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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

19 December 2014


In this issue

A Message from the Regional Manager and the Interim Presiding Member
Around the Districts - Lower & Mid North
Around the Districts - Yorke District
Around the Districts - Southern Flinders/Upper North
NRM community grant funded projects report in
Malleefowl survey at Innes shows good breeding activity
Yorke District rudder set to steer a new course
Feral animal control gives Bangor fire scar a boost
This summer book online and relax
Friends of Mt Remarkable recognised for years of service
It’s time to tackle those ‘townies’ – rabbits that is!
Weeds to be hacked in new app attack
Martindale Hall to remain open to the public
Lessons from The snail and the whale
Port Clinton locals partner with conservation volunteers to control environmental weeds
Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Lower North
Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Southern Flinders/Upper North
Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Yorke Peninsula
Getting the jump on those 3 corner jacks
Hooded Plover survey shows promising results
YP beaches given a clean up by young volunteers
Wishing you a safe and merry christmas

From all NRNY staff to the communities of Northern and Yorke region, we extend to you our very best wishes for a safe and festive Christmas and New Year.

We look forward to working with you in 2015.

A Message from the Regional Manager and the Interim Presiding Member

2014 has been a challenging year for Natural Resources Northern and Yorke. Regional Manager for NRNY Trevor Naismith and Interim Presiding Member Eric Sommerville, met recently to reflect on what the year has delivered.

“We’ve had significant budget savings targets to meet, and as a result some of our most long-serving and valued staff have moved on”, Mr Naismith said.

“We also lost our Presiding Member Caroline Schaefer, who resigned to support husband Roy who has health issues.”

Mr Sommerville said that Board members had all benefitted from Caroline’s experience in governance and procedural matters. “Her legacy is a more effective Board.”

“Since Caroline’s departure the region has been well served by Eric’s contributions as Interim Presiding Member”, Mr Naismith said.

“Our long-serving CE Allan Holmes also moved on this year and we wish him well for the future.”

Both men welcomed the Premier’s decision that the 8 Regional NRM Boards will continue, but acknowledged that NRNY will need to review the roles and responsibilities of its Board, Groups and committees.

Reflecting on 2014, Mr Sommerville said that the business needs to be more proactive about getting projects up rather than delivering them. “We need to work more closely with our CAP partners and the broader community to deliver projects.”

Mr Naismith agrees. “It’s become clear that the NRM Board cannot adopt a business-as-usual approach in employing its own staff to deliver NRM projects.”

Notable achievements for the year include the Spiny Daisy re-introduction at Banrock Station, the 4 Rivers Catchment project, on-going feral animal control at a landscape scale, community engagement through many monitoring, landcare and revegetation projects and the Young Environmental Leaders program.

“It’s so important to have younger environmentally knowledgeable people coming on behind us“, Mr Somerville said.

“We have really dedicated teams in each of our districts”, Mr Naismith told Yakka. “Despite the targets we have had to meet and the heavier loads that staff have had to shoulder, they continue to do amazing work.”

“I am in awe of the amount of work that NRNY staff do,” Mr Sommerville said.

As 2014 comes to a close the message from both men is simple. “Enjoy Christmas, stay safe and take time to be with those you hold dear.”
Trevor Naismith
Regional Manager
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

Eric Sommerville
Interim Presiding Member
Northern and Yorke NRM Board

Image: Healthy pools along the Wakefield River. Photograph taken by P. Bowden.

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Around the Districts - Lower & Mid North

District Manager for NRNY Lower & Mid North, Ian Falkenberg is no stranger to the district where he has lived and worked for many years. Ian recently spoke to Yakka about programs and priorities for the district he manages.

“My district is a bit different to Yorke and the Upper North,” he said,” because of the cross border programs we are involved in and the scale at which we work.”

An example is the Burra to Kapunda Landscapes project, a collaboration between the Northern and Yorke, Adelaide Mt Lofty and South Australian Murray Darling NRM groups.

Funded through a Native Vegetation Council Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) grant, the project, which is expected to run for a decade, aims to deliver improved grazing management across 20 properties.

