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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

5 August 2015


In this issue

A Message from the Regional Manager
NRM Board celebrates 10 years
New tourism proposal for Martindale Hall
State Herbarium releases new opuntioid cacti book
FeralCatScan app now available
Stone curlew sightings show that fox-baiting is working
Mt Remarkable to the Sea wraps up with great success
Nature Play SA Park of the Month - Naracoorte
Aerial toolkit changes how boxthorn is controlled on SYP
Work experience students swap classroom for the field
A quick phone-call resolves a prickly situation
Citizen Science helps deliver Australia's Birds report card
Feral Photos Competition 2015
Trees for Life Threatened Flora Project - upcoming activities
Mid North Grasslands Working Group host grazing management training days
SA Excellence in Agriculture Awards
UNFS 2015 Members Expo
Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group August Event
Upcoming Farmer Events
Yakka brings you NRM news and stories from across Northern and Yorke region















Please share this e-newsletter with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and your networks.


There will be no August issue of Volunteers in Action.

A Message from the Regional Manager

I recently spent two days on the road with Northern & Yorke Natural Resources Management Board Presiding Member Eric Sommerville visiting local government chief executives and mayors.

We travelled to Maitland, Kadina, Port Broughton and Balaklava visiting Wakefield Plains, Burunga West, Yorke Peninsula and Copper Coast Councils.

A good relationship with local government is essential for the effective delivery of natural resources management in Northern and Yorke region and over the next few weeks we will be visiting all CEs and mayors in our region. It will be an opportunity to hear their concerns about key NRM issues within their council area.

Our discussions so far have been productive and the CEs and mayors with whom we have met are keen to see greater levels of collaboration between our respective organisations.

Programs such as Work for the Dole and the Green Army present a real opportunity for collaboration between the NRM Board and local government.

We also need to ensure that NRM is delivered in our towns and cities as well as rural areas.

It's clear we do have some communication issues and there is an opportunity to grow the understanding of the work we are doing across the region.

It was time well spent and conversations that were definitely overdue.

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NRM Board celebrates 10 years

Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management (NYNRM) Board members met recently to celebrate 10 years with a dinner and workshop, at which district staff and project partners presented snapshots of key achievements.

NYNRM Board Presiding Member Eric Sommerville said that the region had been very fortunate to have the quality of Board members it had attracted over the years.

"The Board has been supported by excellent staff who have enabled us to deliver some terrific results on the ground, like the Four Catchments project, as well as significant progress with fox, rabbit and cactus control," he said.

Mr Sommerville also acknowledged the important contribution made by volunteers across the Northern and Yorke region.

"Volunteers work with us in every part of the region, from the beaches of southern Yorke Peninsula, north to the Flinders Ranges and east to, and across, our borders with neighbouring regions Adelaide Mount Lofty Region and South Australia Murray Darling Region NRMs. 

"They help us with weed control, revegetation projects, bushland condition monitoring, threatened species management and a host of other things."

Mr Sommerville said that while the anniversary was a significant milestone, the Board was firmly focused on the future.

"We are well on the way with our initial planning for the new Northern & Yorke NRM Plan and in the months ahead we will be meeting with communities and groups in each district to help us set new regional priorities."  

For more information about the Board and its members click this link

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New tourism proposal for Martindale Hall

A proposal to create a wellness retreat and luxury resort at the heritage-listed Martindale Hall near Mintaro in the Clare Valley is being assessed by the State Government.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the proponents have lodged an unsolicited proposal to either purchase or secure a long-term lease on the property and the nearby Coach House.

“Since the previous lease on Martindale Hall ended last year, we have been exploring options to secure this historic building’s future while maintaining its heritage values,” he said.

“Heritage-based tourism is an important component of the tourism industry – nearly half of all overseas visitors to South Australia take the time to visit one of our many heritage buildings during their time in our state.

“We want to build on this. However, like any proposal of this nature, it will be subject to rigorous assessment in line with the unsolicited proposals process before any decision is made on whether to proceed.”

The proponent, Martindale Hall Partnership, will hold a community information session at the Coach House at Martindale Hall at 4pm on Tuesday 18 August 2015. Representatives from the Partnership will discuss the proposal, while Government representatives will be available to answer questions about the assessment process.

For more information click this link.

