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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…)

Draft Great Sandy Management Plan

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) developed the Values-Based Management Framework (VBMF), an adaptive management process, to manage the state’s diverse protected area estate. (more…)

Fraser Island -K’gari Symposium: Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Understanding

 

The Fraser-K’gari Island symposium is being held at the Hervey Bay campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast on the 7-8 June 2018. (more…)

Celebrating 25 Years of Fraser Island World Heritage Area

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Twelve years of collaboration

Looking back after over 12 years of FINIA’s operations, we can sometimes forget the achievements of the group and its partners. These were brought home at a recent FINIA partner meeting held on Fraser Island (K’gari) to check field sites in addition to identifying new challenges for the World Heritage property.

 

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FINIA volunteers check out a successful site at Happy Valley, where Abrus has almost been eradicated and native Dianella once more dominates the understory (Photo: Sue Sargent)

 

In 2005, the group came together around the common issue of weed management and despite some massive wins across all land tenures (freehold, unallocated state land and National Parks), weeds and pests are still one of the biggest problems for the island and its native species.

In 2005, we looked at sisal hemp, a plant that was introduced to the Missions that were located on Fraser Island (K’gari). Today, we have an ever-growing list of plants like Abrus, Easter cassia and Brazilian cherry, that are invading the island. Twelve years ago, there were no cane toads in any of the waterways or Indian myna birds, cats and foxes hadn’t been caught on camera traps.

Thankfully, there are some success stories, bitou bush has almost been eradicated from K’gari, the Jamella leafhopper – which was destroying the island’s pandanus – is now being brought into check by the Aphanomerus wasp, which exclusively lays its eggs on the Jamella egg rafts.

FINIA is a great example of how much can be achieved by collaborating groups. But the take-home message is that we can’t hang up the tool belts yet.

 

Quarantine – it’s more than just weeds!

I always thought I was fairly environmentally aware, but recently I have had my eyes opened to more than the issue introducing weeds to K’gari.  When not in use, FIDO’s Land Cruiser is stored in Brisbane.  I was shocked when I went down to put stuff in it that it was crawling with ants.

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Lessons from Other World Heritage sites: Japan

I have to insist to my disbelieving family and others that my trip to Japan is not a holiday but really is a study tour and part of my quest to see what can be learnt in how other World Heritage sites are being managed.  I am particularly interested in island World Heritage sites and I have already visited two of Japan’s natural World Heritage sites that are islands, Yakushima and Ogasawara.  However, the latest World Heritage nomination of four island’s in the chain of small islands stretched out in an arc between the southern island and Taiwan that includes the Okinawa archipelago is of special interest.

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Irresponsible Pet Owners Impact K’gari Wildlife

A recent rise in reports and images of domestic dogs on K’gari has prompted Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service along with concerned stakeholders to release media requests asking all visitors to leave their dogs at home when they visit World Heritage listed Fraser Island (K’gari).

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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…)

World Heritage Lessons from Overseas: Sri Lanka

One of the exciting things about travelling, is the opportunity to visit the ‘best of the best’ – World Heritage properties, overseas.  I was privileged to spend two weeks in Sri Lanka last month and visited a number of world heritage and other sites representing both natural and cultural heritage.

So, what were the key lessons that could be applied to an Australian model? (more…)