bush stone- curlews: coming home pages 6-7



bush stone- curlews: coming home pages 6-7
September 2016 Volume 26 two
March 2016
Volume 27 One
PAGES 6-71
Photo: Mick Connolly
President’s letter
FFA has been very active this year but organisational
problems have interrupted some things, including
Indigenotes. Sorry you’ve had to wait since March for this
issue. Big thanks to Amanda Dodd for taking on the job of
emergency editor, on top of her many other roles in IFFA.
The committee has got over the recent hurdles and is
powering ahead. However, to maintain the pace, we need
several people to fill committee positions that will be vacated
at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 1st October 2016.
If you are at all open to joining the committee, please
contact me or anyone else on the committee (contact
details on p10). You don’t have to attend the AGM
to be voted into office but it would be helpful to fill
in a nomination form by 23rd September 2016.
The AGM will be during IFFA’s Little Desert camp, based
at Dimboola on 30th September to 2nd October – see below.
I and others who went to previous IFFA camps (back in the
1980s and early 90s) are really looking forward to the camp.
The theme is ‘Connecting People with Nature’ and I am sure
that anyone who goes will feel more connected with nature.
It’s also socially enjoyable and fulfilling to rub shoulders with
like-minded people who, when we pool our experiences, have
a huge breadth and depth of knowledge about nature. I’m
particularly keen to learn from the local Aboriginal people of
the Barengi Gadjin Land Council, who will be at the camp.
There were two prior IFFA excursions in 2016. The first
was in March to see how Bush Stone-curlews are being bred
and protected in a sanctuary in Lockwood, near Bendigo.
Thanks to the mid-Loddon Sub-Catchment Management
Group for hosting us, and for their impressive conservation
efforts. The second excursion was hosted by Australian
Ecosystems Pty Ltd in April, when we were given a very
informative tour of their wholesale nursery in Bangholme, on
Melbourne’s southeastern fringe. Growing indigenous plants
has come a long way since its infancy in the mid-1980s!
The IFFA committee is keen to foster networking, training
and other support for indigenous nurseries. The person to
contact to become more involved is IFFA’s Indigenous Nurseries
Liaison Officer, Naomie Sunner: [email protected]
or phone 0415 941 629.
We are also working on establishing a network of career
bushland managers. Following a meeting of interested
people in April, an on-line survey is seeking guidance about
the aims and functions of the new network – see p8.
To become involved, contact John Loschiavo:
[email protected] or 0439 658 742.
IFFA put a lot of work into submissions about two Victorian
government reviews concerning nature conservation. The first
was about how planning schemes regulate removal of native
vegetation and seek to provide compensation. The second was
in response to the Victorian government’s draft biodiversity
strategy, called ‘Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity
2036’. For the first time, the government is recognising
in policy that contact with nature in people’s daily lives is
important for health, wellbeing and quality of life. These things
are at the core of IFFA’s existence but the draft strategy proposes
to focus conservation efforts far from population centres, where
very few people will be connected in their daily lives. Sadly, the
importance of contact with nature has been entirely overlooked
in the government’s concurrent review of the native vegetation
planning controls. Look for IFFA’s submissions at
The IFFA committee has also been busy with
strategic planning for the organisation’s future. This
process builds upon a previous review and the ‘speed
planning’ session at last November’s AGM. You can
read about the directions the committee has planned by
downloading the document from www.iffa.org.au.
Dr Graeme Lorimer
Friday 30 SeptemberSunday 2 October
Mallee bird specialist Dr. Joab Wilson
Scientist Dr. Graeme Lorimer
Ecologist Dr. Jeff Yugovic
Ant expert Dr. John Wainer
Ecologist Geoff Carr
and many more to come
We recommend staying at Dimboola Caravan Park
Daily departures into park from Dimboola Caravan Park
You must arrange your own accommodation,
food and transport
Bookings required via Eventbrite
Caladenia cardiochila
The IFFA committee joins a funding crowd
Crowdfunding conservation
Australians have taken to crowdfunding with some
zeal with new platforms and the range of campaign
themes expanding quickly. Crowdfunding results
in small donations from a large number of people
enabling start-up ideas to develop into real projects.
