Council will be hosting some Fauna talks prior to the quarterly Bushcare Network Meeting.
Talk 1: Anne Carey from Applied Ecology will be presenting…. the Blue Mountains Fauna Inventory (e-Launch) which lists all the species and where they are likely to be found based on past records which can be downloaded from the Council’s website. Talk 2: Frog Conservation Science Citizen project – Are you interested in becoming involved in monitoring threatened frog species, do you know locations with good frog populations or interested in the threat and decline of our frogs in the Blue Mountains then come along to listen to Alex Callen from the University of Newcastle.
This event has been CANCELLED due to coronavirus concerns.
Sunday 22 March, 2020
Come and join the long term efforts of volunteers to free this large swamp system of a huge variety of weeds and restore the habitat of the Giant Dragon Fly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink. A joint NPWS / BMCC activity. Lunch and morning tea donated by the Hominy Bakery.
This event has been CANCELLED due to coronavirus concerns.
Friday 17 April, 2020
Continue the great work done by volunteers over 17 years in a remote section of Katoomba Creek. Bush regeneration and bushwalking experience is essential. Off-track walking and wading along the creek. Morning tea and lunch supplied. This is a BMCC activity, and numbers are limited.
Upper Kedumba Bushcare Group were privileged to have 20 Veolia staff come up from Sydney to participate in one of their Bushcare days – this site is part of “The Gully”. We successfully planted 400 native seedlings in an area previously cleared of Privet and Holly with the help of the Council’s urban weeds program.
Bethany King, a Gully Traditional Owner and the lovely daughter of the wonderful David King GTO, had a fantastic opportunity to organise this event combining her deep connection with Country and with her role as Human Resources Coordinator at Veolia – a company turning waste into energy.
David welcomed the group with a traditional smoking ceremony followed by an interesting walk and talk around the Gully. The day was also filmed as part of Veolia – 2020 Reconciliation Action Plan Launch (see link below).
The team then got stuck into a day ‘greening up’ Upper Kedumba. They planted ferns and shrub layer plants then continued to rehabilitate a soak area.
Many thanks to the team and for Veolia for supplying the plants from Wildplant Rescue!
The GTO Upper Kedumba Bushcare group and Bushcare are very grateful for the fantastic help.
“Veolia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present”
Creek Restoration the natural way, with a little help from Bushcare By South Lawson Park Bushcare Group and Lawson StreamWatch
In 2010 Lawson Creek was overwhelmed by massive amounts of silt that had been transported by heavy rains from a collapsed track and building site along the Great Western Highway. A 200 metre section of healthy bushland creek was reduced to a shallow trickle of water (Image 1) and these conditions made it impossible for water insects (bugs), crayfish and tadpoles to exist.
Bushcare members alerted Council and sediment controls across sections of the creek, to try and disperse the sand were installed. Fortunately, lots of professional bush regeneration and volunteer bushcare work had been done in the area, and the surrounding natural bushland was very healthy, with a good mix of trees, shrubs and groundcovers.
This bushland served as an important restoration function. Natural debris from the trees and shrubs, such as large branches, bark, sticks and leaf litter, was constantly being deposited in the creek. It further dispersed the sand and created riffles and pools, steadily replacing the aquatic fauna habitat that had been smothered in the sand.
Amy St Lawrence, Council’s Aquatic Systems Officer, explained: “Bug recolonisation relies on having intact bug populations/communities nearby…different types of water-bugs will recolonise in different ways, providing their water quality and habitat requirements recover.”
In 2015 the StreamWatch Group recommenced water quality testing on the site, with good results. But one question remained – would the bugs come back?
Over the years more of the deposited sand was transported downstream, and by 2018 the creek was starting to resemble its former healthy condition, displaying a few deep pools, some good natural habitat of logs and other fallen timber, and a layer of decayed leaf litter along the banks and channel (Image 2).
In May, 2019, the StreamWatch volunteers tested for bug life in the water. And we got them! Mayfly nymphs, which are very sensitive to pollution, so that was pleasing, and also damselfly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, boatmen and water treaders, and crayfish and tadpoles.
Amy explained the re-colonisation process: “Insects probably hatched at the site from eggs laid by adults that decided your pools were suitable; adults that possibly came from further downstream on Lawson Creek. Your large crayfish may have been there all along despite the sedimentation, or may have moved overland from a pool downstream or a nearby creek.”
What if there had been a wall of weeds, such as privet or blackberry, and not natural bushland, along the creek? It is quite likely that the damage may not even have been noticed, and that the weeds would have colonised most or even all of the silted creek. Bushcare makes a difference, in lots of different ways.
The Gecko is a newsletter produced by Blue Mountains City Council to keep volunteers up to date with current news, events and information. If you have any interesting environmental stories, Bushcare moments or successful how to’s that you would love to share and would like to contribute to this newsletter, please contact the Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare Team Leader on (02) 4780 5528, or email firstname.lastname@example.org