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Wodonga Urban Landcare Network

Bulletin

 for April 2019

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K

Workshops, Field Days and Courses

Beechworth Festival of Change – 1st to 4th April
The Beechworth Festival of Change is a not-for-profit community-driven event focused on building the skills, networks and know-how to create positive social and environmental change. It’s a week-long fiesta of events, creativity, conversations and connections focused on building the skills, networks, energy and ideas you need to generate change. We warmly invite people and organisations interested in creating a fair, just and sustainable future to come along for an inspiring week making connections, generating ideas and building the skills to create change.
It will feature 20 capacity building ‘how-shops’ covering topics such as getting community and individuals organised, excited and skilled at creating positive change. There will also be detailed sessions on group dynamics and governance, getting community organised, messaging and social media, resourcing change, decision making and many more. There will also be talks from local and international experts, a cross pollination program to build networks, fun events, a light projection event and a documentary screening. Prices vary for different events (from $0 up). For more information or to book please see the festival homepage here

Native Bees, Wasps & Ants Forum & Workshop – Thursday 4th April
9.35am-2.45pm, DELWP Wodonga Office.
Join in a FREE Statewide Video Conference (SWIFFT) on ‘Native Bees, Wasps & Ants’ between 9.45 – 12.15 pm followed by lunch then a short but special afternoon workshop to 2.45 pm lead by Karen Retra to provide more detail on the Wild Pollinator Count (ID, methods and tools) &
Overview the range of on-line Web based Tools (including pro’s and con’s of each) to assist invertebrate identification – and a ‘how to’ guide to add (& view) your records (both vertebrate & invertebrate) on citizen science databases.

Join in at DELWP’s McKoy St Wodonga Office (ground floor of the Border Mail building) to participate in the video conference and afternoon workshop. Everyone is invited to attend – please RSVP to Glen.Johnson@delwp.vic.gov.au or 0418 501 936 by Tues 2nd April (advise any dietary preference) if you can join in so we can cater accordingly with some fantastic information (& tucker for you at lunchtime).
 
Morning video conference session summary:
 
10.00am – 10.15am          ‘Hymenoptera of Australia’ – Dr Ken Walker, Museums Victoria
10.20am – 10.40am         ‘Native Australian Bees’ – Dr Ken Walker, Museums Victoria
10.45am – 11.05 am         ‘Why you should love wasps: An introduction to Australian native parasitoid wasps’ – Erinn Fagan-Jeffries, PhD student, University of Adelaide
11.10 am – 11.30am          ‘Ants as Environmental Ambassadors’ – Peter Muller, Ballarat
11.35am – 11.55pm           ‘The Wild Pollinator Count’ – Karen Retra, co-founder of The Wild Pollinator Count
 
Life on a new block: Tips for starting a garden and managing feral pests – Sunday 7th April
10am-12pm, Wrens Land, Western end of Chester Circuit. Residents of Huon Creek Rd and beyond are warmly invited to attend a morning of FREE events on the Huon Creek Rd WRENs (Wodonga Retained Environmental Network) reserve. The morning will include:
  • 10.00am-11.30am—Gardens for Wildlife and Parklands displays
  • Browse our display of feral pests info and traps, habitat gardening tips, native animal brochures, native bee inn, reptile habitat, free native plant giveaways and more.
  •  10.00am-10.45am— ‘Bare block to habitat garden’ talk
  • Hear Sue Brunskill, horticulturalist and co-author of Garden Guide for Albury Wodonga, share her tips for turning a bare block into a wildlife-friendly, low maintenance, low water requirement garden.
  • 11.00am-12.00pm— Feral habitat walk and talk
  • Join Corbin Geyer on an easy feral habitat walk and talk, strolling along the creek, spotting evidence of rabbit and fox activity and discussing ways to make your land unfriendly to ferals.
 Please BYO chair or picnic rug for the garden talk. For more information please contact Lizette Salmon: G4WildlifeAW@gmail.com
 

