Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – March 2016

Welcome to the March 2016 edition of the FoMM newsletter. We had a great turn out for our Ant Walk on 14 February. Thank you to ant specialist Ajay Narendra for another fascinating talk on some of the ant species that can be found on Mt Majura. The ant fauna of Australia is especially large and diverse. World-wide there are about 15,000 species and subspecies of ants and Australia is currently known to have about 1300 species and subspecies. Many of you would have seen evidence of the common Meat Ant (Iridomyrmex purpureus) on Mt Majura, which only occurs in Australia. Their large, oval-shaped nest mounds are always in open, warm areas cleared of vegetation and covered in gravel. Meat Ants are active during the day and collect sweet substances such as honeydew and nectar on trees and also capture insects or collect the remains of animals. They bite but don’t sting. Have a closer look next time you are on the mountain!
Jo Lynch
FoMM Secretary

Ant Walk participants inspecting a Meat Ant nest. (J. Lynch)

Woody Weeds Working Party – Sunday 20 March, 9am – 12 noon
Please come to our monthly working party and help remove Briar Rose and Hawthorn at the northwest corner of the Mt Majura nature reserve. We will be controlling the weeds using the cut & dab method – this involves cutting the woody stems and dabbing the cut surface with the herbicide glyphosate. If you don’t want to use herbicide, you may choose to hand remove rose hips and hawthorn fruits or hand weed herbaceous weeds using mattocks and trowels. More volunteers are needed! Give as much of your time as you want. No experience required however novice weeders are requested to come early for an introduction.
Where: Nature park east of The Fair, North Watson; access nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Streets
Bring and wear: Sun protection, sturdy shoes, body-covering clothing; tools will be provided.
Inquiries: Reply to this email.
Click here for more information.

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) at The Fair. Birds eat the berries and spread the seed throughout the bush. (W. Pix)

Canberra Nature Map – you can now record your bird sightings!
Do you regularly go bushwalking on Mt Majura and take your phone or digital camera with you? Did you know you can take photos of plants, birds and reptiles and easily upload them to Canberra Nature Map? These reports greatly add to our knowledge of what it out there, there is still much that we don’t know, and you can help! Download the phone app here.

This stunning photo of a Brown Goshawk was recently taken on Mount Majura by ‘Dusty’ and uploaded to Canberra Nature Map.

ParkCare Fringe Forum ‘Future Weed Control in the ACT’ – Wednesday 9 March 5-6pm
Controlling invasive weeds is one of the most important and time consuming activities undertaken by the government and volunteers involved in environmental rehabilitation. Steve Taylor, Senior Weed Management Officer with the Parks and Conservation Service and Jenny Conolly, Pest and Weeds Officer with Parks and Territory Services, will present this information session on weeds, their growth, spread, impact and control in the ACT. Subjects covered will include current and future weed control, the role of ArcGis and Collector, planning, strategies, budgets, new and emerging weed species and control in urban reserves vs national parks. Location: Dame Patti Menzies Building, North Building, 16 Challis Street Dickson in the Ground Floor Function Room.

State of the Environment report 2015
The 2015 State of the Environment report for the ACT was released on 18 February 2016 and provides a detailed analysis of the complex factors that affect animals, plants, water, land, air and our climate here in the ACT. The Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment prepares a State of the Environment Report for the Minister for the Environment every four years. This is the seventh report since 1993. It covers the reporting period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015.

Discover our bush treasures at the 2016 Heritage Festival, 2-8 April 2016
This April, the Conservation Council ACT Region will be going bush and exploring new and old reserves at the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival, and discovering the natural and cultural treasures that can be found right in our backyards and consider the threats to their survival. Reserve your place now.
Discover Kama, 5 April 7:30am, Kama Nature Reserve: Get up with the birds and explore one of Canberra’s newest reserves with local experts from Friends of Grasslands and Canberra Ornithologists Group.
Tell Your Story, 9 April 10:00am, Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve: Become a part of your local history and share your stories about this beautiful reserve.
Sneak Peek at Kinlyside, 14 April 10:00am, Kinlyside Nature Reserve: Don’t miss this rare opportunity as we unlock a unique combination of working farm and conservation area.
Red Hill Heritage Walk, 17 April 10:00am, Red Hill Nature Reserve: Brush up on the history of this intriguing reserve while its future is being decided.

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