In this Issue
Keeping Cats Safe at Home Project
Connecting to Nature Update
Farewell to Linda Thomas
Resolving a Bushcare Challenge
Vale Chris Watson
Sandstone Plateau Vegetation
Green Waste Processing
Sustainable Disposal of Weed Waste for Bushcare
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This month is the perfect time to remove the seed heads from Agapanthus. By doing this the plant can only spread by getting bigger in size. Here is the article written by the catchment group
Welcome to the 2021 Spring issue of the Gecko Newsletter.
In this issue read about:
- Bushcare and COVID-19 update
- The ‘Rights of Nature’ – an Australian first
- Creating Habitat around The Gully Lake
- Blue Mountains Aboriginal Advisory Council’s ‘Statement of Recognition and Commitment’ endorsed by Blue Mountains City Council
- ABC Post-fire ongoing healing of country video for NAIDOC Week.
- The Butterfly Effect
- Farewell Malcolm
- Project Plant It – 80 trees planted for koalas at deanei forest
- Popes Glen Big Day Out – post-fire Gorse treatment
- Repairing the Australian bush in the 1890s
- Book review: “Twenty-Five Years of Bushcare’ Sublime Point Bushcare
- Spring has Sprung – Photo competition
- Vale Jeanell Buckley
- Vale Fred Lyford
- Bushcare Gecko is now online
- Events Webinars: Eucalypts of the Blue Mountains, Launch of “Twenty-Five Years of Bushcare’ Sublime Point Bushcare
Welcome to the 2021 Autumn issue of the Gecko Newsletter. In this issue read about:
- Actinotus forsythii Pink Flannel Flower
- A brief Bushcare internship
- Saving the Trees – one Gecko at a time
- Wentworth Falls Lake
- Crayfish Count Regenerate Project
- New Narrow Neck Bushcare Group
- Allendale Landcare Group
- Report a Koala Sighting
- Butterfly Hill-topping site at Lawson
- New Blackheath Community Farm Landcare
- Poison Hemlock
- Snowy Mountains Humpback Slug
- Feral Scan – Fox Scan
- What’s On
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By Michael Hensen
The Swamped by Threats Project, a partnership between BMCC, CTLLS, NPWS and Forest NSW, has reached the halfway mark. The project aims to conserve the ecological integrity and habitat quality of priority swamps for the endangered and swamp dependant Blue Mountains Water Skink and the Giant Dragonfly of the Blue Mountains and Newnes Plateau. The innovative ten year project is funded through a $750,000 Save Our Species (SOS) Partnership Environmental Trust grant.
A key focus of the project in the Blue Mountains has been the restoration of the natural hydrology of swamp systems which have been disrupted by stormwater flows from urbanised catchments, resulting in erosion, channelisation, de-watering, sedimentation, and weed invasion. Works have included stormwater outlet stabilisation, gross pollutant traps, raingardens, stormwater infiltration and integration structures and soft engineering swamp rehydration structures, as well as weed control. The sixteen priority swamp systems being targeted include Connaught, Yosemite, Marmion Road, North Street, the Gully, McCrae’s Paddock, Leura Falls, East Leura, Jamison Creek, Central Park, Wentworth Falls Lake, Franks Creek, Kittyhawke, Duperry/Clarendon Swamp, Red Gum Park, Lawson Pool and North Lawson Swamps.
A big thank you goes out to all the Bushcare and Swampcare volunteers whose ongoing on-ground efforts are making such a valuable contribution of in-kind hours in support of the grant funded work.
This project has been supported by the Hominy Bakery in Katoomba who provide the catering for these events “You know the food is good when everyone’s silent” said Katy O’Neill at the Valley View Swampcare Event.
More information is available via this link: https://youtu.be/DmGZbkgjrQM
Welcome to the 2020 Summer issue of the Gecko Newsletter. In this issue read about:
• 2020: Bushcare Team Leader • Bushcare / Landcare Picnic COVID style • Bushcare Awards – Group and Individuals • Vale Lachlan Garland • Remote Bushcare • Cicadas • RSCPA Landcare • Vale Liz Kabanoff • Popes Glen Bushcare Group – Local Heros • Vale Thelma Murphy – Bushcare Icon • Swamped by Threats Project reaches halfway mark • Redgum Park – Timing is everything • What’s On!
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RSPCA Landcare Group has been working for over 11 years to restore Woodland and EPBC Listed Swamp on the 4.4 ha RSPCA site in Mort Street North Katoomba. This bushland site contributes to a continuous bushland corridor along Katoomba Creek into the Grose Valley.
The buildings, pounds and exercise yards are at the top of the slope near Mort Street, below which is a fence separating the woodland where the Landcare group primarily works. Below the woodland a Blue Mountains Swamps runs down to Katoomba Creek.
RSPCA Landcare has removed a large weed plume of blackberry, cotoneaster, cherry laurel, broom and holly). We are now working on scattered weeds as well as pushing back an edge of holly.
We welcome more members to join us and enjoy this lovely bushland. Swamp wallabies regularly graze in the Swamp. The Landcare site contains diverse bushland showcasing the spectacular colour of native wildflowers in Spring 2020.