Opportunities to be Involved

North East Regional Sustainability Alliance (NERSA) meeting – Tuesday 2nd April
10am-12pm, Indigo Shire Offices, Albert St, Beechworth. The North East Regional Sustainability Alliance (NERSA) is a network of community sustainability groups which acts collaboratively with communities, agencies and organisations across the region. Meetings are held every two months in Beechworth. Anyone is welcome to attend. For more information please see here
 
Hurrah for Hume-Winton Wetlands – Wednesday 3rd April
10am-3pm, Winton Wetlands. Over the last couple of years, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has funded a wide variety of community and agency-led projects supporting biodiversity actions within the Hume Region. Nearly $4 million has been spent on biodiversity in the region on 60 projects ranging from restoring habitat for threatened fish, bird, reptile and mammal species to running a school education program and community information events.
DELWP are now keen to celebrate Victorian’s valuing nature and want to connect people across the region to share stories of what happened, what's been learnt and what happens next. Please come along to hear about some of the wonderful biodiversity projects being delivered in the region. This will be a great opportunity to network, and discuss issues, innovations, successes and opportunities. Two events are planned, one in each Catchment Management Authority- this one is for Goulburn Broken CMA. To register for your free ticket please see here
 
Mountainfilm on Tour – Thursday 4th April
6.30-8.30pm, Regent Cinemas, Albury. Mountainfilm travels year-round and worldwide with a selection of current and best-loved short films from the annual Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado.  One word sets Mountainfilm apart - HEART. These films feature a mix of adventure, environment and celebration of the human spirit- these years line-up includes a mixture of mountain biking, skiing, kayaking getting back to basics, asking the big questions and much more.  Mountainfilm is a festival of films, people, stories and ideas that celebrates indomitable spirit, educates and inspires audiences, and motivates individuals and communities to advance solutions for a liveable world. To book please see here, or for more information please see here.
 
Wooragee Weekly Produce Market – Thursday 4th April
4-7pm, Wooragee Hall, Wooragee. Every Thursday until April 4th, Wooragee Landcare Inc. is holding a weekly produce market. There will be stalls selling fruit and veggies, wine, tea, meat, cakes, bread, strawberries, soap and many other products.  Dinner will be available to purchase - you can bring your own container or pay extra for a takeaway container. You can call in to buy your evening meal and wine to take home, or sit in the shady surrounds and eat your meal there. For more information please contact 0427 287 285 or woorageemarket@gmail.com
 
What’s Your Renewable Energy Future? Photo & Video Competition – Closes 5th April
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)(Hume region) and The Centre (Wangaratta) invite young people aged 18 years and under to enter their photo
and video competition, to give them an understanding of how young people view renewable energy and how they imagine this will shape their future lives. $800 in prizes are on offer, with 6 categories in the photo section and 3 in the video. For further information and application details please see here
 
Park Stewardship Morning – Willow Park - Friday 5th April
9-11am, Willow Park, Wodonga. Meet at the Pearce St carpark, Willow Park. This year’s Parklands Volunteer Program is mixing it up to give people a taste of different environmental stewardship tasks. Working in a different park each week - from the urban to the wild and woolly - experience the ‘how to’ of caring for our bush parks and reserves.
For 2 hours on a Friday, join in as Parklands Rangers take you through a variety of practical park maintenance/improvement tasks like planting, weeding and removing tree guards. At the same time, you will learn about the local environment and how our local land managers and community groups are working to protect threatened species, improve habitat and link habitat corridors across the region. Today’s focus will be on mapping and monitoring nest boxes.
This is invaluable experience for those interested in, or studying for, an environmental career; a great chance to clear your head and get some exercise, or just a good way to give back to our community. All tools and any specific safety equipment needed is supplied. You just need to BYO drinking water. For your safety, please wear covered shoes (preferably boots), long pants, long sleeves and a hat. Please register here, or for more information contact info@parklands-alburywodonga.org.au
 