In 2015 the Victorian Government launched a
collaborative pilot with Pozible, a leading Australian
crowdfunding platform, to encourage and support
community initiatives to help protect threatened species.
Michelle Butler, Senior Project Officer with the
Department of Environment, Land, Water and
Planning(DELWP) implemented the pilot and
Amanda Dodd, from Cairnlea Conservation
Reserves Committee of Management, was
one of the first five campaign producers.
Here they share their views.
Michelle Butler
The idea was discussed internally including with the Project
Control Board for the Threatened Species Protection Initiative.
Along with a more traditional grants approach, the board
was supportive of trialling crowdfunding but needed further
operational detail. Claire from Australia’s crowdfunding
platform Pozible, provided options for different partnership
The model that was settled on enabled a matched grant
approach and we gained approval from Lisa Neville , MP the
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, to
proceed. It allowed us to engage with groups that would be
receiving funds from the other grant processes from within the
program so that they would have a safety net if their campaigns
failed. The campaigns would be housed in a collection on the
Pozible website which would bring greater awareness to all of
the projects.
To create a space for community groups to test their
involvement, a facilitator helped them build their campaigns.
Pozible also offered information sessions and advanced
workshops to interested groups. The campaigns were
then presented to the board for approval and after some
amendments, seven campaigns were approved for the first
collection. The tight timelines and novelty of the process
was a challenge and resulted in two groups postponing their
FRIEND had sent me a link via Facebook to a
conservation research project seeking crowdfunding
support. It piqued my interest immediately, and so I
pledged. I began investigating different crowdfunding platforms
and approaches, including attending a workshop that provided
a more detailed understanding of crowdfunding. As a public
servant working in the community and environment grant
space, I was interested in exploring if governments had used
crowdfunding campaigns before in a cost-share arrangement.
In 2013, the WA agency ScreenWest, won a public sector
award for its 3to1 Crowdfunding Initiative that supports
independent Western Australian film makers. In 2014, Arts
Tasmania launched Crowbar, contributing fifty percent (up
to $2000) to artists’ campaigns that successfully reached their
target. While there were some examples of partnerships in the
Arts space, limited government application had occurred in
I thought, crowdfunding could enable government and the
community to leverage funds to support more conservation
projects. It could also provide community groups with an
avenue to drive digital and social media skills, tap into other
types of support, expand their funding base and build awareness
of their group and conservation activities.
Never trivial:
the pursuit
of trivia
Those remaining
continued to bounce
ideas off each other,
sharing materials
and enthusiastically
barracking for each
other’s success.
At DELWP and at
Pozible, media materials
were being produced and
circulated to highlight
the five campaigns which
launched as a collection
in November 2015.
Over three weeks we
watched the campaigns
build, stall and then
build again as media and
networks were busily
tapped. In the end, three
campaigns successfully
reached their target
We evaluated our
efforts which identified
that the funding was only part of the benefit, regardless of the
success. Campaigners also noted that they:
• Learnt new skills in video editing, marketing and promotion
• Engaged with new people, locally and internationally
• Built awareness of community group activities and programs
• Built new networks and useful contacts, including ongoing
links with businesses
As a result of the input from our generous community
pioneers, we have revised and broadened the scope which will
be tested in the next iteration.
Amanda Dodd
HE FRIENDS of Iramoo and the Cairnlea
Conservation Reserves Committee of Management have
been discussing alternative ways of obtaining funding
for years. While we appreciate the grants and support we receive
from local, regional and state government agencies, sometimes
there are lulls in grant rounds where the future can look quite
The end of 2015 was looking very stressful for us. All of our
existing grants were coming to completion and it looked like we
would have very little funding for our works program in 2016.
Thankfully DELWP released the application forms for the
first round of the Threatened Species Protection Initiative
Grants in August 2015. At the bottom of the application
was a small tick box – would you like to be involved in
Crowdfunding trials – Why not? I ticked it.
