Author Archives: Bushcare Office

Grant awarded for Turtle Habitat Construction

Glenbrook Lagoon has been awared a $5000 grant to construct an artifical floating turtle habitat in Glenbrook Lagoon as part of a pilot program in the area. These structures aim to reduce turtle loss by providing safe habitat for laying eggs away from the shoreline and predators.

Platform for turtle hatchlings photo credit: BM Gazette

Dr Ricky Spencer and a team of PhD students from UWS in partnership with Council are working to provide a habitat for turtles and possibly structures for yabbies and fish underneath. See the article written by the Gazette with Dr Ricky Spencer discussing Turtle habitat in the Blue Mountains, https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/4320357/shell-shocked-turtle-concerns-during-nesting-season/ 

Bushcare volunteers are invitied to come along and join us construct the floating Turtle Habitat and learn how these systems operate on 14th May, 2019 at Glenbrook Lagoon. To book click on the link below.

The UWS is asking Sydneysiders to help with their research on Turtles by logging on to  TurtleSAT to document any sightings. This project is gathering data on where the turtles are and what they require to thrive so we can best manage populations into the future. There is an app you can add to your phone that is easy to use.

If you want to find out further information on the Turtle Habitat project, you may contact Geoffrey Smith, Program Leader for Healthy Waterways, on 4780 5751
or gsmith@bmcc.nsw.gov.au 

Further a field here is an ABC News article on the Murray River Turtle,  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-12/islands-to-help-save-threatened-turtle/10067200 

Fauna Workshop at Katoomba

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th, April

Get involved in the Fauna Workshop – The Gully, Katoomba including fauna monitoring, spotlighting and birdwatching with our specialist. (Unfortunatley Session 2 Spotlighting has been booked out).

To book click on the session or sessions RSVP links below and follow the prompts.

Bio-filtration System in Action at Silvermist

A Bio-filtration system is as the name suggests is a living filter, employing microbes and wetland plants, gravel and sands, to filter the stormwater and urban runoff. Pollutants, increased nutrients, sediments and faecal coliforms in the stormwater negatively impact the health of the natural creek system, contributing to weed growth and exacerbate existing problems.

The filter consists of three layers underneath; gravel, sand and a carbon source with piping underneath to let the filtered water flow out. The native plants at the surface also play a role absorbing contaminants and nutrients and slowing the water flows down for absorption.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is resized_4546.jpgSlowing the water down ensures it can soak into the filters and surrounding soil, this recharging of groundwater mimics the natural hydrology and moderates the rapid flow of stormwater from the hard, impervious surfaces above. This is an important balance to ensure it captures as much pollutants as possible.

 

The water will flow out of this pipe quickly so to slow it down rocks are concreted onto the ramp to diffuse water. The sediment basin does this too, reducing velocity and catching sediment that precipitate as a result of the slack water. It is important to catch this sediment where it can be cleaned out, before it continues downstream.

From the ramp there is a pool made from large boulders followed by a ramp of rocks to ensure there is oxygen added to the water and to slow the flow down. This picture shows the gradient is only very slight to slow the water down.

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Rock sills are built to stabilise the gradient, further reducing velocity and maximising water penetration.

Riffle zones made from smaller rocks help to oxygenate the water by increasing its exposure to the air, aiding oxygen absorption.

Most endemic species prefer low nutrients, whilst invasive weedy species enjoy the high nutrient urban runoff, so it is important to remove the excess nutrients from the stormwater before it enters the natural environment.

Blechnum ferns were used on the edges as the root systems of these naturally occurring ferns have excellent holding capacity and appear in the creek line systems sounding this site.

The steps involved for this project to happen include:

  •  the woody weeds were removed by contractors
  • a machine to shape the bed and for large rock placement
  • geotextile fabric and gravel, sand and piping added then jute mat and coir logs added below  the structure
  • rocks sills built and planting in and around structure

Each site is different, with different constraints as well as possibilities. Site assessment and careful design are important when planning a similar project. The fundamentals are pretty standard from site to site, and can be applied to most situations.

Photo credits from Tanya Mein. Article by Ed Bayliss Hack and Erin Hall

Become part of a national study of Brushtail Possums

HAVE YOU GOT POSSUMS AROUND YOUR HOUSE ?

We are calling for participants to be part of the national citizen science project looking at antibiotic resistance in wildlife Saturday 13th April.

Urban Wildlife: possums, citizen science and antibiotic resistance

Learn about the ecology of urban possums and how you can be part of a national study of brushtail possums. Participants will receive a collection kit so they can participate in the study.

The workshop is presented by biologists from Macquarie University the University of Sydney. Associate Professor Michelle Power and Koa Webster study antibiotic resistance in Australian wildlife and coordinate a national citizen science project called Scoop a Poop, and Associate Professor Clare McArthur is an expert on urban possums. Together they will present an evening of fascinating possum (and poop!) facts, and explain how you can get involved in the Scoop a Poop project.

Workshop activities include learning how to identify poop from different wildlife species, introduction to the Scoop a Poop app, and practicing using the Scoop a Poop collection kit.

The workshop is suitable for ages 10+. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

To BOOK click on the link below or contact Alison for more information on 4780 5320 or asteele@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Dead Trees Citizen Science Project

Here is an interesting article about dead trees, which included a citizen science project called the Dead Tree Detective.

The program is mapping the dead trees around the country particularly drought affected trees. There are some great resources on how to measure a dead tree. See the links below for the project page and the ABC article.

The project link is below:

https://biocollect.ala.org.au/acsa/project/index/77285a13-e231-49e8-b212-660c66c74bac

The ABC article is below:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-16/dead-tree-detectives-asked-to-record-impact-of-drought/10623912

Fungi Foray in Springwood

Fungi Clavaria amoena Photo Credit Liz Kabanoff

Saturday 6th April

Fairy Dell, Springwood

9:45am – 12:00pm

Do you want to learn more about fungi found in the Blue Mountains?

Then join Liz Kabanoff who will lead us into this fasinating and colourful world and help us identify species down to the genus level.

You don’t need any previous knowledge, just a keen eye for spotting and an interest to learn more.

Booking Essential by Thursday 4th of April at www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/events or contact Alison for more information at asteele@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

To book click on RSVP link below and follow the prompts.