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State Herbarium releases new opuntioid cacti book

A recently released booklet, Feral opuntioid cacti in Australia, should be added to the toolkit of anyone concerned with identifying and eradicating weedy cacti. The first of two booklets, it describes all cylindrical-stemmed opuntioid cacti occurring in Australia, with photos and drawings of stems, fruit and flowers.

It discusses how to identify each species, provides information on suitable controls and occupational health and safety issues, with instructions on how to collect herbarium specimens of cacti.

Australia has no native cacti, however a number of introduced species are declared plants, and the opuntioid cacti group (prickly pears and related species) was added to the WoNS (Weeds of National Significance) list in 2012.

The highly invasive wheel cactus (Opuntia robusta), is found on a number of grazing properties, along roadside reserves and in conserved areas in the Upper Mid North District of Northern & Yorke region.

Feral opuntioid cacti in Australia.                                                       Part I. Cylindrical-stemmed genera: Austrocylindropuntia, Cylindropuntia and Corynopuntia
69 pages, full colour throughout
$25 (incl. GST)
Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens Supplement 3 (2015)

Call 08 8222 9311 to order a copy, or download an order form

Part 2 describing the flat-stemmed opuntioids cacti is in preparation.

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FeralCatScan app now available

An easy-to-use app called FeralCatScan, which provides land managers and the community with a tool to map and report feral cats, was launched recently at the Threatened Species Summit in Melbourne.

The new app was developed by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre with funding support from the Australian Government.

Peter West, project officer for development of the app, said that the new app will enable users to record sightings, any management activities they undertake, as well as photographs of impacts.The collective information will then be used to develop practical solutions to the feral cat problem.

“Feral cats are a nation-wide issue needing collective community effort to manage. We are never going to eradicate cats, but we can reduce the impacts on wildlife by ensuring management is done efficiently, effectively and humanely in areas where feral cats are having the most impact on wildlife,” he said.

“If you have seen a feral cat lately then I encourage you to record it in FeralCatScan.”

The app can be used in the field where mobile reception may be unreliable, to store feral cat records until mobile coverage is available.

The free app is part of the FeralScan suite of app products and can be downloaded from the App Store for Apple iOS and Google Play for Android mobile devices. See details at www.feralcatscan.org.au.

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Stone curlew sightings show that fox-baiting is working

Repeated sightings of Bush Stone Curlew in Innes National Park using remote cameras and volunteer monitoring is showing the extensive fox baiting program for Southern Yorke Peninsula is having a positive impact on the species.

For the third consecutive year, the threatened ground-dwelling bird has been sighted in the park, having been previously absent from the area for 40 years.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Regional Ecologist Lee Heard says it is likely an extensive fox baiting program - now covering 70,000 hectares of public and private farmland each year - has had a dramatic impact on protecting the Bush Stone Curlew and its possible return to the area.

“Bush Stone Curlew are ground dwelling birds that are mostly nocturnal, and have been heavily affected by habitat loss and fox predation,” Ms Heard said.

“The fact that there has been extensive and coordinated fox baiting both at Innes, and now extending across Southern Yorke Peninsula, coupled with continued sightings of the Bush Stone Curlew over the past three years, it’s a really good sign that the species is again resident in Innes, or at the very least, is a regular visitor.

“It this trend continues, they may even start breeding once again and we could see a longer term population which would be fantastic.”

There is evidence a number of other threatened species including Heath goanna, also known as Rosenberg’s goanna, and malleefowl, are also benefitting from the coordinated fox baiting program.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Regional Manager Trevor Naismith is very encouraged by increased sightings of Bush Stone Curlew and other threatened species on Southern Yorke Peninsula.

“It is a credit to Southern Yorke Peninsula NRNY staff, landholders and volunteers, who have been working very closely across property boundaries." 

Image of a Bush Stone Curlew captured by remore sensor camera on 4 February 2015 at  11.27pm in Innes National Park.

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Mt Remarkable to the Sea wraps up with great success

Hundreds of hectares of revegetation, pest plant control, bush condition monitoring and fencing has capped a successful Mount Remarkable to the Sea project.

Wrapping up after four years, the joint Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) and Australian Government project has achieved its goal to strengthen links through the creek lines from the Southern Flinders Ranges to Winninowie on the coast.