It provides landholder incentives, funding for some pest plant and animal control on a $ for $ basis and fencing for the establishment of native grass pastures.

“The Lower North District NRM Group played a big part in getting this project up,” Mr Falkenberg said. “The group allocated $15,000 from its budget and engaged Greening Australia to scope the project and prepare the funding application.”

The district also partners with four wind farms in the Waterloo area through the EnergyAustralia Mid North Wind Farms Community Liaison Group to deliver projects.

“Martindale Hall has brought us some challenges in 2014”, Mr Falkenberg said. “Now that we have a caretaker arrangement in place, we hope to re-establish the Friends of Martindale Hall.”

The group disbanded about 7 years ago but a number of the original members are keen to return to the historic site and contribute to its care.

A successful advocacy group, the Burra Rangeland Action Group (BRAG) has funding through the Biodiversity Fund for goat and rabbit control across the border of the SAMD and N&Y NRM regions. 90 per cent of works are undertaken on private land.

“The BRAG group is already doing good rabbit and goat control on their own properties,” Mr Falkenberg said. “The real benefit comes when BRAG members can influence other landholders outside the group to come on board with goat control.”

The Lower & Mid North District Manager also coordinates Indigenous programs in the Northern and Yorke region. NRNY, with the District Council of Yorke Peninsula, the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division (AARD) and a Green Army group, has funding for a project at Tiparra Springs south of Port Hughes on YP. The group has received $11,165 through the Australian Government’s 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants.

Works will be undertaken to protect coastal dunes from uncontrolled and excessive off-road vehicle traffic in the Cape Elizabeth dune system. Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) rangers from Point Pearce will manage the project, with support from NRNY.

“There is a real need for this project,” Mr Falkenberg said. “It will add value to other Green Army projects currently running in the Cape Elizabeth area.”

Image: Ian Falkenberg, District Manager, Lower & Mid North District.

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Around the Districts - Yorke District

He’s only been in the driver’s seat for ten weeks but Terry Boyce, District Manager Yorke, has wasted no time getting to know YP.

“We’ve got a lot happening in our district, from some great threatened species monitoring programs involving a lot of volunteers, to test-driving DEWNR’s new online booking system,” Mr Boyce told Yakka.

The online booking system for Innes and Mt Remarkable National Parks was implemented in September. “It’s a big step forward for the agency, enabling people to book park entry, camping and accommodation twelve months in advance.”

“We’ve had some local connectivity issues, but like any new system we expected a few teething problems which we are currently working at fixing,” Mr Boyce said. A first for the state, online booking will be progressively rolled out across South Australia.

“Our fox-baiting program, largely driven by Ken Rudd has been a real success, involving more than 40 landowners across 80 square kilometres.”

Fox-baiting delivers good outcomes for several of YP’s threatened species, including hooded plovers, malleefowl and heath goannas. It also builds a buffer for the re-introduced Tammar wallaby in Innes National Park.

Mr Boyce said that the district had lost a wealth of experience with the retirement of Ken Rudd.

“Deb Furbank, Team Leader Community, has been building some really productive partnerships with volunteers to deliver much of our threatened species monitoring on YP,” Mr Boyce said.

The Young Environmental Leader program, which is managed on YP by Ranger Community, Fabienne Dee, was another success story for 2014.

Mr Boyce stressed the importance of the District NRM Group as a pathway for the YP community to raise issues, advocate for and become involved in projects that deliver benefits to the natural environment, to local industries and communities.

One of the biggest challenges for 2015 will be management of the Wallaroo Mines precinct. Recently handed back to DEWNR by the District Council of Yorke Peninsula who had held it under licence, the precinct has some serious public risk management issues that need attention.

“We have commenced a risk assessment and have closed public access because of risks around open mineshafts, sinkholes and unstable infrastructure on the site,” Mr Boyce said.

Signage has been erected and repairs to perimeter fencing have commenced. DEWNR will consult with landholders about access rights to adjacent properties.

