Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – April 2017

Many thanks to everyone who helped recently to remove the St John’s Wort seed heads at the Fair. Many were in a lovely native regeneration area where there were lots of native flowers and Yellow box seedlings, which now won’t have to compete as much with this aggressive weed. However, the recent rain has triggered new growth of Paterson’s curse and Thistles around the plantings at The Fair, so please let us know if you can help out on Fridays, even just for an hour. It all makes a difference.
See you on the mountain.
Jo Lynch
FoMM Secretary

Follow-up working party to remove Japanese Honeysuckle – Sunday, 30 April, 9am – 12noon
FoMM will be hosting this working party to remove Japanese Honeysuckle from a gully in the nature reserve behind Mackenzie Street, Hackett. This follows up work to remove the bulk of Honeysuckle from the gully in Spring 2015. Follow-up work is crucial to remove all stems that potentially develop into new plants. Make a difference: give an hour or more of your time and help remove this invasive plant.
Where: Meet at the nature park access close to Mackenzie Street intersection with Russell Street and Hull Place (south of 85 Mackenzie St)
Bring and wear: Sun protection, body covering garden clothing and sturdy shoes.
Inquiries: this email
Contact during event: 0435 357 172
Click here for more information and to learn more about Japanese Honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle invades bush and smothers native plants (Photo: Waltraud Pix)

New commemorative park bench on Mt Majura – vote for your preferred location!
As part of the 30th ParkCare anniversary celebration, each nature reserve will receive a commemorative park seat bench. ParkCare groups can nominate the preferred location in the reserves. We are asking for your valued opinion to select your favourite location(s) for the new Mount Majura ParkCare bench from the five suggested locations given in this survey.

Parson’s Band orchids spotted flowering this autumn!
FoMM volunteer Jenni discovered some special looking leaves years ago and it turned out that they were the leaves of the Parson’s Bands orchid (Eriochilus cucullatus) and the first discovery of this rather rare orchid on Mt Majura. Canberra Nature Mapper Aaron has revisited the site several times and in late March found them flowering on Mt Majura! See his photo here on Canberra Nature Map.

Parson’s Bands orchid on Mt Majura. (Photo: Aaron Clausen)

Jacky Dragon spotted at The Fair for the first time!
FoMM volunteer Joseph photographed a Jacky Dragon at a Fridays @ The Fair work session a few weeks ago. See his photos here on Canberra Nature Map. He spotted this cute Dragon among the logs and woody debris which we have placed along the gully uphill of our planting site to control erosion. This is the first recorded sighting of a Jacky Dragon in this area. We’ve also spotted Shinglebacks and Bearded Dragons in the area too, all making use of the habitat we have created by planting and spreading woody debris. This is all very encouraging!

Jacky Lizard on a log at The Fair on Mt Majura. (Photo: Joseph Stapleton)

FoMM table at Hackett Community Contact Day – Saturday 29 April 2017, 9am – 1pm
Can you help? The Hackett Community Association (HCA) is sponsoring another Community Contact Day at the Hackett Shops, Madigan St, Hackett. This is a great way for FoMM to engage with the local community and to sign up new members. If you can help us ‘man’ the table, please email here.

Other news and events:

Kangaroo Count for 2017
Melissa Snape, Fauna Ecologist with Conservation Research, is asking for assistance from people interested in helping out with the kangaroo count. Many volunteers have been doing this for a few years, but often only the volunteers of the Reserves being surveyed. This is an opportunity for those volunteers where counts haven’t taken place to get involved and learn a new skill. Lunch will be provided on all of the counts (except possibly Mulligans which doesn’t usually take that long). Local research has demonstrated the impacts of kangaroo grazing on biodiversity. Learn more here about the local research that demonstrates the impacts of kangaroo grazing on biodiversity here. The dates this year are:
Gungaderra 12th April (this one is fast approaching)
Pinnacle 23rd April (the biggest count)
Aranda 26th April (this date has changed from the 27th)
Mulligans Flat Exclosures 28th April
Mt Painter 10th May
If you’re interested or would like to learn a bit more about this activity, please contact Dr Melissa Snape, Fauna Ecologist, Conservation and Research w +61 2 6205 0001     m +61 418 693 723  Email
Please pass this message on to anyone you think might be interested

Draft ACT Native Grasslands Conservation Strategy – Community consultation open now
Native grasslands are unique ecosystems that warrant our care and attention. The revised draft ACT Native Grasslands Conservation Strategy is now available for community comment. The draft strategy guides the conservation of ACT native grasslands and their resident species with a vision of supporting a diverse flora and fauna for now and the future. It outlines an approach to conserving native grassland species through:
·         managing threats and maintaining and improving ecological connectivity and biodiversity
·         undertaking monitoring and research programs
·         partnering with the community
·         enhancing the resilience of grasslands to a changing climate.
The draft strategy includes action plans targeting the protection of seven individual species including: Grassland Earless Dragon, Golden Sun Moth, Striped Legless Lizard, Perunga Grasshopper, Button Wrinklewort, Ginninderra Peppercress and Baeuerlen’s Gentian and the Natural Temperate Grassland endangered ecological community. Click here for more information.

Invitation to the launch of ‘Friends of Black Mountain Heritage Project’ – 11am Thursday 20 April 2017
On behalf of the Friends of Black Mountain, you are invited to the official launch by Mick Gentleman, Minister for Environment and Heritage, of the new interpretative flora signs and e-brochures for the Woodland Walk in Black Mountain Nature Reserve, on the lower ground floor of the Telstra Tower, Black Mountain. RSVP: 12noon Tuesday 18 April 2017 Ph. 62961936 Email.

Conservation Council ACT Region – World Environment Day dinner, 7pm Saturday 3 June
To be held at the National Arboretum Canberra, this is the major fundraising event for the Conservation Council. Early bird rates closes by COB Friday 28 April. A three course meal plus drinks and canapes.

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