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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

10 September 2015


In this issue

A Message from the Presiding Member
Good luck to all regional finalists in upcoming NRM and Landcare Awards
Spring colour makes a splash in Innes National Park
Yappala - bringing improved health to country and community
Hopes for a boost to rabbit biocontrol effectiveness from new RHD strain
Friends of Althorpe Island CP shore up the island's ecology
Farmers sought for silverleaf nightshade trials in the Mid North
Download a hoodie mask and celebrate Plover Appreciation Day
New citizen science program to keep a watch on goannas
Innes NP - Nature Play SA Park of the Month for October
The Aussie Backyard Bird Count
Yorkes Classic on October long weekend
Come and see us at Paskeville
UNFS 2015 Spring Crop Walk
Hart Field Day
MNGWG Pastures and Grazing Field Day
Yakka brings you NRM news and stories from across Northern and Yorke region












Pick and choose those items that interest you or come and go at your leisure.


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A Message from the Presiding Member

Natural resource management is about how all of us - individuals, communities, industry and government - work together to ensure that resources are used sustainably and natural systems, like creeks, estuaries and native vegetation are cared for and remain healthy.

Our livelihoods, lifestyles and landscapes are all closely linked to the soil, water, native plants and animals around us.

As we develop a new Natural Resource Management Plan for Northern and Yorke region, we want community groups to think about what they want their children to inherit.

It is important that the Board understands what communities value and want prioritised in the new NRM Plan.

We want people to tell us what they value most about where they live; what they think needs attention; what they believe is at risk.

We are encouraging anyone with an interest in NRM to go to the Have Your Say page on the Northern and Yorke NRM website, download a copy of the What Matters to You form and return it to the Natural Resource Centre in Clare.

We will also have a tent at the Yorke Peninsula Field Days where people can share their ideas with us.

Once the information is collected and processed, community rangers will meet with community groups and landholders to discuss what can be done and to set priorities.

For more information ring the Natural Resource Centre in Clare on    08 8841 3400.

To download a What Matters to You form click this link.

Northern and Yorke NRM Board Presiding Member, Eric Sommerville, will present a keynote address at this year's State Landcare Conference in Waikerie.

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Good luck to all regional finalists in upcoming NRM and Landcare Awards

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke extends its best wishes to all volunteers - groups and individuals - who have been selected as finalists in the 2015 Premier's NRM Awards and SA Landcare Awards.

The winnders will be announced at the State Landcare Conference dinner in Waikerie on Tuesday 15 September.

These awards recognise South Australian volunteers who generously donate their time, knowledge, resources and expertise to conserve and improve the State’s natural resources.

Landcare Association of SA, with Riverland West Landcare, will host the 2015 State Community Landcare Conference in Waikerie, from 14-16 September.

The four themes of this conference are:

  • Biodiversity - Management and Conservation
  • Indigenous Land Management
  • People and Volunteers
  • Sustainable Farming

Registrations will close on Friday 11 September.

For more information email: jacqui.wilson@gwlap.org.au                                                                  or ring 0400 036 843.

To register online for the State Landcare Conference go to the Landcare SA website and follow the link http://www.landcaresa.asn.au/

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Spring colour makes a splash in Innes National Park

Innes National Park is awash with the colours of spring. One of South Australia's icon parks, Innes is currently in full bloom. Although an annual event, this year's flowering is particularly spectacular.

Visitors to the park will see wattles, coastal bearded heath, common fringe myrtle, various pea flowers, rice flowers, melaleucas, and leucopogons in full flower.

Ranger-in-Charge Mark Davison says that it seems the colder the winter the better the bloom for many of the park's plants.

'The brilliant red pea flowers of the signature templetonias are just stunning this year," Mr Davison said.

More than 300 species of native plants have been recorded for Innes National Park, a third of which are species of conservation significance. The park has a diverse range of plant associations found nowhere else on Yorke Peninsula.

The best way to experience the colour and highly scented air is to spend time on the park's walking trails like the Stenhouse Bay Lookout Walk.

For more information about Innes National Park click this link.

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Yappala - bringing improved health to country and community

Indigenous rangers Robert Coulthard, Shane McKenzie and Kerwin Stuart, pictured to the right, are working to improve the health of their country and their community on Yappala near Hawker in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

The Yappala Properties are owned and managed by the Viliwarinha Yura Aboriginal Corporation. 10,886 hectares of the 17,595 hectare Yappala Properties were declared an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) in November 2013, creating employment for three part-time Indigenous rangers.

