|THE CONSERVATION PROGRAM|
THE OOLONG CONSERVATION PROGRAM:A community contribution to stimulate conservation within the public sector, local governments, landholders and individuals in the Upper Lachlan Catchment area and beyond.
OOLONG EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR SCHOOLS:This very innovative educational program is being devised while the inventory of the fauna and flora at Oolong is nearly completed. For more details please click School Program
WHERE AND HOW THE CONSERVATION PROGRM STARTED :
At "Dalton Park", near the village of Dalton, NSW, close to the ACT, 76 km. north from the Canberra airport,a private wildlife sanctuary was started by a landholder in 1987. A place free from foxes and wild cats, to assist native wildlife, including numerous rare and endangered species to flourish. The sanctuary, now extends over about 1400a of four separately owned properties connected by crown roads, which are critical habitats and wildlife corridors. This exciting and comprehensive conservation and educational program is embraced and developed by the community. The sanctuary is not a tourist commercial venture, however visitations by study groups, research scientists, postgraduate students, school classes, families, members of the Friends of Oolong organisation and the local community are encouraged.
Please click on Oolong History for more details on the sanctuary on private land.
THE CONSERVATION PROGRAM AND THE OOLONG MODEL:
The Oolong model of Habitat/Remnants linked by wildlife corridors with several management strategies,including Research & Development is about: revegetation; protection and management of eco-systems; fauna and flora inventory with surveys to identify the distribution and number of species including those threatened and endangered and eventually promote recovery plans for any endangered species living in vegetation remnants on private land and the recognition of the high nature heritage and conservation value of vegetation remnants and their inclusion in the NSW State Nature Reserves.
This program is also supported by scientists that are urging now the Federal and State Governments to expand the number of nature reserves to protect the wildlife moving between remnants.
To see the maps illustrating the Lachlan catchment with the habitat/remnants (shown in green) and the few Nature Reserves near Oolong and the location of the National Parks, please click "Native Vegetation Remnants"
A statistical analysis is also part of the program.
The program is implemented by local, interstate and overseas full-time and part-time volunteers and active members of the Friends of Oolong (FOO).
The program is supported with donations and sponsorships. The model and relevant projects are being developed in cooperation with associations such as Greening Australia, Bushcare, specialists, study groups, societies and agencies such as FATS, ANOS, NPWS, RLPB; Federal government departments such as Environment, Australia and State Departments: DIPNR and DL.
Please go to Projects to see the extensive list of on-going and on-ground projects, some of which await sponsorship and to Supporters for the list of supporters.
The Friends of Oolong support actively with their Oolong Challenge the Landcare Carbon SMART program by collecting in a bank native seeds from the four ecosystems present at Oolong and from any other ecosystem for local communites to reforest habitat/remnants and wildlife links (crown roads)
BENEFITS FROM THE OOLONG CONSERVATION PROGRAM AND ITS MODEL:
The Oolong conservation program is applied on depleted ecosystems within the Upper Lachlan Catchment region and South East NSW. The FOO assist in the adoption and development of similar programs by landholders and local communities, towards the restoration and preservation of habitats state-wide.
The evidence and support for the recognition of Habitat/Remnants as endangered and threatened and the need to develop and protect the links between them, which are vital for the fauna movement are directed to avoid the otherwise inevitable disappearance of several fauna and flora species.
The Oolong sanctuary model - with all related projects including R&D - and all information on our web site are for future reference and guidance for any landholder and/or community groups interested in promoting and developing similar types of sanctuary, while linking habitat/remnants with each other on a regional and state-wide basis on private land.
PROGRESS REPORT- FAUNA AND FLORA INVENTORY- ENDANGERED SPECIES:Flora and Fauna Inventory and Endangered Species at Oolong: The fauna and flora inventory is in progress.The list of species is fast growing and specimens are illustrated as they become available. To view the illustrations please click Flora and/or Fauna.
Eleven endangered bird species have been identified by Mr Tony Saunders, Scientific Advisory Board, Friends of Oolong and Cumberland Bird Observers' Club. (http://www.cboc.org.au/default.html)
Two new species of orchids* have been found so far by Mr Graeme Bradburn, Scientific Advisory Board, Friends of Oolong and Australasian Native Orchids Society (ANOS) (http://www.anos.org.au)
* Survey and Classification in progress.