Corowa & Surrounding Regions Community Talks – Friday 5th April
4-6pm, Corowa Golf Club, Corowa. Corowa and Distract Landcare Inc. warmly invite anyone from the Corowa and surrounding districts to meet one another, share information, build partnerships and increase group capacity in the area. This includes anyone with an interest in or engaging in activities such as sustainability, agricultural production, regenerative farming, community gardens, conservation, native plants and wildlife, wetland, fishing and water. Light refreshments will be available. Please RSVP by the 3rd April to Judy on 0417 858 533 or corowalandcare@bigpond.com or to Sally on 0427 549 856 or corowalandcare3@bigpond.com
 
Repair Café – Saturday 6th April
10am-1pm @ the SAC. The Sustainable Activity Centre (SAC) Repair Café is a free meeting place to bring along broken household items such as furniture, clothing, battery-operated appliances, scratched CDs-DVDs, books and bikes and learn how to fix them with the help of experienced, volunteer repairers. This month we’re featuring computer virus removal demos AND our IT help desk AND soldering, but no jewellery nor book repairs. Aaron Moffatt, from MoffIT in Albury will conduct two free computer virus removal demonstrations at 10.30am and 11.30am. Aaron’s conducted about a hundred virus removals and says it’s not difficult for the average person to learn the tricks of the trade. During the demonstrations he’ll give participants infected computers to work from and step by step instructions on virus removal. Anyone with minimal to moderate experience with computers will be able to follow the steps and apply them down the track. The demonstrations will also explain how to secure computers to prevent viruses. Numbers are strictly limited, so book early via Eventbrite, you can book for the 10.30am session here and the 11.30am session here. The Repair Café is proudly supported by Halve Waste. More information can be found here
 
Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Field Day – Sunday 7th April
9am-3pm, Meet @ Chiltern Post Office.  Join us for a day of activities in the park.  Activities may include weeding, planting, maintenance of infrastructure, checking of nest boxes and more. All ages, levels of fitness and knowledge welcome. Contact Mick Webster on 0429 017 229 for more info and what to bring.
 
Pollinator Insects in your Garden – Sunday 7th April
2-3pm, Bungam Community Garden, Englehardt St, Albury. Australia has lots of wild pollinator insects that are often overlooked. In addition to honey bees, Australia has many species of native bees, flies, wasps, beetles, butterflies and moths, many of which contribute as pollinators of our food, garden and bushland plants. Find out more about the pollinator insects in your garden. Learn about pollinator insects, including their importance for gardens and food growing and some of the other important roles of insects. Hear about how to attract and support pollinator insects in your garden and practice your insect spotting skills in the community garden. Everyone is welcome to attend, come along to learn more about this interesting topic. This event will be presented by Karen Retra, co-founder of the national Wild Pollinator Count. Please dress for the outdoors and weather and BYO chair if you wish.  Organised by Seed Savers Albury-Wodonga, find out more about them here
 
Community Nestbox Monitoring – Monday 8th April
9.30am-4pm, Castle Creek Conservation Reserve, Wodonga.
Join in as Parklands Rangers monitor nestboxes in the reserve and learn how to use a pole camera and record occupancy data. Boxes have been installed in this reserve to provide nesting places for arboreal mammals including Sugar Gliders, Squirrel Gliders and Phascogales. Come along and find out more about these precious and threatened species, and how you can help. There are 2 free sessions to choose from - register for the morning (9.30-11.30am) session here, and for the afternoon (2-4pm) session here.
 
Baranduda Bushlands Walk ‘n Talk – Wednesday 10th April
9.30-11.30am, Baranduda Parklands, Howards Rd, Baranduda. Everyone is invited to join members of the Wodonga Urban Landcare Network as Parklands ranger Danny Jones leads this casual Walk ‘n Talk into the beautiful Baranduda Bush crown reserve. Baranduda Parklands is rich and diverse in native flora and fauna. Many native animals, woodland birds, and native shrubs, trees and wildflowers call this area home. The views are also spectacular. You will also learn about the restoration work that has been done over the years to restore and improve this important habitat for threatened species.
This is an easy bush walk on earthen tracks in undulating – but not particularly steep – country. The walk is approx. 2km in total. Please dress for the weather including hat, long pants and covered shoes. Morning tea is also provided after the walk. There is no cost, but please let us know you’re coming by registering here, directions to the meeting place and a map can also be found on the registration page.
 