The Yappala community, descendents of Malcolm and Ruth McKenzie, are currently working with the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) to control pest animals and plants on Yappala to help protect the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby.

Aboriginal Lands Trust Officer Chris Rains said that investment by the Northern and Yorke NRM Board had provided the Yappala community with opportunities to make a contribution to whole-of-landscape management targets identified through the Southern Flinders Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process.

Works undertaken by the Yappala rangers include boxthorn control, fox and cat control, goat and rabbit control, exclusion fencing to protect native plants, waterholes and springs, revegetation, and monitoring of bush birds.

"The rangers are doing Conservation and Land Management and other certificates through TAFE as well as working with teams from Birdlife Australia, the Botanic Gardens and the universities to develop their NRM skills," Mr Rains said.

All three rangers have returned to country after working away. Shane McKenzie came back as a volunteer. "Now I am seeing things I never saw before and I'm understanding a lot more."

Kerwin Stuart said he was learning something every day. "It's great to be able to come back to country, to work outdoors and be close to family."

Robert Coulthard came to Yappala as a rabbit control contractor before taking on the job of team supervisor. " It's going to be interesting to see what comes back as we get rid of the pests," he said.

To read more about the NRM work that Indigenous communities are doing in Northern and Yorke region, click this link.

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Hopes for a boost to rabbit biocontrol effectiveness from new RHD strain

Australian Governments are collaborating with industry to find a new rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) strain to boost rabbit biocontrol effectiveness in Australia.

A national project, RHD Boost will roll out a new naturally occurring overseas strain of rabbit calicivirus called RHDV K5. It will boost existing biological control agents that are already out in the environment.

RHDV K5 is not a new virus; it is a Korean variant of the existing virus already widespread in Australia. RHDV K5 is expected to work better in the cool-wet regions of Australia where the current strain has not been so successful.

K5, part of a group of RHDV strains that are collectively called RHDVa types have been widespread in European wild rabbits and elsewhere in domestic rabbits for almost 20 years. It has completely replaced the classic RHDV strains in those areas. RHDVa-type viruses were unknown in Australia until 2014.

K5 has not been approved for release yet.  Approval is expected in 2015/16 and release will follow in the autumn of 2016 or 2017.

Biosecurity SA wants to hear of any rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) outbreaks across South Australia. Two new strains of RHDV are spreading through wild rabbit populations in NSW and ACT and scientists are looking for liver samples to track whether the new viruses are present in South Australia.

For more information about the RHD Boost program click this link.

For advice about collecting and sending liver samples to Biosecurity SA ring the Natural Resources Centre Clare on 08 8841 3400.

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Friends of Althorpe Island CP shore up the island's ecology

A recipient of a 2014-15 NRM Community Grant, the Friends of Althorpe Islands Conservation Park have improved the habitat of several of the island's key bird species by targeting pest plants.

The group received $6600 to protect nesting sites for the shearwater, little penguin and endangered sea eagle from African boxthorn and tree mallow infestations, and to develop a vegetation management plan for Althorpe Island.

Members of the Friends of Althorpe Islands Conservation Park made three visits to the island between October 2014 and May 2015. They volunteered more than 700 hours, cutting and swabbing 84 boxthorn, and pulling up 1068 tree mallows and1692 marshmallows.

Penguin, seal and sea lion surveys were undertaken and bird sightings were noted, in particular sea eagle, osprey and species not previously recorded on the island.

Whilst on the island the group also undertook maintenance work on paths to make access easier for future working bees. They made repairs to cottage walls, upgraded the solar power and water systems, and did other minor infrastructure repairs.

A vegetation management plan which includes a list of declared weeds on the island, has been developed. Further weed control works are proposed and will include guided identification walks to enable volunteers to recognise weeds and GPS mapping to identify priority areas.

Vegetation surveys will be undertaken this year or in early 2016 to update earlier surveys from 2001 and 2004.

NRNY congratulates the Friends of Althorpe Island Conservation Park for their outstanding work.

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Farmers sought for silverleaf nightshade trials in the Mid North

The call is out for farmers in the Mid North to take part in a national research project which aims to improve the effectiveness of silverleaf nightshade control. Funded by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Wool Industry (AWI), the project is targeting a  perennial summer weed which costs the agricultural sector millions of dollars in lost production and control.

A Weed of National Significance (WoNS) found across Mid and Upper North districts, silverleaf nightshade has infested thousands of hectares of agricultural land in Northern and Yorke region. It can reduce crop yields by as much as forty per cent.