Part of the Living Flinders Program, Mount Remarkable to the Sea saw a huge collaborative effort between landholders, community, volunteers, NRNY staff, Greening Australia,Trees for Life, and Nature Conservation Society of SA.

Among the project's achievements were 90 hectares of revegetation in 2013-14 and 60 hectares in 2014-15 across the project. Twelve kilometres of fencing was undertaken to exclude stock from revegetation areas, as well as 4.8 kilometres of fencing around high quality vegetation in the Telowie area with a further 2.9 kilometres of fencing along creeklines to exclude stock and allow for growth of river red gums.

Weed control included 60 hectares of boxthorn control along the coastal reserve of the Mambray Coast, 77 hectares of olive control around Napperby and Nelshaby, 80 hectares of boxthorn control along Baroota Creek, and buffel grass control along roadsides in the region.

To read the full article click this link

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Nature Play SA Park of the Month - Naracoorte

Each month Nature Play SA, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), celebrates one of South Australia’s National Parks.The World Heritage Listed Naracoorte Caves National Park will be the Nature Play SA Park for August.

Naracoorte Caves National Park is a unique part of the world. Once roamed by megafauna it is now characterised by ancient caves, fossils, wildlife and walking trails. It is one of nineteen World Heritage Sites and only one of two listed fossil sites in Australia. The park is home to wombats, echidnas, possums, kangaroos and of real significance is the critically endangered Southern Bentwing Bat.

To download 20 Things to Discover in Naracoorte Caves National Park poster click this link.

For information about activities during August go to

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Aerial toolkit changes how boxthorn is controlled on SYP

An aerial trial to control boxthorns along coastal areas of Southern Yorke Peninsula has changed the way the invasive pest plant will be managed in the future.

More than 19,000 boxthorn plants were treated on eighty-eight properties in two weeks, with a third of the work done on Wardang Island where the highest infestations were recorded.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Sustainable Landscapes Ranger Jasmine Swales said that it can take more than a day to treat one hectare of heavily infested land using traditional ground control techniques. But in the two-week trial, 7320 hectares of public, private and council lands had been treated.

“Aerial control means that we can work at a landscape scale rather than just focussing at an individual property scale, and that means much better value for money,” Ms Swales said.

Funding for the boxthorn control trial is provided by the Australian Government.

If you are interested in working with NRNY during the next stage of the project, or would like more information, contact Jasmine Swales on 0429 150 986 or ring the Natural Resources Centre Clare on 08 8841 3400.

To read the full article click this link.

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Work experience students swap classroom for the field

Two students from the Mid North have a much better understanding of the business of natural resource management following a work experience placement in June.

Burra Community School student Michaela Ross, and Tayla Kelly from Clare High School, visited conservation parks and local schools as well as undertaking work in the Natural Resources Centre during their week placement.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Lower and Mid North Community Team Leader Bonnie Maynard, who put the program together, said that the students had worked with ecologists, fire managers, pest animal controllers, environmental educators, and administration officers. 

The students visited Mokota and Caroona Creek Conservation Parks, attended a Pygmy Blue-tongue Conservation Association meeting, and helped run activities at Spalding, Blyth and Georgetown Primary Schools.  Tayla also assisted in the rescue of an echidna stranded in a vehicle inspection pit on a property near Leighton.

NRNY will offer work experience opportunities again in early October. 

To read the full article click this link.

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A quick phone-call resolves a prickly situation

Leighton farmer Simon Drew wasn’t expecting to find a stranded echidna in the inspection pit of his workshop recently when he went to look for a vehicle part. But a quick call to the Natural Resources Centre in Clare and help was on its way.

NRNY Lower and Mid North District Team Leader Grant Roberts and work experience student Tayla Kelly from Clare High School went out to the Leighton property, removed the echidna and released it in the nearby Leighton Forest Reserve.

Mr Roberts said the echidna had dug into loose earth in the wall of the inspection pit and Simon was concerned that he may have injured the animal while trying to free it.

Anyone who finds a native animal in difficult circumstances and is unsure how to handle it and return it to safety should call the Natural Resources Centre Clare on 8841 3400.

NRNY staff are recording sightings of echidnas across the region and are keen to hear from anyone who sees animals and can provide dates, location information and photos.

Sighting information should be emailed to the Natural Resources Centre Clare at DEWNR.NRNY@sa.gov.au

To read the full article click this link.

