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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

14 January 2016


In this issue

A Message from the Regional Manager
Key NRNY contacts for Northern and Yorke communities
Patience best hope for native veg recovery after Pinery fire
Don't miss out on a bite of Northern and Yorke's small projects funding
Free bait available for rabbit control across Yorke Peninsula
Call for 2016 NRM Science Conference papers and posters
Canid pest ejectors soon to be part of the fox-control toolkit
Good Living Blog - connect and interact with SA's parks and reserves
YEL program - empowering youth as future environmental leaders
New strain of RHD virus may be on its way to Northern and Yorke
Bird man migrates to international bird sanctuary
Support local landcare group's Feral February initiative
Incentives available to join Burra to Kapunda project
It's time to hit those summer weeds
Southern Flinders biodiversity hotspot at risk from climate change and weeds
Green Army looking for recruits for Mid North project
Encounter Marine Park - Nature Play SA January Park of the Month
Yackamoorundie group kicks off 2016 with impressive speaker line-up
Yakka brings you NRM news and stories from across Northern and Yorke region














A very special greeting to those who were impacted by the recent Pinery Fire and the wonderful volunteers who have done so much to aid the recovery effort.


Please share this e-newsletter with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and your networks. Click on the stories that interest you and follow the links.

A Message from the Regional Manager

It's a new year with much to look forward to in Northern and Yorke (N&Y) region. But for many landholders, communities and volunteers, the grim aftermath of the December 2015 Pinery fire, lingers.

A number of our communities have been severely impacted, with about 40% of the fireground footprint falling within N&Y region. As with the Bangor and Sampson Flat fires we are again seeing the incredible resilience of our farming communities as they get on with the business of recovery.

We are continuing to work closely with Adelaide Mount Lofty region (AMLR), and many other organisations and agencies to assist landholders and communities as they recover and rebuild.

Pinery Fire is our state's third catastrophic wildfire in as many years. Extreme weather events are part and parcel of our changed climate, and their increased probability creates huge challenges for all of us.

The N&Y NRM Board has previously invested in the affected area largely through Natural Resources Northern and Yorke's Four Catchments Project. We will now need to assess how it can best reinstate what has been lost.

I have been very impressed with the work done by Yorke District staff over the Christmas and New Year period. This year saw Innes National Park at 87% capacity with unprecedented numbers of day visitors and campers. The smaller campgrounds such as Cable Bay, Gym Beach and Shell Beach were the most popular, with 100% occupancy at Shell Beach.

While it is disappointing that staff had to intervene in a number of incidents relating to fires on total fire ban days, most visitors were very well-behaved. As a key tourist destination within our region, Innes National Park strongly supports the economy of Yorke Peninsula.

Work is continuing on the next N&Y NRM Plan with much of the information that will shape its development being gathered through our CAP (Community Action Planning) process. Contributions collected at the 2015 Yorke Peninsula Field Days will supplement that information.

Community Action Planning ensures that future NRM investment is wisely directed towards agreed priorities, by aligning local knowledge and aspirations with contemporary science. It also allows for local government to contribute its views on where effort and resources are directed.

I am looking forward to another productive year as we continue to deliver a broad range of on-ground works together with our partner organisations and the community.

Happy New Year to all.

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Key NRNY contacts for Northern and Yorke communities

Regional Office Clare

Natural Resource Centre         08 8841 3400

Duty Ranger - AH contact for emergencies   0417 883 678

Volunteer support  -  insurance, training    Carly Dillon  0428 842 874

Communication and media enquiries    Lorraine Edmunds   08 8841 3400

Grant information and reporting     John Peet  0458 592 570

Community Team Leaders

Volunteers and community groups, YEL program, education

Kate Pearce - Southern Flinders Upper North District   0429 362 002 

Bonnie Maynard - Lower and Mid North District    0419 209 898

Deborah Furbank - Yorke District    0421 617 155

Landscapes Team Leaders

Pest plant and animal control

Kevin Teague - Southern Flinders Upper North District   08  8658 1086

Grant Roberts - Lower and Mid North District    0428 842 492

Max Barr - Yorke District    0488 133 279

National Parks

Mark Davison - Ranger in Charge Innes NP    0427 347 064

Lisa Taylor - Acting Ranger in Charge Mt Remarkable NP    0428 990 675  

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Patience best hope for native veg recovery after Pinery fire

Remnant stands of native vegetation were destroyed, with stubble, crops, orchards and amenity plantings, in the recent Pinery Fire. Natural Resources Northern & Yorke's Craig Nixon says time, rather than early planting out of native tubestock, will be the most important factor in recovery. 