Nothing happened for a few months until I received an
email inviting us to attend an information session and then an
advanced workshop
with Pozible and
DELWP. It was
full steam ahead
from there – we
needed to submit
our project pitch,
preferably with
the draft video
only six days after
the workshop. We
called an emergency
meeting of the
committee and the
friends group for
ideas and stayed
up late on a Friday
night working out
our program, what
we wanted funding
for and our rewards.
After a few
stressful days of
program planning
and script writing, I
sat in the Featherheads Grassland Reserve and filmed the pitch.
Once DELWP gave us confirmation that our program was
eligible for matched funding we planned our campaign launch
night – an ecological trivia night at which 46 people across
eight teams competed to win prizes and adulation. In the end
we raised $1350 which went straight on the campaign.
The three weeks that the Saving Six Grassland Species
campaign was running was both exhilarating and highly
stressful. Our most popular reward that people selected was to
adopt and name a Striped Legless Lizard. The names people
chose for their adopted lizards were amazing, and included
Mr Pickle, Putuguq, Legolas and Hermione.
In the end we received donations from over 191 amazing
supporters and not only met but exceeded our target of
$12,000. The Victorian Government matched the target and
co-contributed $12,000, bringing our total funding for the
project to $25,800.
The five crowdfunding projects showed that there is support
for threatened species conservation. I would highly recommend
groups try out crowdfunding as a way to obtain funds and also
as a way to learn new skills and connect with new people.
The Saving Six Grassland Species campaign would not
have been possible without the support of DELWP, Claire
from Pozible and Jen from TBL creative partnerships and
everyone from Cairnlea Conservation Reserves Committee of
Management and the Friends of Iramoo who donated their
time and energy.
Keep an eye out on the Pozible website for future campaigns
that support threatened species projects.
Annual General Meeting
Saturday 1 October 2016 (at our Little Desert Spring Camp)
Time: 6pm
Place: Riverside Holiday Park
2 Wimmera Street, Dimboola, Victoria
At the meeting, members will have the opportunity to:
find out about the IFFA’s operations and finances
speak about any items on the agenda
vote on any resolutions proposed
At the meeting, members will be asked to vote to:
accept the minutes of the previous annual general meeting
accept the annual report
accept the annual financial statements
e lect officer bearers and general committee members
If you are not able to attend you can nominate a proxy to vote on
your behalf. Send or give your voting instructions in writing to your
proxy or the secretary at least 24 hours before the meeting.
All members can nominate themselves or any other member
for any of the positions listed in the next column.
The following positions will be open for nominations:
Membership Secretary
Editor of the newsletter
Events Coordinator
Indigenous Nurseries Liaison Officer
Student Representative
Fundraising Coordinator
Ecological Restoration Professional
2 ordinary members
In the propagation shed
Spring brings with it warmer weather, longer days
and a vast array of wildflowers, so it’s no surprise
that it is many people’s favourite season. It is at this
time of year that many ecosystems come to life with
ECAUSE most species are
in flower, this is the time
that plants can be easily
identified, so for indigenous
nurseries that collect their own
seed reconnaissance missions
to target sites are always a
pleasurable task.
With the exception of long
walks in wildflower strewn
landscapes in the name of site
surveying, there are many tasks
that plant propagators have to do
in spring.
• Daisies germinate readily in
daytime temperatures of around
18-25 C. They require light to
germinate, so are best sown on
the surface of seed raising mix
September – October.
• A number of semiaquatic
wetland species are dormant
over winter, emerging from
seed, corms or rhizomes in
spring. Sow species such as
Bolboschoenus, Schoenoplectus
and Alisma plantago-aquatica in
spring using the bog method.
Alternatively, Bolboschoenus can be divided by separating and
potting on newly sprouted corms as soon as they emerge.
• Other semi-aquatic species such as Juncus, Ficinia and Carex
can be sown using the bog method in spring.
colours and scents, drawing in the many species of
pollinators required to produce this year’s batch of
seed. Naomie Sunner leads the way from bushland
to the nursery bench.
