From the CEO – Sharing our weekly updates

Monday 21 September, 2009

‘10 at 10’ occurs every Monday morning at 10 am at Bush Heritage’s Melbourne office. The telephone line is opened up and we're joined for a 10-minute update by staff across Australia’s time zones and latitudes. It's a rich experience to hear of activity from distant places, including far north Queensland, central and southwest Australia, and Tasmania.

Tasmanian common brown butterfly (Heteronympha merope salazar) at Liffey Valley reserves, Tas. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.

Tasmanian common brown butterfly (Heteronympha merope salazar) at Liffey Valley reserves, Tas. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.

Not all our conservation staff can join every week as many are hard at work in the field. This is particularly so over these mid-year months. During this time there's heightened activity as it's easier to gain access to many of our remote reserves, and extensive ecological monitoring along with pest plant and animal control and fire management takes place. Invariably in our weekly calls we're buoyed with news of a new discovery or achievement on a reserve or within a partnership.

We bring you a selection of these stories each newsletter. For those able to access them online, there are also regular web updates, along with samples of some of the many media stories we're generating.

Some good news came from a recently completed biological blitz at Yourka Reserve in Queensland. An intensive week on the reserve involved a heavy contingent of Bush Heritage staff and science partners setting in place monitoring plots and scouring the property for information.

Brown thornbill, Edgbaston Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.

Brown thornbill, Edgbaston Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.

Yourka is a study in the patience required to establish a reserve before we can commence effective conservation management and, later, make it safe and accommodating for visitors. Although it has been a Bush Heritage reserve for a year, our managers have only recently completed construction of a base on the property from which to conduct their work more efficiently.

They were hampered by the severe beating that the roads took from the extreme summer rainfall, which limited access across the property. The purchase of a major piece of plant to undertake regular maintenance after these seasonal events was made in June.

Despite those challenges, pest plant and animal control has been underway for some time, an interim fire plan and conservation management plan has been prepared, contact has been made to establish links with traditional owners of the country and we are fighting off a mining proposal on the property. All in a day’s work for our conservation team!

As a result of the blitz we have the satisfaction of knowing, among other things, that an additional 40-plus species have been identified on the property, and that a previously unclassified vegetation community may exist on Yourka. Stay tuned for more details.

I provide this snapshot of Yourka to reinforce the importance of your support to the maintenance of our existing reserves and the achievement of our conservation goals. These next 12 months will be a terrific period for some consolidation of our conservation management and demonstration of ecological outcomes on our reserves.

You'll see the fruits of your support as our reserve management matures and we're able to report on the conservation successes we're achieving over one, two, ten or fifteen years of management at individual reserves.

In the meantime, a huge thank you to all those who've supported Bush Heritage during the financial year just ended. Your volunteer and financial support has ensured another successful financial outcome for Bush Heritage and enables our conservation work to continue apace.

Our full financial statement for the year will be released following the audit in August, along with our Annual Conservation Report.

Doug Humann's signature

Doug Humann, CEO

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