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Issue 46, Fortnight of 12 December 2016
Image: Blue Banksia, Paul Williams, EPA, via Wet Tropics Management Authority.

QPWS Talks about Fire Regimes and the Blue Banksia on Hinchinbrook Island
NPAQ invited the QPWS Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Region to provide a response to concerns from local community groups in the region, regarding current fire regimes and the impacts to the Blue Banksia populations of Hinchinbrook Island, in a previous edition of Neck of the Woods. The questions we asked were:
  • What instruments are used to form and implement QPWS fire planning and assessment for the region and in particular Hinchinbrook Island?
  • What is the current status of Blue Banksia populations on Hinchinbrook Island?
  • What is the ability of the Blue Banksia to withstand hot fire, its ability to regenerate, and how quickly?
  • What monitoring occurs to ascertain the health and balance of ecosystems pre-and post, planned burns and wild fires, and how does this guide future planning and implementation?
To see the responses, click here.
Image: Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park, Tourism Qld.
 
Queensland Protected Area Expansion
Last week, the Queensland Government announced the addition of 366,000 hectares to the protected area estate. This increase included three new, and two expanded national parks, and helped protect some of Australia’s rare and threatened plants and animals, such as the Northern Quoll, Gouldian Finch, Glossy Black-cockatoo, and Collared Delma; and such places as the headwaters of the Burdekin River.

This increase was the direct result of federal funding under the now defunct National Reserve System (NRS).  In 1972, under the World Heritage Convention, Australia made an important commitment to protect representative examples of all major ecosystem types. Twenty years later, in 1992, Australia’s ratification of the international Convention of Biological Diversity, initiated the establishment of the National Reserve System. In 2012, the Commonwealth Government ceased providing dedicated funding for the expansion of the National Reserve System despite not having achieved the agreed goals.

We commend the Queensland Government for expanding the protected area estate and committing funds for the first four years of management. However, we call on all federal and state/territory governments to reinvigorate the strategic growth and management of our national parks if the nation is to meet its international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Currently, Australia is falling well short of meeting the 2018 target and time is running out. Many bioregions, ecosystems, and threatened species habitat remain inadequately represented within the NRS.

Read More:
http://www.environment.gov.au/land/nrs
Image: @wondrousworldimages via Instagram
 
A Christmas story that will make you see red
The Christmas Island Red Crabs shall march on. The iconic species and their infamous annual migration from forest to sea, have been under attack from the notorious Yellow Crazy Ant. This is causing a decline in the population and in turn, effecting the health of the island's forest.

In a joint initiative between La Trobe University and Parks Australia, biocontrol of the Yellow Crazy Ant will be undertaken with help of a tiny wasp.

Visit Parks Australia and read about it here
Image: Fraser Island, QLD Tourism.

FIDO’s BioBlitz
The Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO), organised a week long BioBlitz on Fraser Island, supported by the University of the Sunshine Coast, QPWS, and the Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance. Scientists and volunteers worked together to identify as many species of flora and fauna as possible, to create a comprehensive database of biological diversity for the island.

Read more here. 
Image: The 11th Hour Movie logo

Changes in our Global Footprint: Our impacts on the Earth are slowing down relative to population and economic growth
A new article from William Laurance and James Watson has been published in the December 2016 edition of Australasian Science. The article discusses how the global footprint of human population has changed over the past two decades.

Click here for an interesting read.
Image: Takahiro Shimada/James Cook University

Traditional hunting gets headlines, but is not the big threat to turtles and dugongs
Traditional hunting practices are under fire again, but recent research indicates that turtles and dugongs are threatened more by ghost fishing nets, boating accidents, and sedimentation killing off seagrass.

Read the Article from the Conversation.
Image: Platypus in Eungella NP, from Pablo Lopez

New PlatypusSPOT App Released
A new app just released relies on citizen science to help track platypus locations across Australia.

Read more here:
https://www.facebook.com/TSCommissioner/posts/1670743076549725

http://platypusspot.org/learning-centre/about-platypusspot
Image: Waterfall, Yvonne Parsons

Annual Fundraiser
Please give generously to help protect our national parks, by supporting the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) Annual Fundraising Drive!

Over the coming year, we will continue advocating for the protection of our parks in the face of continued threats, including grazing and high impact tourism developments.