• Many Spear grasses germinate best
in temperatures 15-22 C. Species
such as Austrostipa stipiodes, A. mollis,
A. bigeniculata should be sown in
• Many other species of cool season
grasses, known as C3 grasses germinate
well in the cooler spring temperatures.
Sow Dichelachne crinita, Anthosachne
scabra and Rytidosperma sp. September –
• Saltbushes such as Einadia, Rhagodia and
Enchylaena also prefer the cooler spring
temperatures in which to germinate. Sow
these species September to October.
• Many Peas and Acacia species have hard
seed coats and germinate well in warm
temperatures after soaking in warm or
boiling water. After soaking seed for 4-12
hours, sow seed October-November.
• As plants put on new growth over spring,
there is an abundance of beautiful cutting
material. Take cuttings any time in spring
of Correa, Grevillea, Prostanthera and
Pimelea, ensuring that flowers are buds
are removed.
• Many species that can be grown by
division will establish well in the warmer
temperatures of spring. Species such as
Viola hederacea, Ranunculus, Goodenia
can be divided over spring.
The secret
world of
Dining with Bush Stone-curlews
Nocturnal, ground-dwelling and beautifully camouflaged, Bush StoneCurlews stand completely still when threatened. They are famously
difficult to see. Sadly this gives no protection against habitat loss and
introduced predators that hunt by following a scent trail, and the birds
now face local extinction in central Victoria. Karen McGregor reports on
a program to bring curlews home to a safe and suitable environment.
he March IFFA excursion was held in Lockwood (just
south of Bendigo) where we were fortunate to meet
Everlasting in a captive breeding program
some Bush
alpinesCreek Landcare Group. We saw
run by the Upper Spring
two enclosures, one with a pair of shy curlews and one with
four curious brothers and sisters (who had been given to the
program by Halls Gap Zoo). The curlews are fed at dusk on a
diet of 75-100g per day of premium chicken loaf (dog food),
hardboiled eggs (including shell), mealworms, Wombaroo
insectivore dry mix and earthworms.
We also travelled around the area to see various fox/cat proof
fenced exclusion sites which are several hectares in size. These
are the sites where the curlews will be released to provide
safe breeding areas. The group is currently working to increase
curlew habitat in the sites. The preferred habitat of these birds
is grassy woodland with fallen tree debris and leaf litter, which
Above: A section of Shelbourne Nature Conservation
Reserve modified to favour Bush Stone-Curlews.
Left: One of five blocks, surrounded by a feral-proof fence,
destined to become a home to Bush Stone-Curlews. Birds
will initially be held in a pen to become familiar with the
place before release. Support from local landholders is vital
and permanent water is available in a dam on a next-door
farm. Curlews are strong fliers and are expected to move
around the district before returning to this fox-free refuge.
Photos: Mick Connolly
is essential for roost sites and finding food. Roost areas contain
little or no shrub layer, with a sparse groundstorey. The Landcare
group has also installed many nest boxes in the area which are
enjoyed by Brush-tailed Phascogales and Sugar Gliders.
A visit to Shelbourne Nature Conservation Reserve showed
the success of the ecological thinning program where up to onethird of the dense regrowth eucalypt trees were felled. These
trees were carefully selected and cut to fall across the contours
in order to increase leaf litter accumulation and water retention
in the reserve. This proved effective when a downslope dam
received much less runoff than before the thinning. Soon after
the canopy was opened up the remaining (healthier) eucalypts
began to flower due to the decreased competition for light and
resources. This in turn attracted Swift Parrots to the area. We
wish this group continued success and that the local wildlife
population will continue to grow.
Victorian Bushland
BUSHLAND manager is someone who
manages land for biodiversity.
This work predominantly involves removal
and/or reduction of threats to biodiversity (pest
plant and animals, inappropriate disturbance
regimes) and enhancement of biodiversity values
(planting, direct seeding, habitat enrichment).
