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Issue 49, Fortnight of 6 February 2017
Qld’s Draft Protected Area Strategy has now been released for comment

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has released the Draft Protected Area Strategy for public comment (closing 24th February 2017). The draft Strategy is the first substantial terrestrial conservation policy released by the Queensland Government since the Biodiversity Strategy 2011. 
 
The Draft Strategy identifies eleven Guiding Principles and covers four key components:

  1. Expanding and better managing the protected area system,
  2. Private protected areas,
  3. State owned and managed protected areas,
  4. Shaping the future of Queensland’s protected area system. 

After noting the existing initiatives within each component, 19 proposed actions are identified that aims to reform Queensland’s protected area estate. Proposed actions include: 

  • Increasing recognition of Indigenous Protected Areas,
  • improving the protection of private conservation land through legislation,
  • developing incentives to establishing and maintaining private conservation land,
  • protecting local government conservation lands,
  • reviewing revenue and funding mechanisms for the parks estate,  
  • exploring alternative ways to manage parks (eg partnerships, volunteering),
  • encouraging philanthropic investment in the parks estate,
  • developing a medium-term target for working towards a 17% terrestrial protected area coverage.

Queensland is internationally renowned for its biodiversity and natural beauty and is in need of a forward thinking strategy to deliver a work-class protected area network. NPAQ will be looking closely at the detail in the draft strategy and drafting a submission. Our submission will focus on ensuring the best outcomes for national parks and Queenslanders.
 
After reading the draft Strategy, you may like to participate in the Government’s online survey, or send your feedback to the NPAQ office by email (admin@npaq.org.au) or post (PO Box 1040 Milton QLD 4064) – keeping in mind the date consultation closes.

Image: Shoalwater Bay Defence Training Area expansion, Image: Minister's Statement

Protected Area Status Has No Meaning to Australia's Military
5,000 Ha of Protected Area in Shoalwater Bay, Qld is under siege, with the Defence Department planning to acquire some Protected Area land as part of the expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Defence Training Area.

The affected protected areas include:
  • Shoalwater Bay Conservation Park;
  • Bukkulla Conservation Park;
  • Charon Point Conservation Park;
  • Marlborough State Forest; and
  • Mount O'Connell National Park.
These protected areas include 14 regional ecosystems of biodiversity significance for Queensland and are home to 11 flora and fauna species of State conservation significance.

The Queensland Government have expressed their concerns over the plan.

Read some of the recent media releases and news articles:
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/1/29/environment-minister-attacks-proposed-defence-department-land-grab-at-shoalwater-bay
 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-29/national-park-land-facing-resumption-for-defence-base-expansion/8220952
 
Courier Mail Article PDF.
Image: Junior Rangers, QPWS

Aurukun Youngsters to be Given Ranger Opportunities

The Queensland Government has announced that it will spend $2.9 million over five years to provide junior ranger camps, ranger traineeships and full-time employment opportunities. The program is designed to engage children at the Aurukun School and provide meaningful career opportunities. 
Read more

Image: Jolly’s Lockout, Alexsis Wilson

Smoking Restrictions in Qld National Parks
A ban on smoking within 10 meters of visitor facilities in Qld National Parks took effect on Wednesday 1st February. These facilities include picnic tables and barbecues, toilet blocks, jetties, information shelters, and occupied camp sites.

Whilst protecting the health of the general public, the restrictions are also aimed at cutting down on litter, and reducing the risk of wildfires.  Read the Ministers Statement here.
Image: Victoria’s mountain ash ecosystem is vulnerable to collapse. David Blair via The Conversation.

Ecosystem Dependent Industry Collapse

David Lindenmayer has released a new paper exploring the collapse of ecosystem dependent industries. Read the article.

Image: Springbrook National Park, David Vial

Springbrook National Park Car Park Upgrade

Gwongorella picnic area car park will undergo an upgrade, making access easier by creating a loop road. Works will start in late 2017. Read the Ministers Statement here.

Image: Feral Cat with Galah, Mark Marathon

New Funding for Research Projects Protecting Threatened Species

Four new research projects, two related to Feral Cats, one looking at the endangered bridled nailtail wallaby population, and one looking at fossil records to inform broader conservation efforts, have been given funding from the QLD Government. Read more.

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
Image: Book Cover, FOSI

FOSI are releasing a guidebook for North Stradbroke Island
NPAQ affiliates Friends of Stradbroke Island (FOSI), have put together a new guidebook for North Stradbroke Island, introducing the island’s unique flora and fauna. It contains over 700 photographs and has been a labour of love for the not-for profit group.

All proceeds from the book will be put into conservation efforts on the Island.

The purchase a copy: https://stradbroke-nature.myshopify.com
NPAQ’s Annual Easter Camp will be at a private campground known as Yandilla, in Mt Kilcoy, adjacent to Conondale National Park. The campground has flushing toilets and hot showers available.

The property provides opportunities for walkers, photographers and bird watchers alike, with several waterfalls on the property, interesting flora and fauna, and a bird list of 160 species, not to mention the features of the nearby Conondale National Park.
 
Cost: $92.50 per person camping fees + $8 NPAQ Extended Activity fee. 
Kids under 14 years are free.

Sites are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!
Payment is required at time of booking.
For more info or to Register
Sunday 19 February
Bird Watching Moggill Conservation Park

Wednesday 22 February
Social Walk Daisy Hill


Wednesday 22 March
Social Walk to King Island, Moreton Bay Marine Park
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

 
Feather Map
Ongoing
Become a citizen scientist today by collecting wetland bird feathers you find on the ground or in the water and help our researchers create the first ever Feather Map of Australia.
Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
Call for Volunteers for 2017
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.

 
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.

 
Business Clean Up Australia Day
Tuesday 28th February 2017
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