"Many native plants are fire adapted and will recover provided grazing impacts are managed as plants regenerate, so it is important that we are all patient and wait to see how species recover."

"People are keen to help but it is really important that we have a coordinated approach in the advice that we provide and the way we go about supplying and distributing plants to fire affected properties."

Representing Northern & Yorke region on the Pinery Fire Recovery Team, Mr Nixon says that a number of organisations including Trees For Life, TAFE, Barossa Bushgardens, State Flora and the Light Regional Council have already begun making arrangements for the propagation of tubestock.

"It's important that local provenances are used so anyone keen to assist with propagation should contact Trees For Life or the Pinery Fire Recovery Centre in Gawler."

Mr Nixon said rabbits are likely to be an issue as plants begin to regenerate because food resources will be extremely scarce across burnt out areas.

"Now is an ideal time to target rabbits and the best results will be achieved where landholders can cluster and deliver control across the landscape rather than property by property."

Northern and Yorke region (N&Y) is working closely with Adelaide Mount Lofty region (AMLR) in providing a partnership response to landholders and communities impacted by the recent Pinery Fire.

Advice and information about funding opportunities is available from AMLR and N&Y staff at the Gawler Recovery Centre. Community members, impacted landholders and volunteer growers should lodge their interest through the Centre by ringing 0477 744 258.

To keep in touch with the recovery effort click this link to download the latest Pinery Fire recovery newsletter.

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Don't miss out on a bite of Northern and Yorke's small projects funding

More than $11,500 has been allocated for small projects across the region through NRNY's 'Bite-sized' Grants Program during the first six months of the 2015/16 financial year.

Successful applicants have received funding for weed control, riverbank protection, foredune restoration, native habitat gardens, volunteer recruitment, interpretive signage and awareness raising.

All districts are represented with projects at Corny Point, Georgetown, Moonta, Clare, Althorpe Island,Tarcowie, Quorn, Formby Bay, Port Minlacowie, in the Tothill Ranges and along the Broughton River.

‘Bite sized’ funding offers grants up to $500 to boost small projects with a natural resources management focus. Individuals and groups can apply for one ‘bite-sized’ grant during the current financial year.

Applicants are asked to consider the categories of Farmer First; Cities and Towns; Sustainable Development; New Impact on the Landscape; Soil; Community Voice; Next Generation; Pest and Weeds; and Water. They should have a clear understanding of why the project is important and how it will be implemented.

Applications for the ‘bite-sized’ grants are available online by clicking this link.

For more information or assistance with applications, phone the Natural Resource Centre Clare on 8841 3400.

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Free bait available for rabbit control across Yorke Peninsula

Community groups and landholders are being urged to take advantage of funding currently available to control rabbits on Yorke Peninsula.

Throughout January and February, rabbit bait will be available free of charge to community groups and landholders through Australian Government project funding managed by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY).

Max Barr, Landscapes Team Leader for Yorke District, says the more people who bait under this coordinated baiting program the greater the result will be at a landscape level.

Rabbit numbers are at their lowest during summer when feed is in short supply allowing for a greater uptake of bait. This provides an opportunity to reduce breeding potential and minimise population spikes later in the year.

A range of rabbit bait products are available for broadacre applications on rural properties as well as smaller farms and township sites.

Bait will be free during January and February to maximise the baiting effort across the districts, with bait layers also available for loan. 

At other times of the year rabbit bait will be available for purchase.