As a profession, bushland managers work on land which
is usually reserved for biodiversity. They work both in
the public and private sector on both private and public
land. The type of work they do is driven by their funding
arrangements, level of expertise, types of bushland they
work in, and the management priorities of their bushland.
Most bushland managers are working towards the same
goal: to reduce threats to biodiversity and enhance biodiversity.
Until now, there has not been an organisation for bushland
managers to share information and knowledge in Victoria.
The Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association recognised
the need for a bushland management network and would
like create a network which aims to promote the profession
and facilitate knowledge and information sharing.
Recently IFFA hosted a workshop with people
from a wide range of organisations to brainstorm the
scope and direction of a potential network. From the
workshop, three main areas of focus were suggested.
Developing industry standards
and industry promotion
While bushland managers know that certain management
techniques are better than others, there is a great need for
guidance about which ones to use in particular situations and
what specifications and standards should be attached to each.
Industry standards are required to:
• Ensure best practice for the management of bushland, and
to ensure the best value for money and the best outcomes
for biodiversity, given the limited funds for bushland works
• From the development of standards for the industry,
monitoring and evaluation protocols could be developed.
Monitoring is a great tool for managers to see how their
reserves are changing with management interventions. It
also can be used to report outcomes to funding agencies.
The bushland network could also promote the industry as a
profession. This could lead to greater recognition as a profession,
and potentially even to further funding for bushland works.
Please complete our 10 minute survey by
14 November 2016 to tell us what you want
from a bushland management network
Information and knowledge sharing using
a website and field trials/workshops
There is currently no centralised platform for bushland
managers to share information regarding bushland
management issues. A website could be
used to share information.
This would include photos, videos, case studies, reports
and an online forum where bushland managers can share
information and discuss issues. In addition to the website,
the network could run workshops on specific topics and
put the outcomes of the workshop on the website.
The network could also facilitate and coordinate
field trials of different management techniques
and report the findings on the website.
Building capacity of bushland managers through
short courses and industry accreditation
While there are several tertiary courses relating to bushland
management, there is a need for further professional
development opportunities. The network could either
provide or facilitate short courses and other training
for bushland managers. Depending on the demand for
ongoing professional development, these short courses
could be combined to form an industry accreditation.
The bushland network will be run by a committee,
comprising professionals within the bushland management
industry. The main activities of the committee would include:
• Develop and implement industry standards;
• Facilitate field trials, workshops and online information
• Facilitate and run training courses relevant
to bushland management.
John Loschiavo
Wedding Bush Festival Friends of the Grange Heathland Reserve
Saturday 8 October, 9am-noon.
6.5 hectares of rare remnant bushland in suburbia.
Walking tours, free indigenous plant, free sausage sizzle
Osbourne Avenue, Clayton South, off Westall Road. Enquiries 0403 587 611
Application for membership of the Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
Incorporated Association No A0015723B
Individual/Family/Organisation Name
Membership type (tick one)
Individual ($25 per year)
Family ($35 per year)
Names of other family members
Name of organisational or
family representative
Postal address
Non-profit organisation ($40 per year)
Concession ($20 per year)
Associate member (individuals younger than 15 $5)
How old?
Corporation ($50 per year)
Individual life member ($500 per year)
Family life member ($700 per year)
I wish to become a member of the
Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
In the event of my admission as a member, I agree to be bound by the
rules of the Association for the time being in force
Signature of applicant
Membership fee amount $
I wish to make a donation to IFFA
Donation amount $
Total $
Note: New members joining July-December pay half the fees shown below
but become a member for the full financial year
New members joining January-June pay the full amount, which includes
membership from the date they join including the whole of the following
financial year
I wish to renew my membership of IFFA
(Note membership runs from 1 July to 30 June each year)
Delivery type for newsletter
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(made out to “Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association Inc.”)