Mr Boyce commended his staff for their efforts during the recent sperm whales stranding event near Ardrossen. “It is times like these when we really see just how committed our staff are,” he said.

Image: District Manager Yorke, Terry Boyce, with Regional Manager Trevor Naismith placing signage on perimeter fencing at the Wallaroo Mines precinct.

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Around the Districts - Southern Flinders/Upper North

Having recently returned from long service leave, District Manager for Southern Flinders/Upper North, Danny Doyle will speak with Yakka in January.

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NRM community grant funded projects report in

NRNY has received project completion reports from a number of groups who received funding in 2014 through the Northern and Yorke NRM Board’s Community Grants program. Some examples include:

Risdon Park South Kindergarten Bush Tucker Garden

Risdon Park South Kindergarten received $2165 to create a bush tucker garden.

Local business Heinrich’s Landscapers donated two hours and resources to prepare the site. Governing Council Members and staff held 3 working bees to trim trees, create yarning circles, define pathways with rocks and plant out bush tucker plants. Signage was also developed for the site.

“The project has built community bridges with the John Pirie Secondary School,” a Governing Council Member said. “Children learnt how to plant and take care of plants in the environment, and many of them are keen to organise a garden at home with their families.”

Improving biodiversity of the Gleeson wetlands

Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council received $49,500 for re-vegetation works to stabilise pond banks, prevent soil erosion and improve water quality in the Gleeson Wetland.

Rural Solutions SA was sub-contracted to deliver the project with input from the Clare District Lions Club.

The Gleeson Wetland is the main catchment for stormwater from the Clare township. The wetlands were created from the former effluent ponds next to the Clare Golf Course. The pond acts as a filter, reducing the quantity of nutrients, contaminants and debris entering the Hutt/Broughton river system.

85 school children from St Joseph’s and Vineyard Lutheran Schools were involved in the project, with 40 community members and the local Scout group.

Exotic desert ash, willow and elm trees were removed along a 300 metre river corridor. 1000 tree and shrub seedlings (grass and sedge) were planted by a commercial contractor.

Balancing biodiversity from stormwater drain to salt lake edge

Yorketown Progress Association received $10,000 to improve biodiversity in the Weaners Flat Reserve.

Students undertook a weed audit, the council arborist assessed the health of trees in the reserve, weeds were removed, and flow path created with concrete retaining walls to direct stormwater to the edge of Par Lake. The area was replanted with natives.

The group intend to put out bird and bat boxes to encourage resident and migratory fauna to utilise the area.

6 members of the Yorketown Progress Association and 5 persons from the YP District Council contributed in-kind labour. 2 teachers and 10 students from the Yorketown Area School assisted with seed collection and planting.

Several local businesses contributed by supplying native plants and excavation services. Yorketown local, Trevor Franke transported rocks and stones to drain the area.

The group will establish a walking trail around the lake with a complementary State Government grant of $47,250.

The Northern and Yorke NRM Board has received a recommendation that its Community Grants program be offered again in 2015. A decision will be made in late January.

For more information visit to our website.

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Malleefowl survey at Innes shows good breeding activity

An annual survey of Malleefowl at Innes National Park on November 1 shows there are seven active Malleefowl mounds in the survey area, and that is positive news for the endangered species, according to National Malleefowl Recovery Team chairperson Sharon Gillam.

Conducted by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, the survey of a 2.6 square kilometre area found that while numbers were slightly lower than the previous eight monitoring seasons, Malleefowl activity was still “reasonable”.

“With seven active mounds we can safely say there would be seven pairs of birds in the survey area,” Ms Gillam says.

“We believe there’s not a huge number of Malleefowl at Innes because of its gypsum salt lakes and the birds requiring Mallee woodland habitat, however, consistently high breeding activity in recent years could potentially indicate a reasonable Malleefowl population.”

Ms Gillam says it is hard to determine whether lower spring rainfall is the cause of the slightly lower numbers, with weather playing a vital role in the success of breeding.

To read the full story, visit our website.

