15 May 2009

INTERNATIONAL: Plant Conservation Day 18 May - Celebrating the world's plants and taking action to conserve them

May 18th is Plant Conservation Day - a global celebration, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and conserving plants for people and the planet. On the Plant Conservation Day website www.plantconservationday.org you can find all sorts of information about plant conservation and Plant Conservation Day celebrations. Check out the 'Learn More' section to find out why plants are so important, why they need to be conserved, and learn what you can do to help.

PEST ANIMALS: 'Rabbitscan' National Rabbit Threat Mapping and Awareness Campaign

The Rabbitscan Challenge is to record data about rabbits from at least 5000 sites across Australia that have rabbits (e.g. rabbits seen, evidence of rabbit dung and warrens identified) during May 2009. Your help is needed to find and record the data.

So far over 1500 people have registered and almost 850 surveys have been conducted using the RabbitScan Google Maps data capture tool - multiple sites are welcome to give a more accurate understanding of the presence or absence of rabbits and their impacts on your landscapes.

Landholders, Council Officers, Landcare group members, Regional Body bodies anyone who knows where rabbits live, should record all the rabbit spots in your district. More records are needed for rural areas as much of the data so far has come from urban areas.

Sightings can be recorded at the RabbitScan website, www.rabbitscan.net.au, or via SMS, simply SMS the following details to 0421 690 892:
  1. Rabbit numbers spotted (range from 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-40 seen over a km walk or drive)
  2. Location/s of sighting/s an address or GPS point
  3. When seen (date)
  4. Senders name and phone number or email

14 May 2009

PLANT GUIDES (QLD): 'Plants of Capricornia' by Melzer and Plumb

More than 600 native species are described and photographed in this guide to the plants of the Capricorn Region of Central Queensland: trees, shrubs, mistletoes, vines, grasses, sedges, orchids, and other herbaceous species. Included are keys to species in each genus and human usage and ecological notes. Rhonda Melzer is a Plant Ecologist and Botanist employed as Principal Conservation Officer at Qld Parks and Wildlife Service, Rockhampton. Joel Plumb is a retired School Principal, well known local naturalist and photographer, and past president of the Rockhampton branch of the Society for Growing Australian Plants. To order a copy of 'Plants of Capricornia' visit the Capricorn Conservation Council website.

08 May 2009

CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE LAND: Papers from the ANPC Second National Forum

Did you miss the ANPC Second National Forum Minding our own biodiversity: Conservation on private land, which was held on 30 April - 1 May? Don't despair, because ANPC members will still be able to read the papers from the Forum in the June-August 2009 issue of the ANPC Bulletin Australasian Plant Conservation. If you're not yet an ANPC member, click here to find out how to join. Membership is for a calendar year - if you join during the year you'll get all four copies of Australasian Plant Conservation for the calendar year as well as immediate access to the other ANPC benefits including discounted conference and workshop registration.

EPBC LISTING NOMINATIONS: Public Comment, Cumberland Plain Woodlands EPBC Act Nomination

The Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts and the Threatened Species Scientific Committee are currently assessing a nomination to uplist the Cumberland Plain Woodlands ecological community from endangered to critically endangered under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Further work is required before the Threatened Species Scientific Committee is in a position to provide the Minister with sound scientific advice on whether or not the ecological community qualifies for uplisting under the Act. The nomination is currently available for public comment. The Department welcomes views from experts, stakeholders and the wider community on the nomination to further inform its nomination assessment process. The public comment period closes on 18 May 2009.

RESTORATION: Global Restoration Network’s Search for the 'Top 25' Australasian Ecological Restoration Projects

Large and increasing efforts are being made to rectify the enormous negative landscape transformations that have occurred in both Australia and New Zealand (Australasia) over the last 200 years. The Global Restoration Network (GRN) has compiled a 'Top 25' list from a recent search for the most outstanding restoration projects in Australia and New Zealand. The aim was to highlight projects that might inspire and encourage restorationists throughout Australasia and elsewhere across the globe. Included in the list (no. 14) is the Greening Australia Restoring Grassy Groundcover project led by ANPC Committee member Dr. Paul Gibson Roy.

