|PROJECTS - Part one|
The projects - some with R&D - are part of the management of the sanctuary towards the build-up of a model of habitat/remnants on private land linked by crown roads as wildlife corridors and to complete the inventory of endemic fauna and flora.The projects are also for future reference by landholders and community groups interested in developing similar programs. We have encountered some administrative difficulties related to the management of crown roads as wildlife corridors but we are taking the necessary action to rectify this problem with the Department of Lands, supported by the Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson MP, while seeking also the support of the Federal Department of Environment and Heritage.
THE SANCTUARY MODEL:
The Sanctuary, with its remnants and wildlife corridors, is a typical model of very endangered ecosystems which covers an area of about 560ha (1400a). The Natural Habitat of Dalton Park, the Pristine Block and Calendarah are the remnants while the crown roads linking the remnants are the wildlife corridors. The Oolong sanctuary model needs to be thoroughly investigated to gather evidences to be used to have habitat/remnants recognised as endangered and threatened.
RESULTS SO FAR:
It is becoming apparent that a cooperative major effort will be required in the future to link habitat/remnants with each other on a regional and state-wide basis. With the inventory still in progress eleven endangered bird species have been identified in four ecosystems within the model.
One of the wildlife corridors - linking the remnants - contains a good sample of the preliminary listed ecosystem and has been classified by Rainer Rehwinkel, Threatened Species Officer, NPWS, Southern Directorate as a "Critical Habitat" for several threatened bird species. Residents: Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail, Hooded Robin, Identified and officially recorded by Tony Saunders, specialist from Birds Australia. The seasonally: Superb Parrot and Regent Honeyheater are temporary absent.
The Preliminary Report by NPWS, Southern Directorate is attached at the end of Oolong History.
The birds mentioned above as well as any other threatened species are marked by (*) in the illustrated bird list under Fauna. Please scroll: BIRDS (Part one, two and three).
Four Main Forest Ecosystems are recorded at Oolong:
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
The last two ecosystems are part of the White Box – Yellow Box Woodland which now has a preliminary listing as an endangered ecological community in the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (See Project no: 16, 22 and 31)
The disused crown road, is a proven Critical Habitat and meets the essential life cycle (eg: foraging, breeding, nesting, roosting, etc) of threatened bird species. A Recovery Plan is under proposal (See Project no 11).
The Oolong Sanctuary forms a regionally important habitat linkage for bats between other natural areas. Eight protected and two endangered species of bats are present. Most bats observed were hollow roosting bats. The vegetation corridor along Bush’s Lane and mature paddock trees adjacent to the road provide exceptional habitat for hollow roosting microbats, while the old abandoned mine adits and caves provide habitat for numerous hollow dependent and two cave dependent species of bats. Two of them, the Large Bent-wing Bat and the Yelllow-bellied sheathtail Bat are listed in the NSW Threatened Species Act (see Project no.21).
LIST OF PROJECTS:
Our Patron Dr David Suzuki is urging the Australian Community, individuals and/or businesses to support our program by donating to any of the following on-ground and/or on-going Projects:
- Project no 1 (On-going): WebPages Construction and Updating by Mrs JK Phillips maintained by G.W.D'Addario.
- Project no 2(On-going): (Additional donation for $500pa is required) Electric Vermin Proof Fences. Patrolling and Maintenance. Carried out by Landholder and Friends of Oolong.
- Project no 3(On-going): (Additional donation for $300pa is required for the purchase of the baits) Fox Baiting and Wild Cat Trapping Program. Managed by Landholder and Friends with assistance by Mr Kevin Baker, Senior Ranger, Rural Lands Protection Board, Yass.
- Project no 4 (Postponed): Preliminary Survey for Threatened Fauna (a brief census of diurnal and nocturnal birds, bats and other mammals, frogs and reptiles). Carried out by Dr Andrew Claridge and staff, NPWS Threatened Specie Unit, Southern Directorate.
- Project no 5 (Postponed): Fauna Surveys (including the survey on the Superb Parrot). Carried out by Professor David Lindenmayer and staff, Centre for Resources & Environment Studies ANU.
- Project no 6 (On-going): (Donation for approximately $700 required each year for petrol and new blades) Weed Control. Carried out by Landholder and Friends as required. Two brush cutters ($1,400) supplied by the Landholder.
