31 August 2011


This special day is commemorated nationwide on 7 September each year to encourage people to help conserve Australia’s unique native fauna and flora. There are a number of things you can do to help threatened species and other native plants and animals.

*Visit Communities in Landscapes , a project with partners including OEH and Landcare to find out the latest biodiversity related news and upcoming events you can participate in.
*Head to one of our beautiful national parks. Visit Wild Wild World to find out what's on near you.
*Visit a Zoo! There are active conservation and captive breeding programs for Australian and internationally threatened species.
*Adopt a corroboree frog ! The Southern Corroboree Frog is threatened with extinction and needs your help.
*Find out how you can Save a Species by supporting your state seed bank.
*Check out the Australian Museum's ALIVE program for a range of events and exhibitions which celebrate biodiversity.
*Visit the Foundation for National Parks website to discover how you can become a Backyard Buddy and help biodiversity in you own backyard.
*Consider entering into a Voluntary Conservation Agreement or making your property a Wildlife Refuge if you own land with suitable habitat for threatened species and other native plants and animals.

CONFERENCE: Reading the landscape, 11 - 13 October, Dubbo, NSW

Reading the landscape
linking biodiversity, research and management

For communities to live and produce sustainably, we need to better understand our natural system and maintain plants and animals needed for a healthy landscape.

Land managers, agency staff, researchers and the wider community are invited to attend at Dubbo's Taronga Western Plains Zoo to:

*better understand what 'biodiversity' means and why it is important
*talk to researchers, experts and practitioners who are improving our local fauna and flora
*learn about the science, information and resources that can support on-ground work
*see best practice for preserving and enhancing our threatened native wildlife
*network and meet other people who are committed to making a difference

The three-day program, starts with lunch on Tuesday 11 October at Dubbo's Taronga Western Plains Zoo finishes after lunch on Thursday 13th.
For more information click here

REVIEW: Review of the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (Rural Land Protection Act 1998)

Unique to NSW, the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPAs) have a 150-year tradition of landholder-funded, district-based delivery of livestock health and pest management programs to safeguard agricultural production and contribute to the national biosecurity system. The 14 LHPAs have staff at almost 60 locations across the state.

Core areas of responsibility are animal health, pest animal and insect control and travelling stock reserves.

Widespread landholder and industry concerns lead to the review of the LHPAs before the implementation of any new rating system.The review is being conducted by an independent consultant, Mr Terry Ryan, and a final report will be presented to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries by the end of November 2011.

For further information click here

GRANTS: Natural Landcare Grants

Landcare Australia and Be Natural are offering grants of up to $5,000 to voluntary environmental community groups with existing projects tackling local environmental issues that have not recieved funding in the past 12 months.

If this sounds like you, check out the details

Applications close Monday October 10th.

11 August 2011


The Australian Seed Bank Partnership aims to safeguard Australia’s plant populations and communities against further extinction through ex situ conservation; helping to ensure our plants are kept safe for future generations.

The Partnership

*Maintains a nationally cooperative seed banking effort.

* Collects and stores seed in secure conservation seed banks as long-term insurance against loss of biodiversity.

*Researches seed germination and storage requirements to improve conservation and restoration outcomes from seed banking.

*Trains and builds Australian expertise in seed science to support the conservation and restoration.

*Shares knowledge about Australian flora and the Partnership's work.

Learn more about the partners and read their plant stories.

GRANTS: Australian Biological Resources Study

*Research Grants

*Capacity-Building Grants

Australia is home to around 8 per cent of the world’s plant and animal species — with an estimated 566,400 species occurring here. Every day we are making new and exciting discoveries about Australia’s biodiversity, yet only about 25 per cent of Australia’s species have been formally described. The Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) is contributing to furthering our knowledge of the taxonomy of Australia’s flora and fauna. Over the last twelve months, research projects funded by the ABRS have resulted in the description of 19 new genera and 165 new species — however, there is still much more to be discovered.