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Yorke District rudder set to steer a new course

For Ken Rudd, it’s time to bury the last fox bait and hang up the knapsack. A veteran of pest animal and plant control in South Australia, the NRNY Sustainable Landscapes Team Leader, Yorke District, retired on December 8.

Regarded by many of his colleagues, both past and present, as the man who has steered the course of animal and plant control on Yorke Peninsula and beyond for several decades, Ken will be greatly missed.

“Ken Rudd has made a huge contribution to the conservation and wise use of natural resources in the Northern and Yorke region”, said NRNY Regional Manager Trevor Naismith.

“When the Department of Environment and Heritage and the NRM Boards integrated, Ken embraced change”, Mr Naismith said. “The integration allowed him to play a leading role in landscape scale pest animal control works that have benefitted both nature conservation as well as primary production.”

After forty years in the field, there aren’t too many pests that have passed under Ken’s radar. Bridle Creeper, Columba Daisy, Boxthorn, Branched Broomrape, rabbits, foxes, mice and plague locusts have all been in his sights.

Originally from Cowell on Eyre Peninsula, Ken crossed the gulf to Kadina in 1983 to work for the Animal and Plant Control Board, which later became the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board, integrating with DEWNR in 2012.

Since 2005, Ken managed contracts for weed control, provided councils, community groups and the public with advice about pest plant and animal matters, and worked closely with the Yorke District NRM group. He also kept his hand in on the ground, preparing and supplying baits for pest animal control.

But it was his fox-control work on southern Yorke Peninsula which gave Ken his greatest job satisfaction.

“Delivering fox control across the foot of the peninsula became crucial to the success of the Tammar re-introduction program and the survival of other endangered species like the Hooded Plover, Heath Goanna, Western Whipbird and Malleefowl,” Ken said.

“As they say, from little things big things grow – the fox-baiting program now covers 80,000 hectares across 43 properties including 4 parks.”

Invited to speak at conferences around Australia, Ken was a champion of sharing knowledge. He applied the same philosophy closer to home, mentoring young rangers.

“It was great to work with someone who was so organised and focussed in their role”, said Jasmine Swales, NRNY Sustainable Landscapes Ranger, Yorke District. “Ken was generous with sharing the knowledge and history he had collected after so many years in his field.”

In a fitting farewell, Yorke District staff, with NRNY staff from Clare, celebrated Ken’s retirement recently with a BBQ at Innes National Park, Ken’s second home for the last seven years.

From all of your colleagues at NRNY Ken, we wish you well.

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Feral animal control gives Bangor fire scar a boost

An ongoing feral animal control program is giving the Bangor fire scar area a winning chance at recovery, according to Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY).

An aerial goat and deer cull was recently conducted across about 20,000 hectares of both government and privately-owned property in the Southern Flinders Ranges from north of the Port Germein Gorge Road to the southern end of Beetaloo Resevoir.

Danny Doyle, District Manager for Southern Flinders/Upper North, NRNY, says aerial goat control has been carried out in the area for the past 15 years, but the Bangor fire in January/February this year had increased both the urgency and the opportunity to undertake the culling program.

Read the full story on our website.

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This summer book online and relax

As many South Australians prepare to head for the beach or the bush this summer, they can now book online for entry, camping and accommodation at two at the state’s favourite holiday destinations.

Dylan Strong, Community, Planning and Support Manager with Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) is encouraging visitors to book ahead this summer before setting off on their holiday to Innes and Mount Remarkable national parks.

During peak holiday times, camp grounds often fill to capacity quickly, on a first come first served basis. Campers may be turned away or end up camping outside designated areas, putting pressure on natural areas and park amenities.

“Using this system visitors have the reassurance of knowing that there will be a campsite there for them when they arrive at the park”, Mr Strong said.

Parks Pass holders must also book online using their Parks Pass number to secure a campsite.

Visitors to Innes and Mt Remarkable national parks are no longer required to display park entry permits on their vehicles.

To book online for entry, camping and accommodation at Innes NP and Mount Remarkable NP visit www.parks.sa.gov.au.