NPAQ has been advocating for over 85 years for the expansion, protection and effective management of our national parks and reserves. Your support will help to continue this work.

Please donate to our annual fundraising drive to ensure that conservation is at the heart of Queensland’s National Parks.

Please click here to donate now: https://npaqueensland.worldsecuresystems.com/donate

THANK YOU TO ALL NPAQ VOLUNTEERS
Last Monday was International Volunteer Day. NPAQ is extremely fortunate to have 60 to 120 volunteers who regularly offer their skills and time each year, to the tune of 7,000 to 8,000 hours.
Thank you. Without you, NPAQ would not be able to achieve even half of what we do. You are invaluable.

WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? 
Have you considered volunteering, but not sure how to blend your passion for Queensland’s protected areas with your skill-set and interests?  You may be surprised at the variety of opportunities available at NPAQ, in continuing the work we have been doing for 86 years in advocating for national parks, providing opportunities for people to experience our unique landscapes and natural heritage, and developing innovative products such as the Kids in National Parks project.

You don’t need a science degree or green thumb to contribute. A shared vision of our purpose and enthusiasm is a great start. Have you any of the following skill sets or interests? 
 
Advocacy:  (Policy development, Campaigns, Research, Media monitoring, Member/Supporter engagement
Activities:    (Leader: bushwalking, bird watching, other outdoor activities)
Community Conservation: (Co-ordination, Community conservation projects, Citizen science projects)
Communication: (Website management, Social media, Photography, Science / environmental journalism)
Fundraising: (Fundraising activities / events)
Education: (Kids in National Parks project)
Marketing: (Promotional events)
Event Management: (Member / supporter events)
Archives: (Archive management)
Administration: (Document management, Management of image library, General administrative support, Mailouts)

See a clear fit? Complete a volunteer form and forward to admin@npaq.org.au or send to PO Box 1040, Milton, QLD, 4064.

Keen to contribute, but not sure how you can best fit in? Send an email to admin@npaq,org.au  or phone the office (07) 3367 0878
 
"Volunteering is a way of giving back and, incidentally, getting a lot back in return."
 Peter Ladner. DSF Board member

Following are some photos from the Volunteers Thank You Lunch last week:
NPAQ participated in Local Matters at Grill’d Rosalie in November!

Local Matters is the Grill’d community donation program that sees each Grill’d restaurant donate $500 back into the community every month. The donation is split between three local community groups $300 / $100 / $100.

Thanks to your support, NPAQ received the highest donation of $300!
January Members Meeting
Wednesday 18th January 2017
7:30pm at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium
Sunday 8 January 2017
Champagne Twilight Walk

Sunday 22 January 2017
Bird Watching John Oxley Reserve

Wednesday 22 February
Social Walk Daisy Hill
Saturday 18th February 2017
Vegetation Management Project
at Jolly’s Lookout, D’Aguilar National Park
Leader: Angus McElnea
0429 854 446 or gus_mcelnea@hotmail.com
Wildlife Spotter
Ongoing
Become a citizen scientist and assist researchers by looking for animals in wilderness photos taken by automated cameras around Australia. Anyone can join in and you can do it all online.

 
Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
Call for Volunteers for 2017
Immerse yourself in a thrilling wildlife experience – go batty for Mt Etna tours!
Are you ready for an evening under the stars to discover the incredible history of Mt Etna and witness an amazing wildlife experience? 

Join the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers for an exciting adventure in Mt Etna Caves National Park 25km north of Rockhampton 
 
Each summer, rangers lead small groups of visitors to see the amazing sight of tens of thousands of tiny insect-eating bats emerging from Bat Cleft at sunset to feed.
 
QPWS Principal Ranger Peter Moore said this summer’s tours would run from Friday 2 December until mid-February.
 
Bat Cleft tours are held on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Bookings are required as numbers are limited.  
 
Tours cost $11.05 for adults, $5.40 for children, $7.20 for pensioners and $33.00 for a family.
 
For further information and bookings, please contact the QPWS Rockhampton office on (07) 4936 0511 during business hours and 0429 630 923 after hours.

 
World Wetlands Day
Thursday 2nd February 2017
Arbor Day Australia
Saturday 11th February 2017
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