Project officer Karen Herbert says that research has shown that a systematic “dual action” approach over the growing season from spring to autumn delivers the most effective control.

“We want to demonstrate the research findings to farmers by conducting trials on their land, in which we compare their standard approach with some other dual action treatments,” she says.

“We are looking for several clusters of growers in the Mid North who would be willing to make a paddock or section of a paddock available for 12 to 18 months,” Dr Herbert says.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes Team Leader Grant Roberts says that 20 to 30 local farmers with medium to heavy or scattered infestations of silverleaf nightshade are being sought for the trials.

“The project will fund contractor time and herbicides, so there will be no cost to farmers.”

Spraying will begin in early summer, so anyone interested in joining the project should contact the project officer or the Natural Resources Centre Clare as soon as possible.

For more information contact the Natural Resources Centre Clare on 08 8841 3400 or Karen Herbert on 0438 297 319 http://silverleafnightmare.org.au

To read the full article click this link.

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Download a hoodie mask and celebrate Plover Appreciation Day

Celebrate Australia's first Plover Appreciation Day on 16 September by taking part in a social media competition.This special day is aimed at raising awareness of the plight of ground-nesting plovers around the world and to promote behaviours which will conserve and protect them.

Participants are invited to take imaginative photographs of themselves or others wearing Hooded Plover masks to convey the birds' vulnerability. Use the link at the bottom of this page to visit the website and download a wearable or selfie stick version of the Hoodie mask. Photos can be uploaded using the same website.

Hooded Plovers are one of Australia’s most threatened birds. With a total population of less than 6000 individuals, these birds are currently listed as Vulnerable.

One of the greatest threats to the Hooded Plover is disturbance from beach-goers on foot and in recreational vehicles. The bird's breeding season, through spring and summer months, coincides with peak recreational use of beaches.

The risk of damage to eggs is so high that a Hooded Plover only has a 2.5% chance of surviving to become an adult. This is too low to ensure that sufficient young are added to the population for the species to remain viable.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff, with dedicated volunteers and landholders, have been working hard for several years to protect hooded plovers on beaches around Southern Yorke Peninsula and to raise awareness among beach visitors.

Competition closes16 September 2015

For more information about the Hooded Plover competition click this link.

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New citizen science program to keep a watch on goannas

A new program that will see citizen scientists contribute much-needed information about South Australia's goannas was launched recently on Threatened Species Day. Goanna Watch is the latest of several citizen science projects to be run by Uni SA over recent years.

The launch of the Goanna Watch citizen science project was staged to coincide with the opening of the new Rosenberg's Goanna enclosure at Cleland Wildlife Park. Known also as the Heath Goanna, the endangered Rosenberg's Goanna is one of three goanna species found in southern SA.

Sightings of goannas can be reported using Uni SA's Discovery Circle website. If you see a goanna you should note the location and take a photograph. Many smartphones have a GPS function and can provide accurate location data. Images and sighting information can be submitted online. Even if you are unsure of the species, you can still record your sighting.

The website will also allow you to view a list of all sightings for the species; view a gallery of images that have been submitted; and will allow you to download information.

More than thirty landholders are taking part in a Heath Goanna Study on Southern Yorke Peninsula where seventy monitoring sites have been established.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke will have a citizen science tent at the Yorke Peninsula Field Days. Come and see us and share your sightings of goannas and other significant species.

For more information about the Goanna Watch Program click this link.

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Innes NP - Nature Play SA Park of the Month for October

Each month, Nature Play SA collaborates with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to promote a Park of the Month.

The Park of the Month for October will be Northern and Yorke's iconic Innes National Park. A special program of activities will be offered during the September/October school holidays and October long weekend. 

Confirmed activities include:

  • Reef Ramble
  • Aboriginal Cultural Activity                         
  • Stenhouse Bay Guided Loop Walk           
  • Beach Nesting Birds Activity
  • Historic Inneston Guided Walk        
  • Tammar Wallaby Guided Walks

All activities will require prior registration by phoning 08 8854 3202.

For details about Park of the Month activities visit the parks website or click this link. Information may not be available until late in September.

After the school holidays, visitors will be able to download a ’20 Things To Do’ list from the Nature Play SA website as a self-guided activity for the duration of October.