Image taken from Innes NP by Lochie Cameron for our 2014 Photo Competition.

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Friends of Mt Remarkable recognised for years of service

The Friends of Mount Remarkable National Park held a Christmas celebration and awards presentation recently, with certificates of appreciation presented to 11 members to recognise their efforts in maintaining and caring for the park.

Between them, the 11 members have racked up more than 160 years of service to the park over the 25 years the ‘friends’ group has been running.

Mount Remarkable National Park ranger in charge Donna Ferschl says the work of the volunteer friends group is invaluable.

Read the full story on our website.

Image: NRNY Regional Manager, Trevor Naismith (left) awarding Nigel Gillett for 24 years of service with the Friends of Mt Remarkable NP.

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It’s time to tackle those ‘townies’ – rabbits that is!

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke officers will work with a number of communities through December and January to control town rabbit populations.

The European rabbit is generally considered a pest of agricultural land and native bushland. But, according to NRNY Sustainable Landscapes Team Leader, Grant Roberts, ‘town rabbits’ have become a problem for a number of communities across the Mid North.

“We’ve had reports from Balaklava, Mintaro, Saddleworth, Jamestown and other centres, that rabbits are on the increase,” Mr Roberts said.

With plenty of cover available under dense hedges, in large rambling gardens, old sheds and wood heaps, town rabbits can feed and breed successfully without the protection of warrens.

As well as chewing or ring-barking young trees, including fruit trees, roses and many other native and ornamental plants, rabbits provide a food source for ‘urban’ foxes and feral cats.

“The problem is that when rabbit numbers crash, cats and foxes then prey on native birds and reptiles that live in or visit residents’ gardens,” said Mr Roberts.

Rabbit control is most effective over the summer when numbers are lowest, feed is short, and rabbits are not breeding. But town rabbits are difficult to control because standard control techniques cannot be used. “We can’t use 1080 in urban situations because of the great risk to dogs,” Mr Roberts said.

The safest option for urban areas is the sodium salt pindone, an anticoagulant which is sold under the trade name of Rabbait®. It is administered using bait stations placed in areas where rabbits are actively feeding.

Rabbits are very territorial and will investigate any freshly disturbed soil within their patch. By creating a shallow furrow near feeding areas, property owners can lure rabbits to take oat bait. Oats, a high protein food, are especially attractive to rabbits during the summer when there is not much other feed around.

“Although there is nothing stopping them from going it alone and buying Rabbait®  off the shelf, we are encouraging residents to work together to control rabbits”, Mr Roberts said.

“Rabbits move across property boundaries, so a better result will be achieved where several residents work together.”

NRNY is providing communities with bait stations, funded by the Lower North District NRM Group, oats and Rabbait®. 

Bait stations reduce the risk of ingestion of poisoned oats by pets, native animals and birds. But people should still be cautions when using pindone as it does come with some risk to dogs. An antidote, Vitamin K (injection or tablet) is available and can be administered by a vet.

Dead rabbits should be buried to a depth of 500mm to minimise the risk of any secondary poisoning to animals and birds that may feed on the carcasses.

For further information about rabbit control contact NRNY on (08) 8841 3400.

To download rabbit management Fact Sheets visit our website.

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Weeds to be hacked in new app attack

The free Weed Control app provides essential information about the control of weeds declared in South Australia under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

The weed control app includes:

  • control recommendations for over 100 declared plant species
  • chemical and non-chemical treatments
  • information on the safe use of herbicides
  • colour photographs of each species for identification.

The Weed control app provides information from the Weed Control Handbook for Declared Plants in South Australia.

In addition app users can:

  • record the location of weeds
  • keep a personal log of control activities 
  • phone or email regional Natural Resource officers
  • send photos and text of high risk weeds.

The app will be updated annually as chemical uses and plant declarations change.

The SA Weed Control app is produced by Biosecurity SA in partnership with the eight Natural Resource Management regions.

