Tuesday, 09 February 2021 18:20

Peelwood Limerick Tuena Landcare Get Buzzy

Peelwood Limerick Tuena Landcare Group (PLTL) was very pleased to be a successful applicant in the WIRES – Landcare Wildlife Relief & Recovery Grant in 2020.  The focus of the grant was to restore dieback habitat due to the impact of drought and secure wildlife refuge points across the landscape. 

While the larger mammals are included our focus was on the smaller animals, birds and insects and providing them with nesting and feeding areas.  Native bees are important pollinators across our landscape which we wanted to encourage to promote the regeneration of plants affected by the drought. 

Dr Megan Halcroft of Bees Business presented an educational, informative & productive day to the group.  Everyone was enthused at the end of the day with the knowledge they had gained.  There are over 1700 varieties of Native Australian Bees and people could identify numerous varieties on their properties.  Many of the bees are mistaken for flies or wasps so being able to identify who we share our space with is important.  Most Native Bees are stingless and if they do sting it does not have the allergic effect of European Honey Bees. Native bees are estimated to be responsible for at least a third of pollination across Australia, which includes our cropping areas. 

Everyone built a “Native Bee Hotel” to place in their garden or paddock to attract more bees.  Some people have increased this by placing hollow logs filled with hollow reeds around their paddocks to attract bees to increase pollination in their crops. 

Fortunately, Native Bees are not affected by the beetles and virus that European Honey Bees are prone to.  They quietly go about their business helping us along the way.

If you would like more information on Native Bees visit Megan’s website or Facebook page.

www.beesbusiness.com.au

facebook.com/beesbusiness

facebook.com/groups/beeawareofyournativebees

 

 

Wednesday, 06 May 2020 10:25

What Comes Up After the Rain Comes DOWN

Recently Upper Lachlan Landcare members might have been feeling stiff in the neck. They have been looking down into their pastures, and apart from assessing their feed, they have also been spotting unfamiliar plants.

Friday, 27 March 2020 22:57

What’s the query about Q fever

The Q in Q fever stands for query. And once upon a time this disease was a big query. Now we know it is caused by a bacterium. We know it is carried by mainly cattle, sheep and goats, however other animals are also potential carriers. We know the time of most risk is when a carrying animal gives birth. We know the bacteria can survive in the soil for years and are blown around on dusty days. We know most people recover from Q fever, especially with antibiotics, however a small proportion of people develop a chronic, long term condition that for some becomes life threatening. We know Australia has one of the highest reported rates of Q fever in the world.

Monday, 03 February 2020 13:09

Our Trees are Dying

The effects of the drought keep on mounting and it would seem the most recently casualties have been many of our native trees. Many Landcare and community members have reported dead and dying trees, and most have observed it seems to have intensified in recent weeks.

Thursday, 05 December 2019 14:58

Kissing Under the Mistletoe this Christmas

Whilst we may not practice this tradition in Australia, we have all seen enough American TV shows to understand how it works. In fact, in Australia we are more likely to spend our time under a mistletoe branch contemplating how to knock it our rather than who we might bump into there!

Friday, 22 November 2019 09:04

Bigger and Brighter is not Always Better

Spectacular large flowering natives such as grevilleas, banksias and bottle brushes make a stunning garden display and certainly attract native birds like honey eaters. Wattlebirds, Noisy Miners and other nectar feeding birds delight in the bounty provided by these plants. However smaller birds like wrens, robins, finches and thornbills can be driven away by these often aggressive, larger honeyeaters.

Thursday, 12 September 2019 18:25

Life on the Rocks

As we stub our toe on a big granite boulder and our eyes begin to water, we may not fully appreciate the attractive natural feature rocky outcrops form across our landscape. But as we dab the tears away, we should consider the value of these, often isolated, habitats.

Rocky outcrops are a common feature of upper catchment areas and play an important role in in the water cycle. Water movement across the landscape is slowed and filtered around these uneven surfaces, provided there is good vegetation cover. Water infiltrates into the landscape via cracks and crevasses soaking deep into the profile, extending into adjoining paddocks and across the property via natural spring and soaks. Often these natural soaks and springs are critically important for stock water.