Six protected bat species, including one of them listed as threatened have been confirmed at the conclusion of a second specialists's survey on 17 March 2007.
The four main forest ecosystems at Oolong. They are
The bottom two ecosystems:"Northern Slopes Dry Grass Woodland" and "Tableland and Slopes Dry Herb/Grass Woodland", are part of the "White Box-Yellow Box Woodland", which has preliminary listing as an endangered ecological community in the NSW Species Conservation Act, 1995.
- Tablelands Dry Shrub/Tussock Grass Forest
- Northern Tablelands and Slopes Dry Shrub/Grass Forest
- Northern Slopes Dry Grass Woodland
- Tablelands and Slopes Dry Herb/Grass Woodland
One of the wildlife corridors - linking the remnants - contains a good sample of the preliminary listed ecosystem and has been identified by Rainer Rehwinkel, Threateented Species Officer, NPWS, Southern Directorate as a "Critical Habitat" for several threatened bird species. Residents: Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail, Hooded Robin, (Officially identified and recorded by Tony Saunders, Specialist of the FOO Advisory Board and Cumberland Bird Observers'Club.
The seasonally: Superb Parrot and Regent Honeyeater have been temporary absent in the year 2003.
The wildlife corridor identified with the crown road, as a proven Critical Habitat, meets the essential life cycle (eg: foraging, breeding, nesting, roosting, etc) of threatened species. A proposal for a Recovery Plan is under preparation with Project No 11.
The birds mentioned above as well as all other threatened species are marked by (*) in the illustrated bird list under Fauna where you may browse Birds (Part one, two and three) The Preliminary Report by NPWS, Southern Directorate is attached at the end of Oolong History
HABITAT/REMNANTS IN THE UPPER LACHLAN CATCHMENT REGION:The Upper Lachlan catchment conditions, described in the "Upper Lachlan Region Plan" and published by the ULCCC are summarised below: (The Upper Lachlan Catchment Coordinating Committee (ULCCC) with 19 landcare groups managed the action plan on the natural resources of the catchment with funding assistance by the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Landcare program).Similar Plan is now being managed by the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (see below).
Land use in this region is predominantly grazing by sheep and cattle. Less than 5% of the region is used for cropping. There are more than 7,200 ha of land in national parks nature reserves and state forests.
Soil fertility is in decline with more than 71% of the soils with low or low to moderate soil chemical fertility. Native timbered areas, predominantly of dry woodlands, cover about 17% of the region. However the distribution of native vegetation is not even, with cover at a sub-region scale ranging from 10% to 46%. Water quality with turbidity, phosphorous concentration and salinity of surface water are of great concern. There are 4,793 ha of land currently recorded as salt-affected. 885km of streambanks are affected by erosion and mass movement affects 1,148 ha. Around 90% of all rill erosion and 12% of all gully erosion is associated with salinity. Around 11% of the region has infestation of Serrated Tussock denser than 10% of groundcover. Poor grazing management is contributing to the decline of the soil types, which have poor natural structural stability. Vertebrate animals pests add to total grazing pressure or by disturbing the aquatic environments. Degradation of wetlands is increasing. Semi-permanent upland lakes, lagoons and swamps are under threat from poor water quality, cropping, grazing sedimentation, drainage and pest plants and animals. (From Upper Lachlan Regional Action Plan)
The general description of the Upper Lachlan Catchment region illustrates the alarming depleted conditions of the local environment, which is causing great concern to our organisation.
THE FUTURE OF HABITAT/REMNANTS IN THE UPPER LACHLAN REGION:Our organisation has launched an appeal to have government funds allocated to Landcare and to any other agencies, to be properly coordinated and integrated with our program of restoration and management of habitat/remnants with the revegetation of wildlife corridors in the region as a major and urgent priority. The Action Plan originated by ULCCC has been revised to fit with future requirement and the Plan has ben taken over by the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority.