Landholders can register and pre-order rabbit bait by contacting the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400 or by emailing DEWNR.NRNY@sa.gov.au

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Call for 2016 NRM Science Conference papers and posters

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the SA NRM Research and Innovation Network (NRM RAIN), will host the 2016 SA NRM Science Conference in April.

More than 500 delegates attended the 2014 conference at which 125 projects were showcased.

 The 2016 conference aims to:

  • Showcase the best natural resource science from across the state
  • Demonstrate how natural resource policy and management decisions are underpinned by robust, peer reviewed, defendable science
  • Highlight successful science and research projects and partnerships across multiple SA Government agencies and research organisations.

The conference will bring together natural resource decision-makers and researchers from across South Australia, including universities, government, NGOs and landholders.

The conference will be held at the University of Adelaide on April 13/14, 2016. Registrations open at the end January. While it is free, anyone intending to attend the conference should register.

Organisers are now seeking abstracts for oral presentations and poster presentations under the following themes:

  • Conservation and management of biodiversity (including biosecurity, threatened species, restoration and habitat management, and abundant species)
  • Water management
  • Sustainable land management
  • Marine and coasts
  • Climate change
  • Indigenous natural resource knowledge
  • Fire ecology
  • Natural resource social science

Abstracts should be submitted via email to Dr Jennie Fluin at jennie.fluin@sa.gov.au by 29 January 2016 (maximum 1/2 page).

For further information contact Dr Jennie Fluin on 0434 950 885.

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Canid pest ejectors soon to be part of the fox-control toolkit

A new tool for the control of foxes and wild dogs should be available in South Australia later this year following successful trials in Qld, NSW and Victoria.

The canid pest ejector has been designed to exploit the way in which dogs and foxes eat. Working as a lure rather than a bait, the ejector shoots a toxic 1080 capsule directly into the mouth of the fox or wild dog.

Staked to the ground, the device can be left in place indefinitely as the sealed ejector capsules are protected from the elements and remain viable. It can only be activated by an animal with sufficient strength to pull the lure and release the capsule. Most birds, reptiles and small native animals do not have sufficient strength to activate the ejector. This means that off-target impacts are minimised.  

Regulations are currently being developed for the use of canid pest ejectors in South Australia.They will be available subject to approval with a training component that will cover:

  • neighbour notification requirements
  • capsule dose rates
  • preparing, using and disarming ejectors
  • safe capsule storage and disposal
  • maintenance of ejectors
  • personal protective equipment

To speak with a NRNY officer about canid pest ejectors ring the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400.

A booklet is available for download by clicking this link

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Good Living Blog - connect and interact with SA's parks and reserves

Good living is a magazine-style blog that connects you with South Australia’s natural wonders, highlights fun and family activities and unlocks the state’s environmental and heritage treasures. It’s chatty, engaging and mobile friendly – an easy way to bring the environment into your busy life.

Good living also provides you with opportunities to share your photos and stories about those things that make our natural environment so special.

To test drive DEWNR's Good living blog click on the links below.

Help native animals in hot weather

Online booking for SA's national parks

South Australia's 5000th plant

Keep the wild in our wildlife

Camping with kids

Good living also brings you Insider guides to some of SA's most beautiful and lesser known parks. Click on the links below to go straight to the park.

Eyre Peninsula Marine Parks

Coffin Bay National Park

Innamincka and the North East Deserts

Click this link to suscribe to the Good Living newsletter.

To read more about the Good Living Blog click this link.

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YEL program - empowering youth as future environmental leaders

Did you know that Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) has an Education Team who provide an environmental education program for schools in Northern and Yorke region?

The Education Team deliver:

  • NRNY's Young Environmental Leaders (YEL) Program
  • NRM Environmental Education Sessions
  • Professional development for teachers

Last year:

  • 23 schools took part in the YEL program
  • 5 students were selected for the Youth Environment Council of South Australia
  • 3 schools won 2015 KESAB Sustainable Community Awards 

All primary schools are invited to participate in NRNY's 2016 education program. Activities, lessons and support can be tailored to meet individual school's needs.