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Citizen Science helps deliver Australia's Birds report card

A major report, the State of Australia's Birds Report, produced by Birdlife Australia, was released recently by Australian Government Environment Minister Greg Hunt. It reveals worrying trends for some of Australia's most iconic common birds, including the kookaburra, magpie and willie wagtail, as well as several birds of prey.

Vast quantities of data collected by volunteers and researchers was used to measure the health of Australia's terrestrial bird populations in a wildlife survey, the scale of which has never been done before in Australia.

Editor of Australian Birdlife, Sean Dooley, said that indices based on hundreds of thousands of surveys by thousands of volunteers and researchers over the last 15 years had been used to reveal trend information about what is happening to different groups of birds across Australia.

  • 15 years of data collection
  • 14 million records
  • 900,000 surveys
  • 41 different indices representing major bird groups

To learn more about this ambitious citizen science project or to get a copy of the State of Australia’s Birds Report  click this link.

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Feral Photos Competition 2015

Photographers across Australia are invited to submit images of Australia's pest animals and the damage they cause, in this year's Feral Photos Competition hosted by the Invasive Animals CRC.

Since 2011, the Invasive Animals CRC has held an annual photographic competition to help raise awareness about the impacts that feral animals like foxes, cats, goats and pigs have on biodiversity and agriculture.

Photos from all locations across Australia will be accepted including remote camera images.

Entry is free and up to five images can be submitted for the chance to win some great prizes.

All entrants should read the 2015 Feral Photos terms and conditions (PDF) and enter using the online form at www.pestsmart.org.au/feral-photos/

The competition closes on 30 September 2015.

Over 400 entries were received in 2014. To see some past winning entries, click on the link below.


For more information contact Jessica Marsh, National NRM Facilitator on (02) 6391 3907 or email: jessica.marsh@invasiveanimals.com

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Trees for Life Threatened Flora Project - upcoming activities

August - early October 2015


  • Species: Pterostylis lepida
  • Location: Halbury Parklands/Halbury 
  • Tasks: Cape Tulip, broadleaf weeds, bridal creeper


  • Species: Acanthocladium dockeri
  • Location: ‘Hart’/Blyth
  • Tasks: Slash grass, broadleaf weeds


  • Species: Lachnagrostis limitanea
  • Location:  ‘Yakkalo' /Spalding
  • Tasks: Slash grass, broadleaf weeds


  • Species:Caladenia argocalla
  • Location: 'Sevenhill’/ Clare
  • Tasks:Bulbous weeds


  • Species: Euphrasia collina subsp Osbornii
  • Location: Neagles Rock Reserve (BFL site) Clare
  • Tasks: BCM monitoring


  • Species: Lachnagrostis limitanea
  • Location: Pinks Reserve (BFL site) Clare
  • Tasks: Planting

Late Sep / early Oct

  • Species: Caladenia argocalla
  • Location: Spring Gully CP Clare
  • Tasks: Quadrat monitoring and full count

For specific dates and details please contact:                                 Erica Rees: 0408 812 677  ericar@treesforlife.org.au

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Mid North Grasslands Working Group host grazing management training days

The Mid North Grasslands Working Group will host a field day in September 2015, as part of its ‘Protect and manage grassy ecosystem biodiversity through strategic grazing’ project, funded by the Australian Government.

The group will visit three properties near Jamestown, Spalding and Booborowie to look at grazing management of native grass pastures for production and biodiversity outcomes. 

Earlier in 2015, the group ran a series of workshops in which both producers and presenters Ian McFarland, Jodie Reseigh, Michael Wurst (Rural Solutions SA) and Anne Brown (Greening Australia) shared their knowledge and experience in grazing management of native pastures. 

Topics included how production and biodiversity outcomes can be mutually beneficial; plants of native pastures; different types of grazing systems; infrastructure options for grazing; feed budgeting and bench marking. 

Project manager Jodie Reseigh said that producers found the discussion groups extremely useful, and they would like to continue meeting on a six monthly basis to share information, issues and experiences.

If you are interested in attending the September field day or would like further information please contact Jodie Reseigh on 0428 103 886 or email jodie.reseigh@sa.gov.au

Image provided by Mid North Grasslands Working Group Inc.                                    Participants and presenters at the first grazing management workshop were L to R: Richard McCallum, Michael Wurst, Andrew Weckert, Adam Thomas, Ian McFarland, Craig Humphris, Sandy Harbison, Grant Chapman, Trevor Gum, Kevin O’Dea and Anne Brown.