- Project no 7 (Suspended) Biological Survey - To Enable an Overview of Biodiversity in the Area, Setting up of Baseline Recording Sites and Identification of Possible Directions. Project Leader: Mr Cliff Block, Honorary Resident Scientist, FOO (resigned sick).
- Project no 8 (Activated-May 2008): (Donations for $1,000 required to be able to complete the survey): Archaeological Survey of Aboriginal Sites and Artefacts.By Mrs Amanda Tissen.
- Project no 9 (On-going) (Additional donation for $800 required for the purchase of material): To Manufacture, Set and Monitor Traps for Wild Cats. Supported and Managed by Dalton Park Landholder.
After several experiments, we are succeeding in luring wild cats to enter our traps by putting freshly killed rabbits in them. Any other bait (fish, liver, chichen heads, etc.) has failed to attract wild cats, which are well known to be trap shy.
- Project no 10 (Proposed): (Donations for $1,400 required for one hand-held receiver $700, a three element antenna $ 250, two transmitters $360) Purchase of Equipment to Monitor Echidna Movements. Student short project.
- Project no 11 (On-going(*)): Removal of Sifton Bush and Maintenance of a Disused Crown Road as a Wildlife Corridor and a Recovery Plan for Threatened Bird Species.The project covers the removal of sifton bush from the whole of the sanctuary, followed by reforestation and the direct seeding of some native grasses and Joycea pallida, a dominant understorey specie, of Australian tussock grass, which extends trough open forests and woodlands. J. pallida prefers shallow and stony soil. The seed of this endemic specie is being collected from Dalton Park for our seed bank.
Initially sponsored by AGILITY Services Pty Ltd.
The supporter has donated a brushcutter for weed control and has undertaken to seed with native grasses the area disturbed and cleared for the pipeline but the extended drought favours the spreading of sifton bush and grasses are not able to compete effectively. The brush cutter needs replacing.
(*) We had some administrative difficulties with the management requirement for crown roads, as set by the Department of Lands, but we have obtained the assistance of the Minister and the cooperation of his Department on the procedure to be followed to rectify this problem.
Stage 1 (in progress)-To Establish and Maintain The Corridor Linking the Natural Habitat of Dalton Park to the Pristine Block. By Landholder of Dalton Park and FOO volunteers.
Stage 2 - Recovery Plan. The disused crown road, which is also a wildlife corridor, is a proven Critical Habitat and meets the essential life cycle (eg: foraging, breeding, nesting, roosting, etc) of threatened species. Friends of Oolong and Landholder to assist to repair the disused crown road fence and a minor erosion problem across the road.
- Project no 12 (Under consideration): It will require a licence by NPWS and donations before it could be undertaken: Captive Breeding of the Tasmanian devil in larged fenced off enclosures at the Sanctuary.
Project no 13 (Proposed): Evaluating the Use of Nest Boxes by Birds and other Fauna in Habitat/Remnants.
Very few natural hollows are here but this project should help.
(Carpentry equipment to $2,500 by Dalton Park Landholder, playwood by FOO, and labour by an active FOO member). Monthly monitoring by FOO Volunteers.
The project involves the construction, monitoring and maintaining of several types of artificial nest boxes to gather valuable information to increase the understanding of the nest requirement of different species and improve how artificial hollows are constructed, deployed and monitored.
- Stage 1- The Setting and Monitoring of Salvaged Natural Hollows and their Use by Wildlife. (By Landholder of Dalton Park and Friends).
- Stage 2- Setting and Monitoring of artificial Next Boxes and their Evaluation. Data sheets to be forwarded to Bea Hurrell. By Landholder and FOO Active Members. (Donations for $2000 required by the second year and $1000 pa. thereafter for the purchase of additional material if the project is to continue).
This project has been initiated by the Research Group of Birds SA, and was based on the joint project between the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia (NCSSA) and Rotary's native bird nest box program: ROBIN-Rotary Birds In Nest Boxes. The results of this project-in South Australia for the first 2-3 years-are covered by the report:
"Evaluating the use of nest boxes by birds in revegetated habitat" by Hurrell and Smith 2001.