Up to 6 students per school from years 5 to 7 are eligible to take part in the YEL program. As YEL students, they will participate in sustainability-focused activities, youth forums, and have access to funding for sustainability projects within their school. As environmental ambassadors for their schools, YEL students will develop research, communication and leadership skills.

For further information, to discuss opportunities for your school, or to receive an Education Program registration form, please contact your district community ranger.

Yorke District                             Lower& Mid North District
Fabienne Dee                              Bonnie Maynard
M: 0428 429 321                          M: 0419 209 898
E: Fabienne.Dee@sa.gov.au       E: Bonnie.Maynard@sa.gov.au

Southern Flinders & Upper North District
Alex Emmins
P: 08 8658 1086        E: Alex.Emmins@sa.gov.au

NRNY's education program is supported by the N&Y NRM Board and district-based community rangers.

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New strain of RHD virus may be on its way to Northern and Yorke

Scientists are seeking help from the public as they monitor the spread and impact of a new strain of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, (formerly calici virus), on wild rabbit populations across South Australia.

A European variant of the RHD virus, called RHDV2, has been confirmed in South Australia at Paruna and Murray Bridge. Scientists are keen to receive tissue samples from dead rabbits across South Australia to determine if the new strain, RHDV2, is present in other districts.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Landscapes teams are urging the public to report and collect rabbits and hares, or their livers/hind leg bones, if they find animals they think may have died of RHD.

The virus can be detected in the tissue for some time so even if rabbits have been dead for several weeks they are still of value and can be frozen until arrangements can be made for the collection of the samples.

Anyone collecting material should record location details and the date the collection was made.

Australian governments are currently collaborating with industry to release a new RHDV1 strain from Korea, called K5, to improve rabbit biocontrol effectiveness in Australia. A national release is likely in late 2016 or early 2017.

For advice about collecting rabbit liver or hind leg samples ring the Natural Resource Centre on 08 8841 3400.

For more information about rabbits and other pest animals click this link for the Pest Smart website.

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Bird man migrates to international bird sanctuary

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke’s ‘bird man’ has 'winged' it to the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary which is being created to help protect resident and migratory shorebirds that gather along the coast of Gulf St Vincent.

Unable to remember a time when he was not interested in raptors (birds of prey), Ian has contributed to their conservation for more than 40 years, work he has done in tandem with his ‘day job’.

In the 1980s Ian completed a 4 year study of the impacts of organo-chlorine pesticides on coastal raptors. Later, following the release of the RHD rabbit virus, he worked on a 6 year study of the productivity of rabbit-dependent raptor species along the Strezlecki Creek. He went to Christmas Island in 2006 to work on a goshawk population study and in 2013, convened South Australia’s first raptor conference. Ian has served as a volunteer on Birds Australia’s Gluepot Reserve Management Committee for 16 years.

Like many after him, Ian started as a base grade ranger at Mambray Creek, Mount Remarkable National Park. He went on to work in all regions in a variety of roles.

A pivotal point in his career was a move to the Riverland as District Ranger in 1996. UNESCO’s Bookmark Biosphere (now called the Riverland Biosphere Reserve) was being established and it was to have a profound impact on Ian and how he did his job.

“Bookmark was extraordinary,” Ian said. “Bringing local communities into management, engaging them in a way that builds ownership at a landscape scale, was a completely new concept.”

Following a restructure of Riverland District in 2000, Burra & Districts was created, later to become Northern and Yorke region. Starting off as a one-man show operating out of a tiny shop front in Burra with two other tenants, Ian seized the opportunity to bring some elements of the UNESCO model to the new region.

BRAG (Burra Rangelands Action Group) is a product of this thinking and direction. The 26 member landholder group has attracted  $750,000 in funding for on-ground works over twelve years.

Ian believes the key to success is good relationships. Government and community have to be moving in the same direction.

"We are all equal, we have many of the same challenges; we just manage for different reasons."