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SA Excellence in Agriculture Awards

If you are a young, rural South Australian you may be eligible to receive a grant from the Agricultural Bureau of South Australia through its Spirit of Excellence in Agriculture Awards program.

Each year two awards are available providing the opportunity for young farmers and young people in rural communities to improve their personal and professional development skills and to have options of further study in their chosen career.

Applications are now open for one of the Ag Bureau’s longest running awards, the Peter Olsen Fellowship and the Rural Youth Bursary which are valued at $8000 and $5000 respectively.

Funded by the Ag Bureau, the Peter Olsen Fellowship provides a young farmer the opportunity to improve personal and professional development skills.

The Fellowship is open to SA primary producers (including agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and aquaculture) who are aged between 18-35 and who have been involved in farming for the past 12 months.

The Rural Youth Bursary sponsored by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) is for a young person aged 18 to 30, working in a rural community but not necessarily in agriculture, to undertake further study in their chosen career, which will provide a benefit to their community.

Applications close 31 August 2015.

Application forms are available under Awards on Ag Bureau of SA website.

To go to the website click this link.

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UNFS 2015 Members Expo

The Upper North Farming Systems Group will host its annual Members Event on 6 August 2015 at the Booleroo Centre Town Hall.

  • Registrations from 9am
  • Presentations from 9.30 am
  • AGM at 12.30pm
  • Networking event 4-5pm


  • Sheep in the Upper North: Different Models for Production - Farmer and Advisor Discussion Panel
  • Time of Sowing & N Management in Current Commercial Barley Varieties - Kenton Porker, Adelaide Uni.
  • Harvest Heights and Crop Establishment in the Following Season - Sarah Noack, Hart Field Site Group.
  • Economics of Break Crops - Michael Moodie, Mallee Sustainable Farming.
  • UNFS Update and AGM
  • Controlled Traffic in the Upper North - Matt McCallum, McAg Consulting and Randall Wilksch, EP Controlled Traffic Farmer.
  • Key Principles of Livestock Nutrition, Digestive Physiology and Mineral Nutrition - Hamish Dickson, AgriPartner Consulting.
  • Grazing Stubbles; Nutrition, Planning and Management - Hamish Dickson, AgriPartner Consulting.

Annual Membership, from $50 -$125, includes entry to the event and all catering on the day. New members are welcome.

For more information contact Ruth Sommerville on 0410 042 223 or email: unfs@outlook.com


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Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group August Event

Guest speaker for Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group's August meeting will be Bonnie Maynard from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, who will speak about the NRM Local Action Plan.

Members are asked to bring a summary of things they have achieved on their own properties (trees /native grass plantings, erosion control, fox baiting). They should also bring water samples, clearly marked with their name and origin of sample (bore, river, etc).

When: Monday 31 August 2015 at 7.30pm

Where: Spalding Emergency Services Shed

For more information click this link.

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Upcoming Farmer Events

Hart Field Day

Tuesday 15 September 2015

The Hart Field-Site Group Inc will hold its annual Field Day in mid September. Managed by farmers and ag industry professionals, Hart Field-Site is South Australia's premier agronomic field site, providing independent information and skills to the broadacre cropping industry.  

Each year the Field Day attracts hundreds of visitors from the Mid North, South Australia and interstate. With a rolling program of half hour sessions conducted simultaneously throughout the day, highly regarded specialists speak at each trial, backed up by a comprehensive take-home Field Day Book included in the entry fee. 

The Hart Field Day also features a marquee of cropping and agribusiness related displays and a lunch and refreshments marquee.

For more information click this link.

YP Field Days

29/30 September - 1 October 2015 

Australia's oldest Field Days event, Yorke Peninsula Field Days will celebrate 120 years in September. Fifty thousand visitors are expected to pass through the Paskeville gates over the three day event, which will showcase the latest in agricultural machinery, products, services, innovations and technology.

For more information click this link.

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What's on in Northern & Yorke?

Keep up to date about upcoming events, workshops, field days and volunteerring opportunities by visiting Get Involved on the Northern & Yorke website.

Contact us to submit your upcoming community, farmer group or other NRM event.

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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Government of South Australia
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