We intend to use this report for assisting the R&D on the breeding of endangered bird species identified at Oolong and its corridors.
- Project no 14 (On-going): Echidna Survey. By Landholder of Dalton Park and Friends.
- Project no 15 (Under consideration): Construction of Additional Perimeter Vermin-proof Fence with Electrified Wire around Wetlands and Grasslands of the Waterfowl and Bird Reserve. Managed by Landholder of Dalton Park with some funds for fences by: (Greening, Australia, Central West Region?).
- Project no 16 a (On-going): Management Strategy and Recovery Plan for Grassy Box Woodlands (Yellow and White) This project is now part of the Oolong Challenge under the patronage of Katrina Hodgkinson MP, State Member for Burrinjuck.
Major sponsor: (yet to be nominated)
Donations: Green house ($3,000), sheds and water reticulation ($1,500) by the landholder of Dalton Park, who also donated $500 for the purchase of tubes, trays and soil mixture, and initial purchase of some native seeds from Greening Australia. (Project 16 is being financed with funds from the John & Joan D'Addario Foundation Inc.(USA) Trust. A major sponsor is required now to be able to implement the new stage with the Oolong Challenge).
Project Manager: Nemrod Guerra Perez:
Assistant Project Managers: Stephen Selden (on sick leave), Lewis Merriman:
The Friends of Oolong participate also in The Seeds for Survival Project - funded by the ACT Government and the Australian Government through the Natural Heritage Trust. Management strategy by Ben Cavuoto, Project Manager, Greening Australia, ACT & SE NSW and supported by the Landholder of Dalton Park in the collection of seeds on his portion of Oolong.
- To collect and propagate endemic deep rooted perennial and shallow rooted annual grasses, local understorey and tree species.
- Training of volunteers
- Seed collection for germination of grasses in trays and trees and shrubs in tubes by trained Friends and Volunteers.
- Trees in tubes will be propagated in the greenhouse. To be available for collection each Spring to participating communities to the Oolong Challenge combined with Landcare Carbon Smartin revegetating wildlife corridors.
Progress Report: We follow florabank guidelines which are industry best practice to preserve the communities being collected from. Our Project Manager and Collector retains a chain of information about where seed comes from using GPS and GIS and building up a resource this way.
- Project no 16b(On-going) Aquaponics system under development. Project Manager:Nemrod Guerra Perez, assisted by Lewis Merriman.
- Project no 17 (Proposed-at the completion of fauna and flora inventory)(Donations for $3,000 required before the project could start): School Program. (Details under School Program). Promotion by Landholder of Dalton Park as time permits.
- Project no 18 (On-going) : Improving Frog Habitats and Ponds Construction to assist frog breeding and reproduction of Yellow-groined toadlet (Uperoleida laevigata) listed in the NSW Threatened Species Act.(See also projects: 20, 28 and 32)By S&S Telford Earthmoving, Landholder of Dalton Park and Friends.
- Project no 19 (discontinued): Breeding and Release of Native Waterfowl under NPWS Licence. Sponsored and Managed by Landholder of Dalton Park.
This project is very successful in contributing to the repopulation of waterfowl in the region. Several pairs of Cape Barren geese and other waterfowl have set their territory in the waterfowl reserve and outside, within the vermin proof fenced area. Migratory waterfowl also take temporary residence in the reserve.
- Project no 20 (On-going): Erosion and salinity control.
Stage 1: (Completed) Earthwork funded by Lachlan CMA and carried out by the former Soil Conservation Service (now DLWC) to divert run-off water from the area where the water table was at the surface to allow native vegetation regeneration. This will be carried out on the western portion of Dalton Park with the natural establishment of native grasses, shrubs and trees of the Grassy Box Woodlands and the consequent lowering of the water table there.
Stage 2: (on-going - Stage 2) on the depression on the eastern portion of the patch, which is now fenced off for protection from stock. This area, except some small residual wet spots in the lowest depression is partially covered by native grasses. Soil Conservation work completed. seeding in progress
Stage 3: (Please refer to project no.28 which covers also this area)
Landscaping to complete stage 2 and frog pond by Landholder of Dalton Park and Friend. This stage to be completed with LCMA participation.
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