Welcoming another opportunity to set something up from the  beginning, Ian will be out and about doing what he does best, working with community and other stakeholders to protect migratory shorebirds that use the East Asian - Australasian Flyway.

NRNY staff and Mid North community groups wish Ian well for a successful migration south.

For more information about the Adelaide International Bird Sanctaury click this link.

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Support local landcare group's Feral February initiative

Yackamoorundie Landcare Group is promoting a targeted control program for feral animals in the Yackamoorundie district during February.

As part of its Feral February initiative, a prize for the best effort to control feral animals in the district will be awarded at the Yackamoorundie Landcare Group's first meeting for the year at Washpool on Sunday 28 February.

All participants are asked to keep a tally of their efforts and submit it to the committee by Saturday 27 February 2016.

Control measures should be conducted humanely with no social media photos to be submitted to the group's facebook page.

By pooling resources and partnering together to control pest animals at the same time, local communities can have a greater impact with lasting benefits.

To request a tally sheet or to send completed records please email Judith Sommerville


For details of the Yackamoorundie Landcare group's February meeting scroll down to the last item in this newsletter.

Information on pest species and their control can be found at www.pestsmart.org.au

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Incentives available to join Burra to Kapunda project

Eligible landholders in the Tothill Ranges area are being offered incentives to be part of Natural Resources Northern and Yorke’s (NRNY) Burra to Kapunda Landscape Project that aims to improve connectivity of biodiversity through the area.

The Tothill belt has been identified as a priority conservation area through the Mid North Community Action Planning process (CAP).

The project extends from Burra in the north, to Kapunda in the south, with the Barrier Highway forming the western boundary and the Burra-Robertstown-Eudunda road, marking the eastern boundary.

Incentives are available for pest plant and animal control, revegetation, grassland restoration through sustainable grazing, fencing for conservation and whole-of-paddock restoration.

The Burra to Kapunda Landscape Project is part of a larger program that aims to restore land condition and connectivity within and between the hills of the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges.

Connectivity along the Tothill Ranges belt and surrounding ranges, will provide improved habitat for native reptile and bird species, enabling movement between isolated patches and giving species the best chance of adapting to climate change impacts in the years ahead.

Funded by a Native Vegetation Council Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) Grant, the project has been running for 18 months, with the next round of on-ground works set to be identified in the next few months.

Landholders are encouraged to register their interest by contacting the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400.

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It's time to hit those summer weeds

It might be dry and it's certainly hot, but many summer-growing weeds are thriving. Dry conditions across Northern and Yorke region are suppressing growth in some summer-growing weeds. But deep-rooted, drought resistant perennials like African rue are flourishing especially through the Broughton catchment.

Annual weeds like caltrop will respond rapidly after a rain, germinating within days and producing fruit in just a few weeks. Landholders and volunteers need to be ready to act quickly to prevent new populations from establishing and adding more seed to soil seed banks. 

Summer season weeds to watch include:

  • caltrop - prostrate summer annual
  • silverleaf nightshade - perennial herb
  • African rue - small perennial shrub
  • khaki weed - prostrate perennial herb
  • innocent weed - small annual grass
  • creeping knapweed - deep-rooted perennial herb
  • buffel grass - perennial tussock grass

Biosecurity SA's Weed control handbook for declared plants in South Australia - July 2015 edition, is a very useful resource, providing images, herbicide product information, application methods and rates and other information for declared plants. Copies are available from the Natural Resources Centre in Clare.

Priority weed fact sheets for each district are available from district offices across Northern and Yorke region, or from our website.

For advice and information about summer weed control contact district Landscapes Team Leaders through the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400.

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Southern Flinders biodiversity hotspot at risk from climate change and weeds

A University of Adelaide study has identified the Southern Flinders Ranges as one of 6 plant biodiversity hotspots in SA at risk from climate change and weed invasion.

The study found that the southern Flinders Ranges was likely to be the most sensitive of the six hotspots to the impacts of climate change.