Download app from Google Play (for Andriod devices) or iTunes App Store (for Apple devices)

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Martindale Hall to remain open to the public

A caretaker has been appointed to run Martindale Hall in the Clare Valley as a museum, while long-term options for the site are considered.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes and Sustainability Manager, Craig Nixon said the Hall would be open seven days a week between 11 and 4 for public visits.

Built in 1879, the Georgian-style mansion sits on the 19ha Martindale Hall Conservation Park near Mintaro in the Clare Valley and was once part of an extensive sheep run. The property was gifted to the University of Adelaide by the Mortlock Family in 1965. Martindale Hall and grounds were later handed to the South Australian Government by the university in 1986.

Read the full story on our website.

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Lessons from The snail and the whale

Cetacean strandings are always challenging on a number of levels. Logistically and emotionally they stretch us, whether we are witnesses to the event or have a role in managing the recovery effort.

The children’s story The Snail and the Whale reminds us that for every tragic circumstance there is more than one story. Embedded in disasters are acts of great kindness and actions that go ‘beyond the call of duty’, which greatly assist in our collective healing.

David Pearce, Marine Parks Regional Coordinator for NRNY says it was impressive how everyone found time in their busy roles to help out with managing the seven sperm whale stranding near Ardrossen on Yorke Peninsula.

“It is a great opportunity to recognise the incredible teamwork from so many people over a number of days”, Mr Pearce said. “While a rare privilege to get up so close to these mysterious mammals, the event clearly brought out the best as all agencies stepped up to help.”

NRNY would like to acknowledge the contributions made by:

  • Dolphin Sanctuary crew who worked with Marine Safety to rescue 1 whale and assess towing and rescue options for the others.
  • NRNY Duty Officers who worked tirelessly over a number of days to coordinate staffing and other resources.
  • NRNY YP staff who worked on the stranding ground for the duration of the event.
  • DEWNRs Compliance Unit who provided staff to ensure that the whale carcasses were not tampered with.
  • The District Council of YP, especially Steven Goldsworthy, who, with his CEO Andrew Cameron, helped to manage the event by providing bunting, signage and road closures, and who organised the burial of the whales.
  • Letitia Dahl-helm, Natural Environment & Sustainability Officer, District Council YP, who assisted with crowd management and is proposing to develop interpretive signage to capture the story of the stranding event as part of the Walk the Yorke experience.
  • Dr Cath Kemper, Curator and Senior Researcher, Mammals, South Australian Museum, who organised a team of volunteers to remove a full skeleton and jaws from several animals.
  • Local YP earthmoving contractors who provided equipment.
  • DEWNRs Policy group who delivered a Prohibition Order gazettal in record time, making it an offence to approach the carcasses.

For readers unfamiliar with this charming little book by Julia Donaldson, a snapshot of the story is available on her website.

Thanks to Rochelle Fels, Business Support Officer, NRNY Clare, for sharing her children’s story book with Clare staff.

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Port Clinton locals partner with conservation volunteers to control environmental weeds

Port Clinton, a small YP community of about 300 people, has made good use of a community grant to remove weeds along a strip of coast near the head of Gulf St Vincent.

With funding through the Northern and Yorke NRM Board’s Community Grants program, the Port Clinton Progress Association partnered with Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) to control boxthorns, agaves, white broom, western coastal wattle and other pest plants in the district.

Thirteen people were involved in the Port Clinton weeds project, including the on-ground team and progress association members who developed the submission which won them $3500 in funding to deliver the project.

Owners of the Port Clinton Caravan Park provided the group with accommodation, valued at more than $1000.

With CVA team leader Kathryn Hastie and Port Clinton’s local weeds blitzer, Denis Story, three students from Hong Kong spent four days controlling weeds along the coastline from Port Clinton to Port Arthur.

Students Puiyi Tsoi, Monica Wong and Carmen Cheung from the Hong Kong Institute for Education came to Australia in late winter to volunteer with CVA for 6 weeks, dividing their time between Qld and SA.