Wildlife Recovery Centre
We support a proposal for a wildlife recovery centre here in the Blue Mountains.
Our work has successfully restored the swamp and woodland on the RSPCA site for local native wildlife, which is now an excellent location for the rehabilitation of injured animals.
The RSPCA has announced that it has received provisional approval from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for a wildlife rehabilitation license for a dual occupancy site that will allow us to care for companion animals as well as wildlife. (RSPCA Media Unit 9/10/2020)
This proposal has raised 3 issues:
- Is it needed?
- Will the domestic Animal Shelter continue?
- Can wildlife and domestic animals be cared for on this same site without further stress?
The 2019/2020 bushfires saw many injured wildlife sent to Taronga Zoo for care by specialist staff. For months, dedicated volunteers collected huge amounts of leaves locally and delivered them to the zoo for koalas.
This highlighted the need for a permanent wildlife care and rehabilitation facility closer to where our native animals live, and without the transport problems of a central Sydney location. This centre will not replace the need for WIRES carers to continue their invaluable work, but work alongside and complement that important service.
- Continuation of Katoomba Shelter for Companion Animals
There is considerable concern in the community that this is an attempt by the RSPCA to close the shelter, as it attempted to do in 2014. As some of our members were involved in the successful community action to stop this closure, we believe this is a justifiable concern. We recognise that having a local shelter for cats and dogs reduces the likelihood of their being dumped in the bush and preying on native species.
RSPCA NSW appears to have given contradictory information to the Blue Mountains Branch, the Landcare group and Gazette about the continuation of the shelter for dogs.
In a report to the branch on August 1 2020, Rita Perkins (Senior Operations manager, RSPCA NSW) stated that if successful in obtaining the licence, then the site will not be able to look after dogs. Maybe there has been a change of plan? If so, it just needs to be acknowledged.
RSPCA NSW’s Wildlife Manager Nick de Vos stated (29/9/2020) that the RSPCA intends to continue to provide essential services to stray, lost, injured, neglected and at-risk animals and pet owners in the Blue Mountains community.
The RSPCA Media Unit issued the following statement on 9/10/2020 We announced earlier this year that, as part of our commitment to the people and animals of New South Wales, we are exploring establishing a facility that can manage both companion animals and wildlife at our Blue Mountains site.
We are pleased to announce that we have received provisional approval from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for a wildlife rehabilitation license, which means we are one step closer to making the project happen! The proposal submitted is for a dual occupancy site that will allow us to care for companion animals as well as wildlife. We still have a long way to go with this journey, but this approval means that the government has granted us permission to proceed with the design and development of the facility.
We are in the process of submitting a proposal to Blue Mountains City Council to continue to provide impound animal management services for the region on behalf of Council. Next, we will be submitting a Development Application to Blue Mountains City Council for the development of the dual occupancy site. The site has the size, space and potential to successfully manage both companion animals and wildlife. The design of the proposed infrastructure and enclosures are being carefully considered with this objective in mind. Has there been a change of plan?
3. Stress free care for both domestic and native animals?
- How can the traditional role of the shelter continue alongside this proposed wildlife rehabilitation area? How can each companion animal and native animal be cared for in a safe, stress-free environment?
- The size and shape of the site could allow for separation of functions. The cats that come into RSPCA are now housed in a custom-built indoor cattery and dogs are housed in concrete kennels. We understand that the use of indoor facilities for dogs is being researched and considered. Indoor shelters for dogs are common in many cold European countries for climatic reasons.
- The current Taronga Zoo situation has very limited space and a wide range of animals in close proximity. Whilst more details are required, the Landcare group supports the Wildlife Recovery Centre in principle as a way to enable more wildlife to be rehabilitated closer to their natural habitats.
Native wildlife populations have been and continue to be greatly impacted by natural disasters and habitat loss, we therefore believe it is important to explore opportunities like this to invest in their care and recovery.
Lyndal Sullivan on behalf of RSPCA Landcare Group
In this Spring Issue….
- Recovering our Backyards Expo and Videos
- Boost for Bushcare
- Chiloglottis – Wasp Orchid
- Revised Priority Weeds Information Booklet – 2020
- Wet Weather Inspires Planting
- Celebrating the 20th Anniversary World Heritage Blue Mountains WHA
- The Sticky Facts On Eucalyptus
- Opportunity knocks – A Joint Cross Team Effort!
- Saving The Bush: Historic Weed Management In Australia
- What’s On
- Seasonal Calendar
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How are you and your Bushcare groups going over the COVID-19 period? Send any interesting articles or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Popes Glen Bushcare volunteer, Alan Lane acknowledges how all Bushcare Officers and Bushcare groups are working hard to stay safe and complying with the COVID-19 restrictions. However, Alan noted their Popes Glen Bushcare group “are finding the most difficult time to comply is morning tea, as I’m sure all groups are finding – it’s normally such a social and sociable time!”
Here’s a photo of the Popes Glen Bushcare Group complying with social distancing at morning tea at our July work day. (Liz and Gary in the background are allowed to stand that close together – they are married!).