Weed invasion was also identified as a major threat with high numbers of introduced plants occurring in native habitats in areas around the Adelaide region, Mount Lofty Ranges, and the Mid North, potentially threatening native biodiversity.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke's regional manager, Trevor Naismith, said the findings from this study reinforce the importance of regional NRM programs like Living Flinders, Naturally Yorke and the Burra to Kapunda Project, which deliver critical on-ground works that protect native vegetation by managing threats from introduced plants and animals. 

"It's important to tackle these problems at a landscape-scale rather than in a piecemeal manner, property by property,"  he said.

"By working together landholders can secure larger areas of continuous habitat, minimising the exposure of species and creating conditions that will increase their resilience."  

Other hotspots include western Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges, APY Lands, southern Eyre Peninsula, and the lower South East, all areas of exceptionally high biodiversity compared to other parts of the state.

To read more about the study click this link.

For information about regional pest plant and animal control programs and associated grant opportunities ring the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400.

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Green Army looking for recruits for Mid North project

Are you passionate about the environment?

Interested in gaining practical skills?

Want to learn about the environment?

Are you aged 17-24 and want to earn an allowance?

The Green Army is currently recruiting for a project to help restore threatened species habitat in the Mid North. 

The team will undertake re-vegetation in the Wakefield River, along watercourses surrounding Blyth and along the railway corridor between Kybunga and Holyeton.

Participants will gain skills in re-vegetation, seed collection, propagation, weed management and fencing.

Project details

  • 20-23 week programme, 30 hours per week
  • Project starts 7 March 2016
  • Uniform provided (boots, pants, shirt, hat)
  • Earn an allowance up to $16.45 per hour
  • Gain first aid and safety certificates
  • Gain accredited units in Conservation and Land Management
  • Learn practical skills from environmental rangers
  • Potential employment opportunities
  • Meet other people and experience working outdoors

The Green Army is an Australian Government initiative that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia.

To apply complete the application form online at http://conservationvolunteers.com.au/green-army/south-australia/

For more information contact:                                                        Darren Kennedy
Green Army Coordinator SA 
M. 0437618161   Email  dkennedy@cva.org.au

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Encounter Marine Park - Nature Play SA January Park of the Month

South Australia's parks provide countless opportunities for children and families to connect with nature and experience the health and wellbeing benefits of playing, learning and being physically active through bushwalking, camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, cycling, surfing and exploring.

Each month Parks SA and Nature Play SA collaborate to showcase a Park of the Month where families and children can experience a range of landscapes, flora and fauna while taking part in fun nature-based activities.

To kick things off for 2016, Encounter Marine Park has been chosen as January's Park of the Month.

In Encounter Marine Park families will discover some of South Australia’s best-preserved coastal wilderness, including the coastline of the Fleurieu Peninsula and the east coast of Kangaroo Island.

Encounter Marine Park is the perfect place to spend the last two weeks of the summer school holidays swimming, fishing, surfing, beachcombing, whale watching and exploring rockpools. 

For details about Park of the Month activities visit the national parks website or click this link.

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Yackamoorundie group kicks off 2016 with impressive speaker line-up

Renowned author and illustrator Kaye Kessing will be among the guest speakers for Yackamoorundie Landcare Group's first evening meeting for 2016 in late February.

The evening will commence at 5.30pm with a reading by Kaye Kessing, followed by a BBQ tea at 6pm.

Following the AGM, guest speakers Andrea and Kurt Tschirner will speak about fox control in the Quorn area, followed by Dr Jack Reddin's presentation 'Cats? ...Not an issue out here? Wanna bet?'

The group has chosen a feral animal theme for its first meeting to promote its Feral February initiative (click on item 12 on cover page). A prize for the best effort to control feral animals in the district will be awarded during the meeting.

The BBQ meeting will be held at the Washpool Hall on the RM Williams Way between Spalding and Jamestown, on Sunday 28 February. Non-members and children are welcome.

BYO chairs and drinks.

To RSVP contact Judith Sommerville by Saturday 27 February judith@sommervillepartners.com.au

For more information email Judith or contact Nat Sommerville on   0427 507 132. 

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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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