Their work on YP included:

  • 2.5 acres of agaves and approximately 300 boxthorns treated between Port Clinton and Port Arthur.
  • 80-100 boxthorns destroyed in Price Reserve, with western coastal wattles and white broom.
  • 1000 western coastal wattles and 500 boxthorns treated between Tiddy Widdy and Price.
  • Boxthorns removed from the Price cemetery.
  • Scattered small patches of western coastal wattles, boxthorns, boneseed, cactus and horehound removed along the Port Clinton to Price walking trail, Clinton Conservation Park, and Price Reserve.

Local conservationist, Dennis Story, has been tackling boxthorns on YP for nearly twenty years. “I started on my patch and gradually worked further afield getting others involved along the way,” Mr Story said. “We now have boxthorns under control from south of Ardrossan all the way to the top of the Gulf.”

Although boxthorns have been greatly reduced on YP, vigilance is required to maintain this level of control. “You turn your back on these weeds and they’re off and running again’” Mr Story said.

“We also did some important work with the volunteers in the Tiddy Widdy sandhills, which are heavily infested with western coastal wattle,” Mr Story said. “Western coastal wattle is one of those plants that, taken out of its native habitat, can become really invasive, forming dense thickets that prevent local natives from establishing.”

Indigenous to Eyre Peninsula, west of Ceduna, western coastal wattle has been used widely to stabilise coastal dunes on Yorke peninsula where it has become an environmental weed.

Image: Monica Wong, a volunteer from Hong Kong with local conservationist Denis Story, taken by CVA team leader Kathryn Hastie.

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Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Lower North

Lower North’s Young Environmental Leaders (YELs) celebrated a successful year at a workshop hosted by Snowtown Primary School recently.

The celebration was a culmination of work by 15 students from Snowtown, as well as Auburn, Brinkworth and Watervale primary schools, with each group doing a presentation highlighting environmental projects undertaken throughout the year.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke community ranger Julia Alessio says she was impressed with the diversity of projects undertaken by each of the sites in 2014.

Ms Alessio says the federally-funded Caring for Country YEL initiative has far-reaching benefits, with the students involved in three shared forums throughout the year, each hosted by a different school.

Read the full story on our website.

Information has been sent out to schools, but for more information or to register interest in the program please contact Julia Alessio on 8841 3471 or 0400 362 033 as soon as possible.

Image: Young environmental leaders Aiden Hadley (Watervale Primary School), Michael Mitchell (Auburn Primary School) and Teagan Button also from Watervale, testing water quality at a forum hosted by Auburn PS.

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Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Southern Flinders/Upper North

Environmental Leaders (YELs) from the Southern Flinders and Upper North celebrated a successful year at a workshop hosted by Hawker Area School recently, including a visit to Jarvis Hill Lookout.

A group of 25 year 5-7 students from Wilmington Primary School (PS), Orroroo Area School (AS), Melrose PS and Hawker AS gathered to celebrate and present on sustainability projects completed throughout the year.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke community ranger Sarah Voumard says she was thrilled with the presentations made by the students to wrap up their 2014 projects.

“The end of year presentations were well-researched and gave a good insight into what the students had been working on this year in their schools,” she says.

Read the full story on our website.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke are calling for schools to be involved in the YEL project for 2015. All schools in the region have been sent information packs and registration forms, but for more details contact Sarah Voumard on 8658 1086 or 0429 362 004.

Image: Young environmental leaders Georgia Graham, Angus Scholz, Abby Webb and Amy Woolford from Wilmington Primary School with principal Sam Winters at Jarvis Hill lookout near Hawker.

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Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Yorke Peninsula

Yorke Peninsula’s Young Environmental Leaders (YELs) celebrated a successful year at a workshop hosted by Stansbury Primary School recently.

More than 30 year 6-7 students from Curramulka, Stansbury, Port Vincent and Edithburgh primary schools, along with St Colomba’s Memorial, Yorketown Area and Minlaton District schools gathered to celebrate and present on their sustainability projects completed throughout the year.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke community ranger Fabienne Dee says she was thrilled with the presentations made by the students to wrap up the 2014 project.

