Easter Cassia

Easter cassia, Senna pendula var. glabrata, is native to South America. The shrubs are easy to spot this time of year as they are in flower. This weed is not classified under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002; however, it is classified as an environmental weed by the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

It is a successful invader to disturbed sites. Its main distribution on Fraser Island is at Eurong and Happy Valley, with small patches found at Indian Head, Orchid Beach, Sandy Cape and Moon Point. Easter cassia is controlled both chemically and physically. Methods include stump cutting, foliar spray, basal bark spraying and hand pulling small plants. There is no known biological control, but Easter cassia is intolerant of fires. For further information, go to: www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au.

Green Army Battles for K’Gari’s Natural Integrity

Work is underway in Fraser Island World Heritage area by the first 9-person Green Army team, which includes three young Butchulla men. Despite encountering hold-ups in gaining approval for overnight residence on the island, as well as delays in beginning training, the Green Army team is being kept busy with the important tasks of removing rubbish, lantana, groundsel and other weeds from the main entry road near the Wanggoolba ferry landing, and lantana control in Dundubara creek.

As they return each week as part of their six-month program, every member of the team is gaining a greater familiarity with Fraser Island (K’gari) and personally benefitting from the training and experience they are receiving. As part of their work, the Green Army team has received training in safe chemical use, as well as fencing construction and deconstruction. They have been using these new skills to contribute to K’gari’s natural integrity.

It is hoped that as the program progresses, the productivity of future teams will benefit from overcoming the challenges that any new partnership arrangement must face (especially for an area as significant as the Fraser Island World Heritage Area). In this way, we hope that the CVA Green Army teams will be an ongoing presence on Fraser Island and will be able to make an even greater contribution to weed and erosion control in some very critical areas of K’Gari.

A Little More about Pandanus Dieback

By now I’m sure the vast majority of the readers of the FINIA newsletter are aware of the Pandanus dieback occurring in Pandanus populations in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, and the severe dieback currently occurring on Fraser Island. Many will also be aware of the leafhopper primarily responsible for the dieback (Jamella australiae). (more…)