CONFERENCE, RESTORATION: 'Making Change in a Changing World', SERI 2009 World Conference on Ecological Restoration, Perth, 23 - 27 August 2009

The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) International meetings provide an essential international forum for scientists and practitioners who look to restoration as a means to conserve the planet’s dwindling biodiversity and failing ecosystems. These meetings provide a critical platform to assist us in defining the principles of restoration, understanding goals and milestones, debating what ecosystem functions to measure and closing the gap between the science of restoration ecology and the practise of ecological restoration.

With a focus on Making Change in a Changing World, the local conference organising committee hope to engage the debate on the impact of a changing world on our restoration capabilities. With this focus, SER International 2009 aims to accommodate as many interests as possible. The meeting will host an array of themes representing current research and global restoration practice. Themes that are relevant, of high focus and contemporary in Australia will also be part of the SER International 2009 program.

CONFERENCE, CLIMATE & ECOLOGY: 10th International Congress of Ecology, Brisbane, 16 - 21 August 2009

INTECOL (the International Association for Ecology) holds international meetings every four years. An INTECOL meeting is the major forum for the global community of ecological scientists and practitioners.

The tenth INTECOL meeting in Brisbane in 2009 has a theme of Ecology in a Changing Climate, Two Hemispheres, One Globe. Ecologists from around the world will explore how global climate change has impacted, and will further impact, ecosystems and their vital services to human communities. They will explore unique features of ecosystems in the southern and northern hemispheres but look for common elements in a search for solutions to this looming problem.

Symposia will represent all scales of ecology from individual organisms to landscapes, and report on a diversity of ecosystems from marine to freshwater aquatic systems and terrestrial ecosystems from arid to rainforest and from polar to tropical.

The meeting will bring expert ecological commentary on a range of vital processes including land and water use, sea level change, restoration of ecosystems, biotic invasions, changing water patterns, urban ecology and fire ecology. It will include discussions on long term monitoring of ecosystems, on incorporating ecological knowledge into policy, on integrating indigenous knowledge into conventional science, and on communicating ecological information to a broader community.

While the meeting will attract an international attendance the ecological research of the two host countries, New Zealand and Australia will be on display, and visiting delegates will have the opportunity to appreciate both the unique biotas of these two countries and the strong basic and applied research effort applied to regional ecological issues that could be translated to other regions.

WEEDS, RIPARIAN: Habitat Management Guide, Weed management in riparian areas: south eastern Australia

Riparian corridors are particularly susceptible to weed invasion and are often invaded by multiple weed species. This susceptibility to invasion is a result of the natural disturbance processes associated with flooding, favourable environmental conditions and the continued input of weed propagules from upstream and adjacent areas. The impacts of human activities have also increased the likelihood of weeds establishing in riparian areas.

However, well designed weed management programs can achieve positive outcomes in riparian areas.

The CRC for Australian Weed Management Habitat Management Guide, Weed management in riparian areas: south eastern Australia is designed to provide assistance to managers of riparian areas in planning their weed management programs, and in so doing, highlight some of the challenges inherent in riparian weed management. Background material is provided about riparian areas and the weed species typically found in riparian areas in south-eastern Australia, particularly Victoria.

The steps required to develop an effective riparian weed management program are described. These steps outline general principles but do not provide management prescriptions for individual weed species or riparian sites.

While complementing other recent weed management guidelines, the information in this document highlights the central role played by water flow, particularly flooding, in shaping riparian areas and their weed management.

WEEDS, RAINFOREST: Habitat Management Guide, Rainforests: Ecological management principles for strategic management of weeds in rainforest habitats

Weeds in rainforest habitats have traditionally been considered as impacting only around edges and in highly disturbed areas. However more recently managers and researchers have discovered rainforest weeds can often occur in relatively intact rainforest habitat, greatly altering native community structure. Weed invasion is now becoming a major issue in the management and conservation of tropical forests.