Hurrah for Hume-Beechworth – Wednesday 10th April
10am-3pm, George Kerferd Hotel, Beechworth. Over the last couple of years, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has funded a wide variety of community and agency-led projects supporting biodiversity actions within the Hume Region. Nearly $4 million has been spent on biodiversity in the region on 60 projects ranging from restoring habitat for threatened fish, bird, reptile and mammal species to running a school education program and community information events.
DELWP are now keen to celebrate Victorian’s valuing nature and want to connect people across the region to share stories of what happened, what's been learnt and what happens next. Please come along to hear about some of the wonderful biodiversity projects being delivered in the region. This will be a great opportunity to network, and discuss issues, innovations, successes and opportunities. Two events are planned, one in each Catchment Management Authority- this one is for the North East CMA. To register for your free ticket please see here
 
Park Stewardship Morning – Willow Park - Friday 12th April
9-11am, House Creek, Willow Park, Wodonga. Meet at the Pearce St carpark, Willow Park. This year’s Parklands Volunteer Program is mixing it up to give people a taste of different environmental stewardship tasks. Working in a different park each week - from the urban to the wild and woolly - experience the ‘how to’ of caring for our bush parks and reserves.
For 2 hours on a Friday, join in as Parklands Rangers take you through a variety of practical park maintenance/improvement tasks like planting, weeding and removing tree guards. At the same time, you will learn about the local environment and how our local land managers and community groups are working to protect threatened species, improve habitat and link habitat corridors across the region. Today’s focus will be on tackling the woody weeds on House Creek before the autumn break.
This is invaluable experience for those interested in, or studying for, an environmental career; a great chance to clear your head and get some exercise, or just a good way to give back to our community. All tools and any specific safety equipment needed is supplied. You just need to BYO drinking water. For your safety, please wear covered shoes (preferably boots), long pants, long sleeves and a hat. Please register here, or for more information contact info@parklands-alburywodonga.org.au
 
Community Gardening in Willow Park – Sunday 14th April
9.30-10.15am, Wodonga. Join Friends of Willow Park for a morning of Community Gardening and a morning tea. Community gardening is having fun, connecting with nature, and joining others for a variety of gardening activities including planting, mulching and weeding.  Meet in the Pearce St Carpark. Ring Jenni on 0410 074 900 if you can’t see where the group is working. Even if you can’t do the gardening just pop in to hear what the group are doing and what is planned.
 
Autumn Wild Pollinator Count – 14th-21st April
Get to know your pollinator insects by paying attention to a flowering plant this week.
You’re invited to watch a flowering plant in your garden or local park for 10 minutes on any sunny day during the week of April 14th to 21st and submit your observations of insect visitors via the website. Find out how to count pollinators, identify the insects you see and submit your observations on our website. You can also download and print a tally sheet to complete as you go. Taking and submitting photos of what you see is optional. The project aims to raise awareness of the many native species of pollinator insects, as well as build a data set of which insects are seen where and on which plants. For more information see the website here
 
Community Nestbox Monitoring – Monday 15th April
9.30am-4pm, Baranduda Parklands (access from Boye’s Rd for morning session, Sage Court for the afternoon session).  Join in as Parklands Rangers monitor nestboxes in the reserve and learn how to use a pole camera and record occupancy data. Boxes have been installed in this reserve to provide nesting places for arboreal mammals including Sugar Gliders, Squirrel Gliders and Phascogales. Come along and find out more about these precious and threatened species, and how you can help. There are 2 free sessions to choose from - register for the morning (9.30-11.30am) session here, and for the afternoon (2-4pm) session here.
 
