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Category Archives: Wildlife Management

Seasonal Migration… and those that stay

It’s that time again! The humpback whale annual migration is heading south and the marine turtle courting and breeding season begins – ­where adult courting males and nesting females return to their birthplace from areas hundreds of kilometres abroad.

While these migratory breeding cycles increase whale and turtle populations, sadly, some individuals remain and become part of the island’s food-web providing extra sustenance for terrestrial scavengers including the island’s apex predators. (more…)

Watch Out For Rat Birds!

Please be on the lookout for Indian myna birds (or if you have watched “cloudy with a chance of meatballs”- Ratbirds) as several have been sighted on Fraser Island.  (more…)

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…)

Eyes All Around – ‘SNAP’ gotcha!

Trail cameras are an integral part of protected area management throughout the world and a useful tool where resources for field observations are limited. Within the Great Sandy National Park, cameras are utilised and applied to the management of threatened fauna species, feral animal activity, compliance and dingo conservation. The process of going through the images can be long and at times surprising, but the rewards are worth it. (more…)

This one’s for the birds…

During the first field trip by the Maryborough and Bundaberg Wildlife Branches to Fraser Island (K’gari) in November 1968, in 24 hours the group positively identified 65 species of birds.  Admittedly, the trip was led by outstanding naturalist and keen birdo, Eric Zillman.

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The final straw – a subject for deflation

Stranded wildlife is continually washed up on coastal and island regions throughout the state and a routine part of coastal ranger business. A variety of species, from marine mammals, turtles and birds, are routinely recorded by QPWS staff and volunteers. In most instances this allows for reporting of cause and trends to advise management of best possible practice and influence legislation, such as concerning go slow zones and fisheries.

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Mibir (turtle) nesting and hatching on K’gari

Marine turtle season is coming to an end. The adult courting males and nesting females have returned to their home areas from hundreds of kilometres abroad, and hatchlings are emerging from their underground incubation period to embark on their life journey. Only 1 in 1000 make it to maturity, around 35–50 years old.

North Fraser Island (K’gari) has a small turtle rookery with a seasonal night driving curfew, where green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) court and breed, and females deposit their precious cargo of eggs into the dunes before leaving the young to their fate. These eggs (over 70%) also provide seasonal food resources for wildlife, including dingoes.  (more…)

Central Station Small Mammal Survey

sedgefrogs

Cooloola sedgefrogs (Litoria cooloolensis) image taken by Harry Hines ©

During the recent acoustic recorder deployment on K’gari, fellow colleague, amphibian expert and all round authority on Queensland’s plants and animals, Harry Hines joined Linda Behrendorff and Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff in an opportunity to do some small mammal capture and release in the Central Station area. They were rewarded with a good number of captures that included the usual visitors, Fawn-footed melomys (M. Cervinipes), Bush rat (R. fuscipes) and Yellow-footed antechinus (A. Flavipes). Both antechinus females had pouches indicating recent young.

The team also took the opportunity to pull the rarely used harp trap out of its hiding hole in the NRM shed, recording two Eastern long-eared micro bats (Nyctophilus bifax). This was followed up by a Wangoolba boardwalk survey sighting melomys and rattus species, long finned eels, cat fish and a short-eared possum (Trichosurus caninus) that casually walked the banister.  (more…)

Fraser Island (Kgari)’s Wildlife Status

It is vital that we start to gain better hard data on K’Gari’s natural resources, particularly its wildlife, to have a better picture of its natural health.  This is the underlying rationale for FIDO’s initiative in sponsoring the BioBlitz based at Dilli Village from 28 November to 4 December.

John Sinclair has been visiting Fraser Island (Kgari) for more than 60 years.  During that time, based on his observations, he is convinced that the populations of many once common species have declined: fish, black swans, pied oystercatchers, pipits, honeyeaters, and many other birds have declined; seeing ghost crabs is now a rarity; snake populations have plummeted; as have frogs as their place is usurped by cane toads.  There is firm evidence of the decline of dugongs and the extirpation of some wildlife, such as quolls.

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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…)