Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter April 2015

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of the FoMM newsletter. April is the time of the year to watch out for endangered Swift Parrots! In past years, we have observed Swift Parrots from the end of March to the beginning of May foraging eucalyptus nectar and lerp around the Hackett reservoir and close-by paddocks. If you see Swift Parrots please report the date, time, locality and approximate number of birds to FoMM, email or phone 62477515. Click here for more information.  And read recent ABC news article on the new crowdfunding campaign to save the Swift Parrot and two other endangered birds from predatory sugar gliders in Tasmania here.
Best regards,
Jo Lynch
FoMM Secretary

Swift Parrot, Lathamus discolor (photo G. Dabb)

FoMM activities and news:

Woody Weeds Working Party – Sunday 19 April 9am – 1pm
Come and help control pesky woody weeds on the northwest slope of Mount Majura, by cutting, daubing and frilling Sweet Briar Roses, Hawthorns and  Cootamundra wattles, at this third woody weeds working party in a row. We made huge inroads at our February and March working bees however there is still a large number to tackle. Come for an hour or more.
Meet at the volunteer registration point close to the nature park entry at corner of Tay / Ian Nicol Sts at The Fair, North Watson. Please come at 9am for an introduction to the target weeds and the safe use of tools and herbicides. If you arrive late: Please check the map at the registration table for the working area, pick up tools and a bottle with herbicide and sign in the activity sheet.
Bring: Your friends, sun protection, sturdy shoes, body-covering clothing; we provide tools and morning tea.
Enquiries: Ph. 6247 7515 or reply to this email.
Contact during the working party: ph. 0435 357 172
Click here for more information and to view a map of the meeting point.

The woody weed Sweet Briar Rose with fruits (rose hips) and compound leaves (photo W. Pix)

Volunteer coordinator opportunity with FoMM!
We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated volunteer to coordinate the monthly FoMM working bees! If you (or someone you know) are looking for ways to contribute to the conservation of our environment while learning new skills, and have some previous experience and spare time on weekends, then this volunteer position may be for you! It involves planning the working bees (along with the previous coordinator who is continuing on in an advisory role), organising tools, herbicide and equipment, and supervising and training other volunteers at the working bees. Please reply to this email if you are interested or would like more information.

Other items of interest:

It’s kangaroo sweep count time again!
The ACT government’s Conservation Research unit has been conducting research over the last few years looking at the impacts of kangaroo grazing on biodiversity. As a part of this research they conduct an annual census of kangaroo numbers at a number of reserves across the ACT. They then conduct separate surveys of reptile abundance and diversity, ground layer vegetation structure and biomass, kangaroo pasture off-take and floristic diversity and then assess how they all link together. This year they’ve got a bunch of ‘sweep counts’ to complete, for which they very much rely on volunteers. For those who haven’t previously been involved, a sweep count is where a line of people stretch the whole way along one side of a reserve (e.g. from the east to the west boundary, along the southern fence) and then move as a line through the reserve counting the kangaroos as they pass between the counter and the person on their left. Depending on the size of the reserve, it takes anywhere between 9 and 50 people to stretch across the reserve such that everyone can still see the person on either side of them to count to. It’s usually quite a pleasant day out – with two sweeps completed (one in the morning and one after lunch). They also shout lunch as a thank you. It works best if those who participate in the morning session hang around for the afternoon because by then they all know the drill. The proposed dates for various reserves are as follows – the number of people they need for each count are shown in brackets. Those in bold are the ones they rely most on volunteers for, but feel free to nominate for as many as you like:
9th April                Jerrabomberra East (9)
10th April              Jerrabomberra East (9)
15th April             Dunnarts Flat Exclosure in Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve (15)
20th April             Mt Painter Nature Reserve (24)
24th April             Dunnarts Flat Exclosure in Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve (15)
28th April             Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve (25)
30th April             Gungaderra Nature Reserve (15)
3rd May                 Pinnacle Nature Reserve (30)
If you’re interested and available, please contact Dr Melissa Snape and let her know which counts you’d like to take part in and she’ll let you know more specific details: w +61 2 6205 0001  m +61 418 693 723

Friends of Black Mountain exhibition opens 10 April
Opening on Friday 10 April at the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain, the Black Mountain Nature Reserve: A Special Place Exhibition has been created by the Friends of Black Mountain ParkCare group together with Molonglo Catchment Group, and is supported by the ACT Heritage Grants Program. It will feature a series of panels displaying beautiful photographs and up to date information about this special place. Click here for more information.

2015 ACT Landcare Awards are now open for nominations
If you or someone you know is involved in protecting or improving your local environment, farm,  bushland, wetland, waterway, school, region, catchment or backyard, there is a category in this year’s Landcare awards to suit you. Entries close on 31 May. To read more download the handbook here.

ParkCare and Urban Landcare Program – Information Sessions, Training and Forums
Contact Volunteer Coordinator Jasmine Foxlee for more information and to RSVP.
1/ Canberra Nature Park Management Plan Review, 9 April, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Dame Pattie Menzies (North building), 16 Challis St, Dickson
2/ Kangaroo Management, 29 April 2015, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Location TBA
3/ Weeds mapping training 9 May 2015, 9:00am – 11:30am
Location TBA
4/ ParkCare/Landcare Forum
This one day forum addressing key management and research based interests will be held in July 2015. Stay tuned for more information.

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