Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – May 2016

Welcome to the May 2016 edition of the FoMM newsletter. FoMM would like to extend a big thank you to ACT Parks & Conservation Service rangers Bethany, Anthony, Patrick, and Craig for their terrific work at our April working bee helping to remove a grove of large African olives, Firethorn and Cotoneaster growing on public land next to the nature reserve at the Mackenzie Street car park. It is suspected that the African Olives were the parents of many of the olives growing and removed in the reserve; this will save us many hundreds of hours of work on Mt Majura. The plan is to replace the woody weeds with bottle brushes later in the winter.
See you on the mountain.
Jo Lynch
FoMM Secretary

FoMM Coordinator, Max Pouwer, with four PCS Rangers removing woody weeds from public land on Mackenzie St.  (W. Pix)

FoMM activities and news:

Fair Working Party – Sunday 15 May, 1-4pm
Give some TLC to the young trees and shrubs planted in the nature reserve @ The Fair. Help build caches of woody weed debris around the young plants to protect them from grazing damage; remove pesky Paterson’s Curse that competes with our plantings for light, nutrients and water and learn about the process and the obstacles of reclaiming grassy woodland and a shrub-lined gully that are under attack by herbivores and introduced plant species. Come early for an introduction and give as much of your time as you want.
Meet: Nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Streets, The Fair, North Watson
Bring and wear: Sun protection, long sleeves and sturdy shoes; tools and afternoon tea will be provided.
Enquiries: email here
Click here for more information

This grazed Spiny Bitterpea, Daviesia genistifolia needs woody weed debris protection from herbivores. (W. Pix)

Bird Walk – Sunday 15 May, 8am-10am
Walk through the woodlands with bird enthusiast Peter Miller to spot, observe, listen to, identify and learn about the amazing variety of birds on Mt Majura.
Meet: at the nature reserve entrance off Antil St, Watson between Prime and the roundabout with Aspinall St.
Please Bring: binoculars, walking boots, water, Gold Coin donation for a bird list.
Enquiries: 6248 8955
Click here for more information

Male Scarlet Robin, Wamboin, NSW. (D. Cook)

Swift Parrots on Mt Majura – update
As reported in the April newsletter, there was a sighting of at least three Critically Endangered Swift Parrots on Mt Majura in March. We can now report that there were quite a number of Swift Parrot sightings around the Hackett water tank at this time – for example, on 4 April 2016, Martin Butterfield wrote on Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list: “A minimum of 8 Swift Parrots at the Hackett Water Tanks this morning.  By 11:30 they were coming down to drink in the drain and giving good opportunities for a competent photographer.”

Swift Parrot at Mount Majura. (Dusty, Canberra Nature Map, 9 April 2016)

Other items of interest:

Biodiversity Offsets Forum – Thursday 26 May, 12–2pm
Biodiversity offsets in the ACT are yet to demonstrate gains for biodiversity, with the ACT Government’s offset policy framework released in 2015. Join the Conservation Council ACT Region to discuss the state of offset policy at Alan Barton Forum, ANU College Business & Economics, Kingsley St, Acton. Are Governance arrangements up to date? When will we be able to see net biodiversity gains? Speakers:
Kate Auty – Commissioner for Sustainability & Environment
Dr Philip Gibbons – Fenner School Environment & Society
Kathryn Tracy – Nature Conservation Policy, ACT Environment & Planning Directorate
Click here to register

Birdwatching for Beginners – Sunday 28 May, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Struggling with your bird identification? Always hearing bird calls and never know what you’re listening to? Never quite getting your binoculars to adjust to the right settings? Then this short course with Canberra Ornithologists Group is for you! Join us for a session on the basics of birdwatching, followed by a walk around the Wetlands to put your now-found knowledge into practice. Morning tea provided. Note that the group will be divided into smaller groups for the walk, each with a bird expert. Please bring binoculars if you have them. Meet at Jerrabomberra Wetlands Office, 2 Dairy Road, Fyshwick. Cost: $35. For more information contact Lori Gould Ph. 0439030058 or Email 
Click here to book your place

National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia – now available online
These national Standards were launched at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan on March 15 2016 by the federal Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews. The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) and 12 partner organisations collaborated and developed the Standards over the last three years. They are designed to encourage all restoration and rehabilitation projects in Australia to reach their highest potential. The Standards list (a) the principles that underpin current best practice ecological restoration and (b) the steps required to plan, implement and monitor restoration projects to increase their chance of success. They are applicable to any Australian ecosystem (whether terrestrial or aquatic) and any sector (whether private or public sector, mandatory or non-mandatory). Download the Standards here.

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