Tag Archives: Volunteer

Bushcare Boosters Training

If you are a current or prospective Blue Mountains Community Conservation Volunteer -Bushcare, Landcare, Bush Backyards members – you are invited to the 3rd and last of our essential training modules for the year:  Weed Control Techniques  and Working Safely.

This is a free half day interactive Bushcare Boosters training workshop presented by the very experienced, qualified Bushcare Boosters Trainer, Geoff Bakewell and hosted by BMCC Bushcare.

You will learn why we use different methods on different weeds, how to be most efficient,  what the safety issues at Bushcare are and how help look after your fellow Bushcarers.

The workshop will cover:
• weed characteristics
• basic weed control techniques
• safe work practices and methodology

The content is of an introductory level and is most suitable for volunteers who have some practical experience in the field and who wish to participate in a short refresher course to develop a better understanding of environmental restoration techniques and safe work practices.

This training will better equip volunteer Bushcare Group Co-ordinators who do not already have formal qualifications in environmental restoration.

Morning tea is provided. Please RSVP and advise of any special dietary requirements to Monica by Friday 12 May.

What should you bring: notebook and camera, raincoat. Wear work clothes – long sleeves and pants, and dress for the weather. We will proceed regardless of weather as this workshop is largely classroom based.

Jamison Creek Catchment Care Day

Queens Cascades, Jamison Creek viewed from the top of Wentworth Falls

Join with all the Bushcare Groups, Council staff and interested residents who are working to look after the Jamison Creek catchment, improve the water quality the creek which flows over Wentworth Falls and is the habitat the Threatened plant species, Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii.

¨ Work together in this beautiful creek removing Montbretia and a range of other woody weeds

¨ Help protect the catchment from invasive weeds while enjoying good company

¨ Morning tea and lunch all provided

¨ Tools and Training provided

¨ Talks on our Healthy Waterways project and the Jamison Creek catchment health by Geoffrey Smith and Eric Mahony

Registration is essential. Please RSVP to Monica Nugent mnugent@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or phone 4780 5528 before Monday 6 March 2017 for more information about where to meet and what to expect.

 

Pherosphaera Katoomba Falls photo courtesy Ian Brown

 

Bushcare Boosters Training for Bushcare & Landcare volunteers

Geoff presents the birds and the bees

This year BMCC sponsored 2 one-day workshops for Bushcare. Bushcare Boosters is a three-part course which was designed by the Sydney Metro CMA, Volunteers Co-ordinators Network in conjunction with the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators and several local councils.

We’re aiming to ensure that our community conservation program volunteers are up to date with the current best practices in Bushcare and the opportunity to develop the highest standards possible—the ones we are used to!

To that end, we decided to hire an expert trainer, Geoff Bakewell, who is very experienced in Bushcare and is certified to teach the Bushcare Boosters program, a combination of classroom and field based learning. Geoff has worked as a Bushcare Officer and has delivered Bushcare Boosters to Bushcare volunteers for both local and state government.

So far, we have covered two of the three modules. Module 1, “Bushcare and the Big Picture” looked at the history of Bushcare, the values, problems, plants and animals present on Bushcare sites and the development of site strategies. It was held at South Lawson Park, a good example of a site with many values and complex issues to keep its Bushcare volunteers busy.

Module 2, “The Birds and the Bees of Bushcare” was at another long-term Bushcare site: Jackson Park, Faulconbridge. We spent half a day discussing habitat— how to assess it, find evidence of fauna occupying it, how to look after it.

The third module will cover weed control technique and safe work practices. It is yet to be scheduled, but we will run it as soon as we can—so stay tuned for more information or contact Monica at the Bushcare Office on 4780 5528 or mnugent@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Bushcare Boosters in Jackson Park

Researching the Ecology of the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

a-yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo-in-sydneys-centennial-park-photo-by-peter-rae

A yellow-tailed black cockatoo in Sydney’s Centennial Park. Photo: Peter Rae

Is there anyone who doesn’t appreciate the sight of a flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos (YTBC) flying overhead ? It seems that very little is really known about them and you can help to change that and potentially influence planning for their conservation.

Jessica Rooke is an Advanced Science (Biological Sciences) student at the University of New South Wales. She is currently undertaking Honours in Ecology with the Centre for Ecosystem Science, supervised by Professor Richard Kingsford, Dr John Martin and Dr Kate Brandis.

Jessica’s project focuses on the well known Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo. However, not many people know that this iconic species has been largely understudied, and is in significant decline. The project’s objectives are to investigate the species habitat, foraging and breeding ecology, with an overall aim of creating a management plan to help conserve the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo.

In particular, it would be helpful for you to report any sightings of YTBC (regardless of location) using the online survey which can be found on the Centre for Ecosystem Science website: (https://www.ecosystem.unsw.edu.au/content/conservation-practice/threatened-species/foraging-and-habitat-ecology-of-the-yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo). Further, if you know of any YTBC nesting sites in the Blue Mountains and wider areas that would be extremely useful to researchers investigating the breeding ecology.