Research Grants
• The ABRS offers 3 year Research and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants where the researcher’s primary aim is to undertake taxonomic research on the Australian biota or to develop products that aid in the dissemination of taxonomic information.
Capacity-Building Grants
• The ABRS offers Capacity-Building Grants for taxonomic and systematics research on Australian flora and fauna in the form of Honours, Masters and Ph.D awards.
• The ABRS is also offering applicants beginning a Ph.D on an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) in 2012, the opportunity to top up the existing APA rate ($22,860 in 2011) by $10,000 per year.
• In addition to these grants, the ABRS is offering Bush Blitz Research Supplements to Ph.D students. The Supplement provides an additional $10,000 research support for a project requiring taxonomy or systematics that can be linked to Bush Blitz. The award also gives the student an opportunity to attend one Bush Blitz survey.

Applications for 2012–13 close 28 October 2011

For application forms and further details on ABRS Research Grants and Capacity-Building Grants or Bush Blitz Capacity-Building Grants

NEW PUBLICATION: Flora of Australia, Volume 39 - Alismatales to Arales

Publishers: Australian Biological Resources Study/CSIRO Publishing

Year: 25 July 2011

Volume 39 of the Flora of Australia describes 17 families of monocots in 76 genera and 256 species. Most of the families are aquatic, and include the sea-grasses, pond weeds, and some major agricultural weed species. Four families are entirely or mostly terrestrial. The aquatic families are all small in number of species, and two, Juncaginaceae and Posidoniaceae, have their greatest diversity in Australia. Lemnaceae contains the world’s smallest and most reduced flowering plants, some as tiny as 1 mm long.

Of the terrestrial families, all are predominantly tropical, with their greatest diversity outside Australia. Arecaceae (palms) and Pandanaceae are often large trees, and include species of economic importance as food and oil crops, fibre, timber and other construction materials, as well as many horticultural species. Araceae are mostly climbers but also arborescent to aquatic herbs, with several important food species, and many horticultural species and cultivars.
Thirty authors, illustrators and photographers have contributed to this volume.

The publication is available from CSIRO publishing.

09 August 2011


On July 28th, 2011, nearly 100 delegates from a wide range of stakeholder groups came together in Orange to discuss the Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves (TSR) network. The aim of the conference, which was hosted by the National Parks Association of NSW, was to begin developing a framework of management principles for the shared and sustainable use of the TSR network.

Groups represented at the conference included NSW Government agencies and departments such as Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, Catchment Management Authorities, Crown Lands, the Local Government and Shires Association, Fisheries and the Office of Environment and Heritage; the Federal Government Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; a number of Aboriginal groups including the NSW Aboriginal Land Council; several universities; a number of recreational fishing groups; the Game Council; a wide range of conservation, environmental and Landcare groups; farmers; educators; birdwatchers and other interested groups and individuals.

Conference Outcomes
Key consensus points
There was a broad consensus throughout the day that communication and connection amongst groups and people with an interest in TSRs needs to be maintained and increased, to allow effective promotion and protection of the many values of TSRs. During the final discussion session, there was general agreement to five key requirements for effective management of the TSR network. They were:
1. An authority with oversight of TSRs that has stable and adequate resourcing for the task. This could build on existing institutional arrangements such as the LHPA, which is currently under review.
2. Accessible data, providing more information than is currently available and in a more coordinated and streamlined format.
3. Representative management that brings together the various values and interests and facilitated networking and information sharing
4. Educational programs to raise awareness of the wide importance of TSRs and help recognise and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage
5. An assessment of the economic significance of TSRs using a framework such as Total Economic Value, to recognise the full range of values including non use values.

For more information on the conference including reading and viewing presentations go to the National Parks Association of NSW website.

CALL FOR COMMENTS: Broad Leaf Tea-tree Woodlands - nominated for listing under EPBC Act

The Federal environment department is assessing the Broad Leaf Tea-tree Woodlands in High Rainfall Coastal North Queensland for potential listing as a threatened ecological community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

This ecological community was nominated for listing as a threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act as part of a process to streamline the listing of state endemic species and ecological communities under federal and state processes. The draft listing advice extract is currently open for public consultation and can be downloaded from the department’s website.

Comments close on Mon 15 August 2011.