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(but please do not send cash in the mail)
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to the Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association bank account
(BSB 063138 Account10092717; include your family and first
name, or organisation name as the description)
Paid up Individual, Family, Concession and Associate members of IFFA are
eligible for a discount subscription to Ecological Management & Restoration
Journal. See IFFA’s website for the form, or enquire to [email protected]
Email my .pdf format newsletter
Please send this form together with your cheque to IFFA Secretary, PO BOX 159, Brunswick 3056
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Follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/IndigenousFloraFaunaAssociation
and on Linked In at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Indigenous-Flora-Fauna-Association-4613422
President: Graeme Lorimer
email: [email protected]
9876 6415
Vice-President: Amanda Dodd
[email protected]
Secretary: Ben North
[email protected] 0419 709 744
Treasurer: Vacant
Events Coordinator: Karen McGregor
[email protected]
Webmaster: Madeline Brenker
[email protected]
Student representative: Madeline Brenker
[email protected]
Indigenous Nurseries Liaison Officer:
Naomie Sunner, [email protected]
Ecological Information Officer:
Dr. Melanie Birtchnell
Committee members: Linda Bradburn,
John Loschiavo
Indigenotes guest editor: Amanda Dodd
Indigenotes design: Mick Connolly
Life member: Patricia Crowley
Indigenotes is the newsletter of the
Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association.
Views expressed in Indigenotes are not
necessarily those of the Indigenous Flora
and Fauna Association. Articles are not
peer reviewed
Call for articles
Indigenotes is a newsletter by IFFA members
for IFFA members. Stories, snippets, photos
and reports from members are always
welcome. If it’s something you’re doing with
flora or fauna or habitat, write it down and
send it to IFFA’s editor at [email protected]
In the mid-1980s a young couple, Ros and Andrew Bradey were desperate to
buy a farm anywhere in SE Australia. They bought 300 hectares at Ullswater in the
South-west Wimmera region of Victoria and called it Nilgiri. They bought it because
it was cheap. They had very few dollars and were probably low on cents too!
AVING bought a farm, and sheep, and a
few tools their previously unimpressive
financial situation was reduced to abject
poverty. Owning a farm, but not being able to afford
to do anything with it was less than satisfying.
One thing they could afford to do was use their
newly acquired wheelbarrow and shovel to dig up a
few dozen Red-Gum seedlings (which had regenerated
next to a swamp) and move them to make three
clumps of trees in one of their paddocks.
Their idea was that these trees would provide shelter to
the old ewes they had recently acquired. What they hadn’t
realised was that because there were significant areas of forest,
woodlands and wetlands nearby, these areas would be quickly
colonised by numerous native bird and animal species too.
Planting trees became something of a passion. Though
after a while, planting for wild-life habitat became the prime
objective, with agricultural productivity improvements
being the spin-off. The question of how many native
trees were too many was always up for debate. The farm’s
income came from wool, sheep and cattle, not trees or
native wildlife. Some tree planting could improve the farm’s
bottom line, but too much would start to reduce it. About
20% of the farm’s area seemed to be a prudent maximum.
Now, thirty years later, the not so young Ros and Andrew
have raised a family and increased the farm to 1,100
hectares. 170 hectares of the farm are managed purely
for conservation. Within this conservation area are two
Conservation Covenants, including the first wetland in
Victoria to receive a covenant. As well as producing wool
and meat, the farm routinely fledges Brolga chicks and
Tree corridors
leading to wetlands
occasionally Red-tailed Black Cockatoo chicks. It is also host
to scores of other slightly less charismatic native species.
Throughout the past 30 years the farm’s productivity
(and profitability) has increased in tandem with improving
conservation values. Very occasionally there have been conflicts
between conservation and agricultural productivity, but for
the most part the two activities have been complementary.
Words and photos: Andrew Bradey
The Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association will be visiting
the Bradey farm on the first weekend of May 2017. Additional
details will follow. Register your interest via [email protected]
A 30-year experiment
to simultaneously
improve farm
productivity and
conservation values.
Left: State forest,
pasture, conservation
area and rows of
fodder shrubs.
President’s letter;
IFFA camp out
Crowdfunding conservation 12 notice
In the propagation shed
2 Bush Stone-curlews
3 Victorian Bushland
5 Management Network
5 Membership application form;
6-7 Contact us Nilgiri11