Tastes of the Garden – Friday 26th April
12-1pm, Bhutanese Community Farm, Lemke Rd, Gateway Island. Join the Bhutanese Community Farm Catering team as they offer lunch al fresco at the farm over three autumn Fridays. The team will be cooking fresh vegetarian curries and accompaniments featuring the vegetables and herbs grown on the farm throughout the year. Farm Rangers will also be there to answer questions about the Community Garden and show people around. Everyone is welcome. Why not bring a friend or some work colleagues down to experience a unique Friday lunch at minimal cost? Please book here to let us know you’re coming, and bring some cash (approx. $8/head) to purchase lunch on the day.
 
Official Opening of Huon Reserve Facilities – Sunday 28th April
9.30-10am, Huon Reserve, Murray Valley Highway, Huon. Join High Country Rail Trail volunteers to celebrate the official opening of the magnificent new facilities at the reserve.
The upgraded facilities mark a new era in this important linking section of the Rail Trail, which community volunteers have worked hard to bring up to standard for many years.
The official opening ceremony will precede the start of the annual Tangambalanga Lions Club Milk Run, providing a special sendoff for this years participants. Please join them for the special celebration, stay for the Milk Run or just help send the runners on their way. The reserve is a 20 minute drive east of Albury Wodonga.
 
Walk the regional bush tracks and trails with the Border Bushwalking Club  
Spotlight Walk ‘n Talk Wangaratta – Wednesday 1st May
6pm, Mullinmur Wetlands (Meeting place to TBA), Wangaratta. Join members of the Rural City of Wangaratta to learn about our fascinating nocturnal native animals! There will be dinner and a talk from 6pm-6:30pm before a night walk at Mullinmur Wetlands to spot wildlife. All ages are welcome. Please bring warm clothes, a mug for soup and a water bottle. Please RSVP by Friday 26 April (RSVP details to be confirmed, please keep an eye on this page). For more information please contact environment@wangaratta.vic.gov.au or call the Natural Resource Management Team on 03 5722 0888.
 
Park Stewardship Morning – Gordon Hartsman Park - Friday 3rd May
9-11am, Gordon Hartsman Park, Huon Creek Rd, Wodonga. Meet in Gordon Hartsman Park on the paddock just near the House Creek bridge. This year’s Parklands Volunteer Program is mixing it up to give people a taste of different environmental stewardship tasks. Working in a different park each week - from the urban to the wild and woolly - experience the ‘how to’ of caring for our bush parks and reserves.
For 2 hours on a Friday, join in as Parklands Rangers take you through a variety of practical park maintenance/improvement tasks like planting, weeding and removing tree guards. At the same time, you will learn about the local environment and how our local land managers and community groups are working to protect threatened species, improve habitat and link habitat corridors across the region. Today’s focus will be on removing guards and weeding around seedlings on House Creek in preparation for planting season.
This is invaluable experience for those interested in, or studying for, an environmental career; a great chance to clear your head and get some exercise, or just a good way to give back to our community. All tools and any specific safety equipment needed is supplied. You just need to BYO drinking water. For your safety, please wear covered shoes (preferably boots), long pants, long sleeves and a hat. Please register here, or for more information contact info@parklands-alburywodonga.org.au
 
Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Field Day – Saturday 4th May
9am-3pm, Meet @ Chiltern Post Office.  Join us for a day of activities in the park.  Activities may include weeding, planting, maintenance of infrastructure, checking of nest boxes and more. All ages, levels of fitness and knowledge welcome. Contact Mick Webster on 0429 017 229 for more info and what to bring.
 