No wood chip industry has been allowed to operate in the catchment region except on future established plantations. Any removal of trees in remnants to be done strictly under close management and for the sole purpose to enhance the ecosystems, to restore the pristine habitat and to facilitate the fauna movement between remnants.
The Friends of Oolong support the Southern Wilderness Protection Plan 2005(Details under Habitat/remnants)
The Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (LCMA): website at www.lachlan.cma.nsw.gov.au
The LCMA has been established to enter into a Natural Resources Management Partnership Agreement with landholders in a regional Investment Strategy. A close cooperation beween The Friends of Oolong, Landcare and the LCMA is being worked out.
Thanks to this strategy, one of the landholders involved in the sanctuary has been negotiating successfully with LCMA a partnership for a project in a block of 210a of the farm from where stock will be finally removed from June 2007. The sources of funds for this partnership agreement are the National Action Plan for Water Quality and Salinity (NAP) and the Natural Heritage Fund. Funds are supplied by the LCMA on behalf of the NSW and Australian Governments, for projects that the LCMA considers will have the greatest positive impact on our catchment.
Quoted here is a portion of the letter received by one of our landholders involved on 9 February 2007 from Mr. Rob Gledhill, Chair of the LCMA on the partnership agreement:
“Your project will improve water quality/soil quality/vegetation and the health of the Lachlan catchment and help to ensure the economic and environmental viability of our community. We greatly appreciate your willingness to work with the LCMA to achieve these objectives. I am especially pleased that this Agreement has been developed in an environment of negotiation between yourself and the LCMA staff.”
HOW TO ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS AND THE CORPORATE SECTOR TO CONSIDER OR TO INCREASE PHILANTHROPIC SUPPORT FOR CONSERVATION:The Federal Government with new tax incentives is making some progress to stimulate conservation, while at the same time the NSW Government is adopting a new native vegetation policy. The announcement in August 2004 by the NSW Environment and Conservation Department of a formal proposal on threatened species conservation is a benchmark for conservation in NSW but the corporate sector needs to be stimulated with more adequate tax incentives to purchase land to donate to registered organisations and state and federal government guidelines should be oriented towards special concessions to registered environmental organisations especially in their initial state of development.
Local communities registered as environmental organisations with the new tax incentives are now able to receive gift of land, which in many cases requires a restoration management to exclude localy (partially or totally) the grazing by hoofed animals. Further collaboration between the corporate sector and the communities will facilitate conservation. Registered local community organisation should be encouraged to manage endangered habitats and also assisted in the reclaiming of land to be protected for future generations.
The condition of the Upper Lachlan catchment region - as many other regions - calls for urgent measures by the governments with support by the private sector. The benefit of any additional tax concession is rewarded many times over with the community restoring, preserving and managing depleted ecosystems in the national interest and at no cost to the State and Federal governments.
Are you a landholder interested in conservation on your land and would like to know how to go about it?
Would you like to participate in our program?
Are you intersted in planting trees to get an income from it? The Landcare Carbon SMART Program is for you! to know more about it go to "News"
As a landholder are you interested in the new tax initiatives to assist a conservation program on your land and how they may affect donations, capital gain and the benefit of having a covenant on your land for future generations?
Are you a taxpayer who wishes to know the type of community association, which could use your donation only for the purpose you intend it, and how you may contribute to conservation with your donation by allowing the community to purchase land in need of preservation?
For most Australians and for farmers in particular, the bush has rich and valuable associations. Most farmers are now concerned about the future of their diminished remnant vegetation and have been seeking ways to not only preserve what remains, but to assist its regeneration.
If you wish to help we may be able to assist and guide you in the initial process. Please Contact Us
For a summary on "CHANGING ATTITUDE ON THE LAND" (A National Opinion Poll, by The Institute for Rural Futures, University of New England, based on two national surveys of farmers in 1991 and 2000); STRIFE ON THE LAND" ABARE, 2001; and on environmental problems by clearing, overgrazing and intensive agriculture cost to repair it; about the responsibility for conservation and other initiatives;and details about a A NEW TOOL FOR CONSERVATION FARMERS please go to: Farmers Attitude
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