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Issue 50, Fortnight of 20 February 2017

Queensland’s Draft Protected Area Strategy - LAST CHANCE FOR COMMENT
The Draft Queensland Protected Area Strategy discussion paper CLOSES for public comment via an online survey on Friday 24th February.

We encourage both our members and supporters to respond to the online survey.

The draft strategy aims to facilitate discussion on the key actions identified by the Dept of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Dept of National Parks, Sport and Racing, to achieve a sustainable expansion and effective management of Queensland's protected area estate with involvement from both the public and private sectors.

The Draft Protected Area Strategy document can be downloaded here

The Online Survey can be filled out here

Image: US Troops Training in Shoalwater Bay, By U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Chelsea D. Terrell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Shoalwater Bay Land Grab Backdown
The Turnbull Government has been forced to backdown on a controversial Shoalwater Bay land grab, that threatened 5,000 ha of protected area, which we included in our previous newsletter. The Federal Government is now saying that they will not compulsorily acquire land, but only buy land from those landowners that are willing to sell.

This backdown removes the immediate danger to these areas, however it remains to be seen what the masterplan for the training area expansion will entail, with protected areas existing on all sides of the current training area.
 
Read More:
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/2/7/environment-minister-welcomes-turnbull-government-surrender-on-national-park-land-grab
 
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/shoalwater-bay-land-grab-labelled-heartless-and-cruel/news-story/5a7fa1b2fb183d104353802f5bff7a91
 
Image: Australian Dingo, Queensland Museum.

Print Correction for the Feb/ Mar Edition of Protected
There is a minor error in the Great Sandy National Park article, in the February/ March Edition of Protected. The correct date of the dingo attack was 2001. We apologise for the error, and have corrected the online version of this edition.

We have also edited the article, to remove the statement that the Fraser Island Dingo is the purest strain in Australia, as it has been brought to our attention that there is some controversy around this fact. It is likely that the Fraser Island Dingo may become the purest strain of Dingo. Mainland dingoes are becoming hybridised due to breeding with domestic and feral dogs, this will lead to the extinction of the pure dingo on mainland Australia.
Read More

Sad News

NPAQ were sad to hear of the passing of John de Horne at the age of 80. John was the President of our association for 5 years, from 1996 to 2001.

He was passionate about the protection of our National Parks, and lead many activities on behalf of the association.

We wish to extend our condolences to John's family and friends.

Several members that knew John well, as well as a small contingent of NPAQ Council Members, attended his funeral on Thursday 9th February 2017.

Image: Araucaria bidwillii trees Bunya Mountains, from Tatters via Flickr.

Extra land added to Bunya Mountains National Park 

Just last week, National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles announced that a 52 hectare block had been added to Queensland’s second-oldest national park, Bunya Mountains, about 200km northwest of Brisbane.

The steep block at the southern boundary of the park has high conservation values and cost the Queensland Government $214,500.
Read more

Image: Nerang National Park Mountain Bike Trail, Simon French, Dirt Art Pty Ltd

Nerang National Park to be Overrun By Mountain Bikers
A diversity of track styles within the National Park, including fast flow trails and slow-speed steep and technical trails are part of a $3.2 million project for Mountain Bike Competitions for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Minister Miles is on record saying 'The three loops of the competition track on national park will provide exciting challenges and experiences for the growing number of mountain bike enthusiasts – both in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games and for a long time after the event.'
 
This is another example of conservation taking a backseat to recreational uses within Qld National Parks.
Read more

Image: Turtle Hatchlings, Jess Lodge, ABC News

The Heat Is On - Turtle Hatchlings Dying

Turtles that are hatching during the day at Mon Repos, are not surviving due to the extreme temperatures of the sand. Turtle nests are also at risk of overheating and rendering the eggs unviable. Crews are working around the clock move the clutches to hatcheries under shade cloth in an attempt to save as many turtles as possible.
Read More

Image: Raine Island Turtle, QLD Government

TurtleCam revealed for Raine Island

A new website, highlighting the ground-breaking work being undertaken on the remote Raine Island, which is the breeding ground for one of the world’s largest populations of green turtles, and the site of a joint recovery project, will offer a “turtle-eye’ view of a special world few people get to see on the reef.
Read more

Image: Southern Cassowary, QLD Government

Second Dedicated Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre Announced In Far North Queensland
A new privately operated cassowary rehabilitation facility, to open on the Atherton Tableland in April, has received the necessary approval from the Department of Environment Protection (EHP). Not-for-profit group Rainforest Reserves Australia will operate the new centre at Lake Barrine, to be known as the Tablelands Cassowary Facility. The new facility will become the second dedicated centre for managing sick, injured and orphaned cassowaries in Queensland.

The Palaszczuk Government is spending an additional $530,000 enhance cassowary rehabilitation and to create four permanent wildlife officer positions, based in Innisfail and Cairns, to deliver frontline cassowary services.
Read more

Image: Junior Rangers Lana Beaufils and Justine Saunders, QLD Government

Ricoh Sponsors Cooktown Junior Rangers
A generous $20,000 contribution from workplace technology provider Ricoh, to the Junior Rangers Program, under the Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers in the Cooktown region will provide tents that are more suited to the Cooktown environment for camps on country, and for iPads and other equipment for field activities.
Read more

Image: Mining site in Kahuzi Biega National Park, UQ

World Heritage Sites Are Being Destroyed
Natural World Heritage Sites, globally recognised as containing some of the Earth's most valuable natural assets, are under threat from human pressures. These pressures include roads, agriculture, urbanisation and industrial infrastructure. Some sites have lost 10 to 20% of their forested area in just 20 years, which does not bode well for future generations.
Read more

Image: Red Ruffed Lemur, Chris Humphries, via Shutterstock

Habitat Loss Impacting 75% Of The World's Primates

A new study has shown that of the 504 primate species worldwide, around 60 percent are threatened with extinction and 75 percent have declining populations. Deforestation, Habitat Fragmentation, and Logging are among the top pressures on these species.

These statistics further reinforce how important protected areas are as a worldwide measure for conversation.
Read more

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
Wednesday 22 February
Social Walk Daisy Hill


Wednesday 22 March
Social Walk to King Island, Moreton Bay Marine Park
Saturday 18th March 2017
Vegetation Management Project
at Jolly’s Lookout, D’Aguilar National Park
Leader: Angus McElnea
0429 854 446 or gus_mcelnea@hotmail.com

 
Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
Call for Volunteers for 2017
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.
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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