“The schools either presented an iMovie, verbal or Powerpoint presentation independently created by the students,” she says.

Read the full story on our website.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke are calling for schools to be involved in the YEL project for 2015. All YP schools have been sent information packs and registration forms, but for more details contact Fabienne Dee on 8853 2795 or 0428 429 321.

Image: Young environmental leaders receive certificates from Community Ranger Fabienne Dee at a recent workshop.

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Getting the jump on those 3 corner jacks

Known variously as 3 corner jack, bindyii or caltrop, the declared weed Tribulus terrestris is widespread across the Northern and Yorke region. Vigilance over the next few months will be required to stop its further spread, according to Bonnie Maynard, Ranger Landscapes, Lower and Mid North District NRNY.

“Caltrop is a warm weather weed” said Ms Maynard.  “It germinates after rainfall during the warmer months, with new plants establishing following each rainfall event.”

A flat annual herb that can grow out to 2 metres from a woody taproot, caltrop is found on most Northern and Yorke soils. A single plant can produce more than 1000 seeds which remain viable for many years.

Caltrop fruits consist of a woody burr with sharp rigid spines that splits into segments when ripe, earning it the popular common name of 3 corner jack.

“Those spines are a real problem,” Ms Maynard said. “They readily attach to the feet of livestock, pets and native animals, vehicle tyres and rubber-soled shoes.”

Excavation works on contaminated sites can also be a serious problem when viable seed in the soil bank is transferred to other areas.

A contaminant of wool and other produce, caltrop is also toxic to stock and can cause nitrate poisoning, photosensitisation and staggers. In urban areas it is a hazard for cyclists and dogs.

“As a declared plant, it is the property-owners responsibility to control caltrop on their land,” said Ms Maynard. “This applies to town areas as well as out on farms and other rural properties.”

In farming situations machinery and vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned before being moved from areas where caltrop is growing, to prevent further spread.

For town properties, hand-pulling when plants are small is recommended. This is best done by pulling the plant up from the root crown.

Herbicides can also be used to control caltrop. Successive applications will be required to ensure that each new germination event is treated. Spraying should be done before plants have set seed.

For further information contact NRNY Clare on (08) 8841 3400

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Hooded Plover survey shows promising results

A survey of Yorke Peninsula’s Hooded Plover population is showing positive signs for the bird, but more needs to be done to help the species which is vulnerable to extinction.

A team of 42 volunteers aged 17-83 recently surveyed a 320 kilometre stretch of suitable bird nesting habitat on YP, counting 231 adult Hooded Plovers.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke community team leader Deborah Furbank says the count showed an increase in bird numbers, up from 212 last year, partly due to better training and a larger area being covered.

“This year 100 per cent of suitable habitat on YP was surveyed for the first time, up from 67pc in 2012, giving us a good baseline figure to measure our conservation efforts,” she says.

Recently listed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Ms Furbank says despite the promising signs found from the surveys, the Hooded Plover is still vulnerable on YP.

Read the full story on our website.

More volunteers are welcome for this program and training can be provided, so if you would like to help monitor YP’s Hooded Plovers, please contact Deb Furbank on 0421 617 155.

Image: Grainne Maguire and Renee Mead of Birdlife Australia banding a Hooded Plover with volunteer Glenda Woodward of the Friends of Hooded Plovers Yorke Peninsula, assisting.

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YP beaches given a clean up by young volunteers

A group of teenage scouts from the Bleden Venturers group from Blackwood and Eden Hills gave the beach at Swincer’s Rocks a clean-up recently, collecting marine debris during a weekend visit.

It is the third consecutive visit to Yorke Peninsula by the group to undertake the clean-up program, which saw more than 4500 small pieces of plastic collected from the beach in the first three hours.

Read the full story on our website.

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What's on in Northern and Yorke

You can keep up to date on upcoming events, workshops and volunteer opportunities by visiting Get Involved on our website.

Contact us to submit your upcoming community event!

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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Government of South Australia
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