Trestles, Trolls and Tucker – Saturday 4th May
3-8pm, High Country rail Trail, Lucyvale. Start at Mansells Rd, Lucyvale at 3pm. They’re like something from a fairytale …Their grass and wildflower blanketed paths enchant at first glance, held by sturdy foundations so old they’re pinned with handmade bolts and nails. One could easily be forgiven for checking underneath the High Country Rail Trail Trestle Bridges for a cranky troll! But don’t take our word for it – join the Historic Trestle Trail Walk and Campfire Cook-up to celebrate the 100 kilometre milestone of the High Country Rail Trail with a walk along the trestle bridges, a warm campfire, old fashioned camp food (yes, damper is on the menu!) and stargazing like you wouldn’t believe! This all ages, family friendly event will feature walking in a beautiful location as well as a traditional campfire cook-up. You will only need to bring a chair, hat, torch and jumper. There is no set cost for this event – donations on the night are welcome to assist future works on the Rail Trail. Please register here, registered participants will be provided a detailed location map prior to the event.
 
The Sustainable Activity Centre
Do you have some spare time, and would like to help make a difference in the Albury/Wodonga area? The Sustainable Activity Centre have several opportunities for people to assist with various events and activities coming up in the area. If this interests you, please see here to take a very short survey outlining the available opportunities. More information on The Sustainable Activity Centre can be found here.
 
Australian Platypus Monitoring Network
The Australian Platypus Conservatory is looking for volunteers to assist with their new Australian Platypus Monitoring Network (APMN). The APMN aims to empower community members to keep track of their neighbouring platypus populations.
The APMN website and app have been designed to make it easy for volunteers to monitor platypus activity, and upload basic sighting information in the field. The information is then saved in a database and surmised using a map and charts, which is then available for all website visitors, with volunteers also receiving feedback on their own findings.
New volunteers can choose to either monitor already registered sites (if available), or register new sites. Volunteers are asked to visit sites once or twice a week, at a time that is convenient to them, and simply sit and watch the water for 5-10mins for signs of platypus activity. For further information, or to request a full information kit, please see the Australian Platypus Conservatory website here
 
Join the Our Native Garden Nursery Seed Collecting Crew
Are you out in that glorious bush exclaiming at the scents and colours of our wonderful wildflowers? Would you like to share this thrill in our native plants with others by joining our seed collecting team? Come collecting seed under the guidance of our intrepid Liz and Tony. For more information please contact Jill on 0419 732 390.
 
Join the North East Dung Beetle Project
A simplified Dung Beetle Monitoring survey form is now available for the North East Dung Beetle Project. Anyone who is monitoring dung beetles, or wants to, can contribute – including historic information from trap, adhoc or other survey methods. If anyone wants to be able to access and contribute data to the project, please register on the Biocollect site https://www.ala.org.au/biocollect/  Then navigate to the project here

Join the Albury Wodonga Community Nestbox Monitoring Program
Help recover the population of the iconic Squirrel Glider in our bush parks and reserves! WULN, Parklands and Council’s Environmental Lands team seek community help to monitor squirrel glider nestboxes in our local parks.  Join the team to be allocated some boxes to monitor, learn to use our equipment to check nestboxes and record what you find. It’s simple! No climbing involved, 4 times per year, training in using the equipment, great fun to do with a friend, simply pick up the equipment, check your boxes and return. Register HERE
 

Grants and Funding

Funding to Protect Biodiversity in the Kiewa Valley
Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups Inc are seeking landholders interested in undertaking action on their properties in the Kiewa Valley to protect biodiversity over the next three years to join their new project.  This project will help with funding to assist landholders to undertake rabbit harbour destruction, woody weed control and revegetation in the project area to protect and improve biodiversity.
Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups Inc in partnership with the North East Catchment Management Authority have received funding from the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning for a three year program to improve habitat and connectivity for threatened woodland birds and mammals of the Kiewa Valley.
Click here for more information and an expression of interest form or contact the Project Officer, Belinda Pearce, on 0400 880 872 or email: biodiversity@kiewacatchmentlandcare.org.au
 
On-Farm Energy Efficiency Grants
Primary producers are invited to apply for an on-farm energy grant. The on-farm energy tier 1 grants are available to eligible primary producers until March 2020. You will need an on farm energy assessment, or an equivalent certified on-farm energy assessment conducted in the past 2 years, to access one of the grants in the Agriculture Investment Energy Plan. More information can be found here
 
Our Native Garden offer free native plants for schools and community groups
All you have to do is register your school or Landcare or community group with us and then whenever any teacher or parent from that school or community group member comes to the nursery to buy plants we will donate the same number of plants to their school or community group, to be picked up whenever convenient for the school or community group.
 
