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Bushtracks Autumn 2017

Published 23 Mar 2017

It’s been almost two years since we launched our 10-year Science Plan – a clear and ambitious statement declaring we would bring the best possible science to bear on our decision-making.

I’m pleased to report we’re making tremendous progress, particularly around managing feral animals.

Not only are we developing our control strategies, we’re also working on new techniques to ensure feral animals are eliminated from our landscapes, or minimised. Among these techniques are the grooming traps, which target feral cats, that were trialled on Pullen Pullen Reserve to help protect the population of endangered Night Parrots there.

Feral animal control is a priority for all conservation organisations, and new methods should be explored and supported.

I think this is a really important and interesting way forward for our efforts to restore our native landscapes.

Looking ahead to 2017, our attention will turn to building on our successes to date. Primarily, we will consolidate new properties and reinforce our partnerships with traditional owners, pastoralists and other land holders.

As we continue our focus on using science-backed research to deliver the best outcomes for our landscapes, we also welcome Dr Rebecca Spindler to Bush Heritage Australia as our new Executive Manager of Science and Conservation.

Dr Rebecca Spindler

Dr Spindler has over 20 years of conservation science experience. During this time she has worked to improve the reproduction of rare and endangered species, managed multi-disciplinary programs in China, Brazil and the United States through the Smithsonian Institution, and spent a decade leading Taronga Zoo’s Conservation Science Department.

Dr Spindler’s evidence-based science approach and passion for collaboration will empower and guide our researchers and land managers as they continue their work protecting Australia’s vulnerable species and habitats.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to spending time on our Queensland reserves this year, in particular Cravens PeakEthabuka and Carnarvon Station. We’ve had incredible rainfall out there, and I'm keen to see the recovery efforts and great work our staff are delivering.

Those rains also extended south across the border, where they transformed the wetlands on Naree Station in north-western NSW.

The story 'Come rain or shine' highlights a post-graduate student’s research into such flooding events, and how they can benefit the waterbirds and small mammals that live there.

Also in this newsletter, we celebrate some of our supporters – a volunteer with a passion for wildlife photography, and a man whose childhood love for the Australian bush ultimately led him to become a Bush Heritage donor and bequest supporter.

As always though, there is more work to be done, and I’m so grateful to the generosity of our supporters for making this possible.

CEO Gerard O'NeilGerard O'Neill's signature

Gerard O’Neill, Chief Executive. 

More from Bushtracks Autumn 2017

BUSHTRACKS 23/03/2017

How inspiration became a legacy

A childhood spent in the bush and an admiration for Bob Brown combined to inspire Bush Heritage donor and bequest supporter Davydd Shaw.

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BUSHTRACKS 23/03/2017

Striking it rich in central Victoria

Gloved fingers point at a collection of maps lying on a 4WD bonnet. The group of Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Custodians and Bush Heritage staff are here to survey the Nardoo Hills reserves in central Victoria for their cultural values.

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BUSHTRACKS 20/03/2017

Feral instincts

From the saltbush plains of Boolcoomatta in South Australia, to the sandy dunes of Ethabuka in Queensland, our staff are working hard to implement science-based methods to combat feral cats.

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BUSHTRACKS 14/03/2017

A different lens

The sun is just rising over Scottsdale Reserve as Richard Taylor quietly slips from the sleeping quarters. The chill in the air reminds him of his native Lancashire in north-west England, although the landscape is vastly different. With him are his trusty camera and a collection of lenses.

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BUSHTRACKS 14/03/2017

Come rain or shine

Braving monsoonal rains and searing heat, PhD student and Bush Heritage Environmental Research Scholarship recipient Justin McCann is unlocking the secrets of Naree Station Reserve.

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BUSHTRACKS 14/03/2017

Sympathy for the devil

It's named after a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice, and inspired by the ominous looking spikes and horns that adorn its body, yet the Thorny Devil is one of Australia’s most placid reptiles.

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BUSHTRACKS 14/03/2017

Testing the waters

Bush Heritage is taking its renowned science-backed approach underwater to unlock the secrets of Hamelin Pool.

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