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Bushtracks Summer 2017

Published 07 Dec 2017

In Australia, caring for country requires having people on the ground. Aboriginal Australians have been caring for this country for tens of thousands of years, and they have both the knowledge and the skills to manage many of the environmental challenges facing us, from wildfires, to feral animals and invasive weeds.

But caring for Australia’s vast landscapes requires resources. The federal government’s announcement of $30 million in additional funding for Indigenous rangers will leverage the contributions that Bush Heritage already makes to many Indigenous ranger groups across Australia.

On Wunambal Gaambera country, we're now seeing what's possible when groups such as the Wunambal Gaambera Uunguu Rangers are well-resourced.

The recent five-year review of the Wunambal Gaambera Healthy Country Plan found that Uunguu Rangers are implementing a highly sophisticated and effective right-way fire regimen. The cover story for this edition of our newsletter explores how that fire regimen is helping to protect more than 6,000 patches of rainforest, or ‘wulo’, from devastating late dry-season wildfires.

On the other side of the country, in far north Queensland, Bush Heritage is contributing to the protection of rainforest by another means – through our work controlling and reducing the spread of one of the world’s worst invasive weeds. Siam Weed has the potential to smother Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, home to exceptionally high levels of plant and animal diversity.

Our long-term, creative and multifaceted approach to Siam Weed control on the adjacent Yourka Reserve has significantly reduced that threat.

As we look to the end of the year, we also look to the end of an era. I would like to thank Louise Sylvan for her service as president of Bush Heritage Australia over the past eight years, and take this chance to welcome our new Board President, Chris Grubb.

Wishing you a safe and happy summer,

CEO Gerard O'NeilGerard O'Neill's signature

Gerard O’Neill, Chief Executive. 

More from Bushtracks Summer 2017

BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

Profile – Chris Grubb (President)

Bush Heritage’s new President, Chris Grubb, has supported the organisation for more than 14 years, six of those through service on the Board and several Board committees.

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BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

Dealing with the devil

A long-term control program on Yourka Reserve is saving native animals and plants in Queensland from one of the world’s worst invasive weeds.

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BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

Coming together for Flashjacks

Bush Heritage volunteers and staff recently had the chance to get up close and personal with Bridled Nailtail Wallabies in what turned out to be a record survey of the translocated population.

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BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

In fiery footsteps

There are more than 6000 patches of rainforest on Wunambal Gaambera country, for which fire can be both protector and destroyer.

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BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

Letting the land breathe

It takes a lot to put up 84km of fencing: hundreds of kilometres of wire, thousands of wooden posts and star pickets, and countless hours of manual labour. For volunteers Annie and Ian Mayo it has taken many months of hard, hot work to pull them all down.

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BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

Like moths to a flame

The value of moths in nature is often undervalued, if not completely overlooked. But this incredibly diverse insect order underpins many food chains and ecosystems. From birds to bats, lizards and small mammals, moths and their larvae are important food sources for many species, and they also help pollinate some native plants.

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