This is our special offer on ALL our plants at the nursery ALL YEAR: pay the retail price of $3.50 per tube and we donate 1 tube FREE to your revegetation or garden project. Send us an email or call or text Jill on 0419 732 390 telling us the name of your school or group and who is the contact person.
 
Recreational Fishing Grants
Small Grants (up to $5000) open all year round. This is the 16th year of the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Accounts operation, which sees funds derived from the sale of recreational fishing licences collected and invested into projects that improve recreational fishing across Victoria. For more information email rec.fishinggrants@vfa.vic.gov.au  Apply here.
 
The R E Ross Trust Grants
The grants work around 4 impact areas. For Landcare groups the most relevant area is impact area D; the protection and preservation of Australian Flora and Fauna. Organisations must first submit an expression of interest for consideration by the Trustees and may then be invited to submit a full application.  Applications are considered all year round. For more information go to: http://www.rosstrust.org.au/grants/apply-for-a-grant/
 

Give Feedback, Comment or Nominate

Climate Change and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – Discussion Paper
The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released a climate change and the Murray–Darling Basin Plan discussion paper. The paper explains the impact of climate change across the Basin, explores how the current Basin Plan settings and various water management mechanisms are designed to adaptively manage climate change impacts and looks ahead to the objectives and implementation of a climate change research program for the MDBA. The discussion paper is available on the MDBA website here. To respond to the discussion paper, please email climatechange@mdba.gov.au (no closing date for submissions has yet been announced).
 
National Carp Control Plan – National Carp Survey
The Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) is inviting you to take part in an important three minute survey. The National Carp Control Plan needs your help to record where you have seen carp aggregating in high numbers to plan future carp control programs. FRDC is coordinating a large program of research and consultation to identify a smart, safe, effective and integrated suite of measures to control carp impacts. A key focus of this process will be to explore the potential use of biocontrol measures. For more information or to take the short survey please see here
 

Resources and Inspiration

Earth Day – Monday 22nd April
Earth day is a day that is intended to raise awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. This year’s theme is 'Protect our Species', recognising the direct links between human activity and the impact on plant and wildlife populations. Earth day networks year round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through education, consumer campaigns and public policy. The first Earth day, in 1970, is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. For more information please see the Earth day network page here
 
Fire Recovery Resources for Landholders
The Victorian Landcare Gateway has a range of practical fire recovery resources for landholders who have been impacted by, and are recovering from, fires. This includes PDFs and links to resources on livestock, pasture recovery, farm water, native vegetation, health and wellbeing, and other relevant topics. To access the resources lease see the Landcare website here
 
Australia’s Vanishing Animals
Here’s beautifully written article by The Conversation, that points out that over the last 200 years, Australia has led the world as the country with the most recorded animal extinctions. The thylacine is the most recognised of our lost species, but the lesser bilby has also disappeared, as well as the pig-footed bandicoot, the white-footed rabbit-rat, the Toolache wallaby, the robust white-eye, the King Island emu, the Christmas Island forest skink, the southern gastric-brooding frog, the Phillip Island glory pea, and well over another 100 species that were part of the make-up of this land - have also disappeared forever. And that’s just the tally for known extinctions, many more have been lost without ever being named. More still hover in a grey zone – we’re not sure whether they linger or are already gone. And the losses continue, with three Australian species becoming extinct in the past decade. Unfortunately, most of the factors that caused the losses remain unchecked, and new threats are appearing, intensifying and expanding. Sadly, these losses need not have happened as almost all were predictable and preventable. They represent failures in our duty of care, legislation, policy and management. But how then do we commit to maintaining Australia’s wildlife? Read the full article on The Conversation website here, to see their 10 recommendations for seeing extinctions, not as an inevitability, but as something that is up to all of us to do something to change.
 