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The Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Be a part of Australia's biggest citizen science project during National Bird Week. From 19-25 October, thousands of people from across the country will be counting birds in their backyards, local parks and favourite open spaces as part of the Aussie Backyard Bird Count

BirdLife Australia has created the Aussie Backyard Bird Count app (available from September) for Australia’s first nationwide bird survey.

Sign-up with your name and email address, select your location on the map, and start counting.

Simply record the birds you know and look up those you don’t on the app or aussiebirdcount website.  

You can use the Field Guide year round to learn more about the birds that share your favourite open spaces.

Over time, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count will become an annual national event and provide vital information on how our local birds are faring.

Let your family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues know about the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

If you would like to get involved, receive promotional materials, or if you’d like more information please contact:
Stacey Maden
National Events Coordinator
E: stacey.maden@birdlife.org.au
T: (03) 9347 0757 ext 253

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Yorkes Classic on October long weekend

In its thirty-first year, the annual Corona Yorkes Surfing Classic will be held in Innes National Park over the October long weekend.

About one thousand spectators usually gather on the beach and boardwalk over the October long weekend to watch some of Australia's best surfers ride the big waves of Yorke Peninsula's bottom end.

South Australia's premier pro-am surfing event, the Yorkes Classic is generally run at the Chinaman’s, Pondalowie or West Cape surf breaks.  

Visitors to Innes National Park can watch the event, free of charge, and marvel at some of Australia's best surfers.

Thanks to Lochie Cameron of Foul Bay for sharing surfer image.

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Come and see us at Paskeville

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.

This year Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) will be co-hosting the NRM site with the Mid North Grasslands Working Group. You will find us on Arthurton Road, opposite the PIRSA tent. We will be joined by a number of other exhibitors including:

  • Greening Australia
  • YP Alkaline Soils Group Inc
  • Laura Agricultural Bureau
  • Ag Excellence Alliance
  • N&Y Regional Landcare Facilitator
  • DEWNR Soils Initiative
  • Carbon Farming Knowledge
  • GRDC Curtin University WA

University of South Australia PhD student Bianca Amato will also join us in the large marquee where she will conduct interviews with landlolders as part of her research project on native pollinators.

NRNY staff with be available to provide landholders with advice about pest plant and animal control and opportunities to join regional NRM projects.

We will also be recording sightings of threatened and uncommon species and seeking landholder views about NRM matters in our citizen science tent adjacent to the main marquee.

A  treat for children this year will be the interactive touchscreen games Rabbit Whacker and Weed Whacker. Fresh from the Royal Adelaide Show, the games are likely to be just as popular with parents as their children.  

Come and see us at site 618 on Arthurton Road. The gates will open at Paskeville at 9am on Tuesday 29 September.

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UNFS 2015 Spring Crop Walk

Upper North Farming Systems will host its Eastern Spring Crop Walk on Thursday 10 September 2015, from 1 to 5pm.

Understanding local soils is a challenge, as they are variable, hard to see in profile and expensive to test. The Eastern Spring Crop Walk program will help to shed some light on what impacts farming activities are having on the health, structure and productive capacity of the region's soils.

The Spring Crop Walk has been made possible through funding from the GRDC Stubble Initiative, the National Landcare Program and valued sponsors, with support from partners SARDI, UNI SA and Rural Solutions.

The program will start at 1pm at Kupkes Road, East of Pot Corner, Booleroo.

Free entry for members; non-members welcome, $10 entry.

For more information contact Ruth Sommerville                             email: unfs@outlook.com or phone 0401 042 223 www.facebook.com/UpperNorthFarmingSystems

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Hart Field Day

The Hart Field-Site Group Inc will hold its annual Field Day on Tuesday 15 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.

The Hart Field site is located between Blyth and Brinkworth. A location map is available on the group's website.

The gates will open at 9am, with the official welcome at 10am. Sessions begin at 10.30am.

For more information click this link.

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MNGWG Pastures and Grazing Field Day

The Mid North Grasslands Working Group will host a Pastures and Grazing Field Day on Thursday 17 September 2015.

Participants will have an opportunity to visit three properties involved in the MNGWG project.
9.30 am - Bill and Sandy Harbison property Booborowie
Meet @ Corner Somme Brae and Muncowie/Black Tank Roads
1.00 pm - Craig Marlow property Gulnare
Meet @ Corner Gulnare Spalding and Pattersons/Watts Range Roads
3.00 pm - Malcom Thomas property Tarcowie
Meet @ Corner Jamestown-Orroroo and Tarcowie-Peterborough Roads

For more information or further directions contact
Jodie Reseigh
0428 103 886

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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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