A species-by-species approach to management becomes more difficult and costly with each new introduction, particularly as biological, ecological and spatial information is often sparse. The logistical difficulties involved in detecting, controlling and eradicating weeds in rainforest habitats means that resources are not available to deal with each species individually. Rather, a range of strategies are necessary for management, including focused management of high-risk single species, strategies that target suites of species, and strategies that target entire landscapes.

The CRC for Australian Weed Management Habitat Management Guide, Rainforests: Ecological management principles for strategic management of weeds in rainforest habitats focuses on the ecological processes that govern weed invasion in rainforest habitats and the ecological principles for strategically managing them so as to minimise weed introduction and spread.

RAINFOREST WORKSHOPS (QLD): Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network (BRAIN) workshops

The Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network (BRAIN) is conducting the BRAIN 2009 Rainforest Workshops:
  • Saturday, 13 June - Fungi of the Rainforest
  • Sunday, 19 July - Propagation of Local Rainforest Plants
  • Sunday, 23 August - Gardening with Rainforest Plants
  • Sunday, 18 October - Flora and Fauna of the Rainforest
  • Sunday, 22 November - Cooking with Rainforest Plants
For further information visit the BRAIN 2009 Rainforest Workshops page of the BRAIN website.

GRASSLAND WORKSHOPS, WALKS & TALKS (ACT/NSW): Friends of Grasslands (FoG) activities

Grasslands and grassy woodlands were the most extensive vegetation community in Australia two hundred years ago. Today, some grassland communities in south-eastern Australia are more threatened than Australian rainforests. You can find out more by participating in Friends of Grasslands regular activities which include:
  • trips to grassland sites
  • providing help to landowners and grassland managers
  • hands-on conservation work
  • slide nights and other presentations
  • workshops
  • education programs and community liaison

EUCALYPT & GRASSES WORKSHOPS (NSW): Eucalypt and grasses identification workshops various Sydney locations

Van Klaphake (who has produced several botanical identification publications) is conducting workshops for some local councils in the Sydney region. Please note that there are costs for these courses and that you should contact the council staff members listed below if you would like to attend.
  • Hawkesbury Council, August 29 and 30 Eucalypt identification workshop, contact Martin Gauci 02 4560 4525, confirm venue with Martin
  • Kuring-gai Council, August 8 and 9 Eucalypt identification workshop, contact Jocelyn Chenu 02 9424 1079, confirm venue with Jocelyn
  • Willoughby Council, June 27 and 28 Grasses identification workshop and August 17 and 18 Eucalypt identification workshop, contact Judy Morris 02 9777 7876, confirm venue with Judy
  • Pittwater Council, August 22 and 23 Eucalypt identification workshop, contact Lavinia Schofield 02 9970 1365, confirm venue with Lavinia, http://www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/environment/whats_on/eucalyptus_identification_workshop

BOOK REVIEWS: Would you like to do a review of one of the following recent CSIRO publications?

CSIRO has recently published the following books:
If you would like to do a review of one of these volumes, please let APC Editor Rosemary Purdie (Rosemary.Purdie@environment.gov.au) know; just provide your name and a hard copy postal address. The person who does the review gets to keep the copy of the book.

INTERNATIONAL: Fiji Islands Conservation Science Forum 5 - 7 August 2009

The Wetlands-International Oceania, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wide Fund, Govt. Fiji, USP and Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area are organising a Fiji Islands Conservation Science Forum from 5 - 7 August 2009 at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Suva, Fiji. The Forum provides the opportunity for students, researchers, scientists, naturalists and scholars to present some of their research findings to the general public. PACINET (Pacific Islands Network for Taxonomy) is planning to coordinate a Systematics/Taxonomy session in support of the FICS forum. All taxonomists (including parataxonomists, ethno-taxonomists and systematics) who have worked on Fijian biodiversity are invited to be part of this inaugural event. For further information contact Posa A. Skelton, Coordinator - PACINET, USP/SPC/SPREP, Suva, Fiji, Tel. +679 3232708 or Mb. +679 908 9286, email: skelton_p@usp.ac.fj or posas@spc.int