If you have any further information, questions or queries, particularly regarding locations of breeding/nesting sites, please contact Jessica: j.rooke@student.unsw.edu.au

Banksia Park Bushcare volunteers recently observed some Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos boring into Tea trees, apparently to extract wood-boring invertebrates. The group had intentionally planted Hakeas and Banksias to provide a food source for them so we were pleasantly surprised that the Tea trees planted alongside were also providing food for the iconic species! Jessica advises that literature suggests that Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos increase this behaviour during breeding time, and when juveniles are fledging (around June-July, although this is based on limited studies, and is said to change across their range). If your groups has any similar observation, please take the time to record them and upload the data to the easy to use survey. The more we can contribute to these Citizen Science type projects, the more chances we’ll have to help protect the habitat of the species being studied.

You can read some more about Jessica’s research at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/rare-birds-project-tracks-wild-yellowtailed-black-cockatoos-for-the-first-time-20160708-gq1axx.html

 

Threatened Species Day at Garguree Swampcare

Female Petalura gigantea

A female Petalura gigantea – Giant Dragonfly. Photo by Ian Baird.

Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year on 7 September to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo in 1936. On this date every year we reflect on what has happened in the past and how we can protect our threatened species in the future. It is also a day to celebrate our success stories and ongoing threatened species recovery work.

With all this in mind Garguree Swampcare Group hosted a threatened species event on Sunday September 4.

30 fantastic volunteers joined in on the day which started with a restoration planting along the riparian corridor which connects the Blue Mountains Water Skink populations of the “McCrae’s Paddock” swamp and the “middle” swamp in The Gully Aboriginal Place, Katoomba.

Male Petalura gigantea Giant Dragonfly. Photo by Ian Baird

Male Petalura gigantea Giant Dragonfly. Photo by Ian Baird.

Threatened species biscuits

Threatened species biscuits cooked by Sandy Holmes.

At 11am Sandy Holmes greeted us with a most amazing brunch, including giant dragonfly cookies and water skink eclairs (they were definitely threatened species …)

This was followed by Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony by David King. He also spoke about Garguree Swampcare’s work and the ongoing support from the Environmental Trust  and “Protecting our Places” grants.

Council’s Environmental Scientist Michael Hensen spoke about a new 10 year Environmental Trust – Saving our Species grant of $750,000  “Swamped by Threats” which will  help protect the Blue Mountains Water Skink and the Giant Dragonfly at a number of priority sites across the Blue Mountains and the Newnes Plateau.

We finished the morning’s formal proceedings with Ian Baird presenting an exciting insight into the biology and identification of two iconic threatened species found in Blue Mountains Swamps: the Giant Dragonfly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink.

After that it was back to more connecting to our place through our stomachs!

Eulamprus leurensis photo by Ian Baird

Eulamprus leurensis (Blue Mountains Water Skink). Photo by Ian Baird.

Hensen Glen, Leura

A full day walking off track along Govetts Creek ensuring this creekline remains free of weeds to protect the rare and endangered Epacris hamiltoni. Be prepared for wet feet. Morning tea and Lunch provided. Book with Vanessa on (02) 47873112 or vanessa.richardson @environment.nsw.gov.au by Wednesday 28th September.

The Gully get together 2016

Garguree Swampcare, Upper Kedumba Bushcare, Friends of Katoomba Falls Creek Valley Bushcare,Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare invite you to the 2016 Gully Get-together.

  • Learn and practice the best ways to treat Privet
  • Support all the Bushcare groups catchment area
  • Enjoy lunch and a cuppa while connecting with each other and hearing what other groups and organizations are up too
  • Get updates on work planned to care for the catchment & hear about the site’s  history
  • Support The Gully Tradition Owners in Caring for Country

And learn about the Dwarf Mountain Pine (Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii)

Wear long sleeves, long pants, closed in shoes or boots. Bring drinking water and your energy! Lunch, tools and training provided.

 

Swampcare at Valley View Swamp, Blackheath

Come for the day or just the morning. Help us get this swamp back into shape. It forms part of the extensive Braeside Upland Swamp located in the headwaters of Govetts Leap Brook which flows over Govetts Leap Falls just downstream.  Enjoy a delicious morning tea and lunch donated by the Hominy Bakery.

Book with Lyndal on 4780 5623 or lsullivan@bmcc.nsw.gov.au by Monday  Thursday 27th October.

Grose Valley Remote 

A multi day activity rock hopping and wading through the Upper Grose River searching for and destroying weeds before they spread further into the wilderness.  This activity is only for the fit and experienced.  Numbers are limited.  Book with Vanessa on (02) 47873112 or vanessa.richardson @environment.nsw.gov.au  by Monday 24th October.