Koalas don’t mind the urban life, if…
Newly published research (jointly carried out by Western Sydney and Charles Sturt Universities), which analysed stress levels in wild koalas according to their habitat, has revealed that koalas are the most stressed in rural and rural-urban fringe zones. This appears to be due to several factors such as large bushfires, heatwave events, dog attacks, vehicle collision and human-led reduction of prime eucalyptus habitats.
Koalas living in urban landscapes are less stressed as long as the city includes suitable green habitats. The research indicates that if there are suitable trees, koalas can learn to live among us and adapt to co-exist with human populations. Their ability to do so depends on us giving them the space, time and freedom to make that adaptation. This means ensuring they can carry out, without undue pressures, the biological and physiological functions on which their survival depends.
Wildlife species that lack access to suitable green habitats in cities are at higher risk of death and local extinction. Having to move between fragmented patches of habitat increases the risks. Land clearing and habitat destruction for infrastructure projects and other urban development are compounding the major threats to koalas, such as being hit by vehicles or attacked by dogs. To read the full article (with a link to the research) please see The Conversation website here
 
A Rat By Any Other Name
The Australian Platypus Conservatory are often asked to clarify whether the name 'rakali' refers to the animal known commonly as the Australian water rat. They say the short answer to this question is yes. The scientific name of this species- Hydromys chrysogaster -roughly translates as 'golden bellied water mouse'. Early European settlers sometimes referred to this animal as a 'beaver rat', even though its behaviour and appearance are actually much closer to that of an otter, rather than a beaver. It was in the 1990's that the Australian federal government proposed changing the common name of the Australian water rat to 'rakali', the term used by the Ngarrindjeri people- the original inhabitants of the lower Murray River and Coorong of South Australia.  More information can be found on the Australian Platypus Conservatory’s’ website here
 
SWIFFT Video Conferences
State Wide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams (SWIFFT) have been running quarterly video conferences for over 10 years with increasing popularity. These conferences help connect researchers, land managers, government agencies and community groups and allow a platform for the group to share their stories. Anyone is welcome to attend SWIFFT video conferences.  Video conference meetings are held four times a year, each with a different theme. The topics and dates for this year are:
  •  4 April - Native Bees, Wasps and Ants
  • 25 July - People for Nature and
  • 24 October - Community Conservation in action
 For more information please see the SWIFFT website here
 
CLEA News
For all the latest news from the Community Learning for Environmental Action (CLEA), Landcare Victoria Inc.'s peer-to-peer learning project please see their website here
 
National Volunteer Guide
The new free and comprehensive National Volunteer Guide resources by Not for Profit Law are useful tools for management and committee members or directors of not-for-profit organisations to help them best recruit and manage their volunteers. The resources cover various topics including recruiting and legal issues, including a series of webinars, and can be found here
 
Burraja Cultural Centre Programs
Based on the success of the youth involvement program, the Burraja Cultural Centre is keen to offer schools culturally based programs and activities to assist schools in delivering Aboriginal based curriculum that supports the Marrung Aboriginal Education plan. We have successfully delivered over 150 school-based activities to students ranging from primary school to year 12. Activities can be tailored to suit the needs of the students.
 
Burraja Programs enable students to engage in hands on activities that produce an end product, such as a painting, a traditional implement or a skill that they can then take home with them. Activities can include Aboriginal land management concepts, cultural resource knowledge-food, medicines or materials, Aboriginal art design, excursions to cultural sites and cultural landscapes and tours of Burraja Cultural Centre.
 
Burraja tours and activities are open to all students and staff. Programs can be delivered onsite at the Burraja Cultural Centre, at your school or at a nominated cultural site within the Albury Wodonga region. Half or full day programs are available, please contact Burraja for prices or with any enquires by contacting the Burraja programs co-ordinator Richard McTernan by phone on 02 6022 8888 or Richard.mcternan@gatewayhealth.org.au
 
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