Rocky areas also provide vital habitat for species that provide important environmental services, such as native bees that help with pollination.

Well managed rocky areas are often fenced off from stock and only allow occasional and intense grazing. Additionally, this provides a landholder with a well sheltered paddock during times of extreme weather or for lambing. Many outcrop sites would benefit from revegetating with a mix of native trees and shrubs. Taking care to ensure plantings are not too dense to crowd out grasses and sunny spots. Pest animals need to managed here, as with anywhere else on the property. They displace native animals and their digging can cause erosion. By leaving surface rocks, which are often collected for gardens, and fallen timber the quality of the habitat for an even richer species mix is increased.

Rocky outcrops can be a hotspot for biodiversity, serving as important refuges for a very diverse range of specialised flora and fauna that cannot exist in other parts of the landscape. Just watch your toes as you wander through!

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 12 August 2019 08:55

Blooming Wattles

Days are getting longer and that means the tight little balls clinging onto the wattle branches will soon be bursting forth with a stunning display of yellow. As well as providing this vibrant show of colour, wattles are also important in the ecological functioning of our landscape.

Monday, 17 June 2019 09:53

Warm Homes for Everyone

The sharp jabs of cool crisp air in the evenings are very closely followed by the faint smell of wood smoke wafting threw the dark sky. Cold weather means beanies, flannelette sheets, hot drinks and crackling fires. We head indoors early (if we can!) and snuggle down for the months ahead. And we are not the only ones.

Cold weather sends all sorts of creatures looking for shelter.  And for some, dead wood is the ideal home. Lizards, spiders, quolls and echidnas are just some of the creatures bunkering down in what we might like to burn to keep ourselves warm. How to avoid burning their homes to warm ours!

When collecting firewood leave hollow logs. Whether they are standing or lying. Although they may burn well, they are the dwindling homes for many of our treasured Australian creatures. So, try and take small diameter solid pieces of wood instead of large diameter hollows.

When you take firewood leave some behind and move on. If there is very little around leave it and search somewhere else. It is often the cumulative impact of lots of people taking a little firewood that causes depletion. As with recreational fishing, over harvesting will destroy the resource for everyone.

Do not collect from endangered woodland communities, National Parks or roadsides. These communities are declining and may be protected by state and federal legislation so penalties may apply to firewood collecting.

If you buy your firewood, ask how and where they collected the wood. If you tell them it is important to you, it will start to make it important to them too.

And finally, plan for the future and plant a tree. In fact, plant lots of trees – it’s going to be a loooong cold winter!

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 22 November 2018 10:49

Valuable Hollows

Raising your young in the hollow of a tree is the only way to live - according to many birds that is! These hollows offer protection from predators and provide a comfortable chamber for eggs to hatch and young birds to grow. Whilst the hollow opening is often high up in the tree canopy, the actual chamber where the eggs are laid can be several metres back down. In some cases, almost way back down near ground level.

The chambers vary, depending on the tree. Blakely’s Red Gum tend to develop lovely soft chambers lined thickly with ‘mud-gut’. These hollows are favoured by rosellas and superb parrots. Whilst yellow box hollows retain more solid wood internally, which seems to better suit the larger parrots like cockatoos and galahs.

Eucalypts take well over 50 years, typically 100-150 years before developing hollows. At current rates we are losing hollow bearing trees quicker than they are being replaced. This is leading to a hollow short fall in the near future.

Tree arborists can artificially add hollows into existing trees and nest boxes can also be used. However, mimicking the thermal properties of natural hollows is tricky and not something that we have yet mastered. Squirrel gliders are known to use nest boxes but modifications will be required before we see broader uptake by nesting parrots.

This makes our existing hollow bearing trees all the more valuable. Whether alive or dead, we need to do all we can to protect these trees to ensure we continue to see plenty of our stunning parrots moving through our landscape.

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Page 1 of 2