TREAT News Wet Season January - March 2006

PLANTING SEASON

Date Location Collaboration No of Trees
January 14 D & J Crawford - Lake Eacham Landholder / TREAT 1500
January 21 J Hall - Kairi Landholder / TREAT 1000
February 4 Peterson Creek - Stage 1 TREAT / QPWS 2500
February 18 Peterson Creek - Stage 2 TREAT / QPWS 2500
February 25 Massey Creek - Ravenshoe QPWS / TREAT 1000
March 4 Peterson Creek - Stage 3 TREAT / QPWS 2000
March 18 Bonadio - Picnic Crossing MFRT / TKMG / TREAT 3000

Inside this issue

War on Weeds

The Green Corridor

Nursery News

Our River Our Future

Threatened Species Network's Visit

Treats from TREAT

Tree-kangaroo Conference

Col Walsh Tribute

Fruit Collection Diary

Kids Page

Water Watch

Note: If members come to the nursery for trees and have not yet given TREAT their property ID, would they please bring their rates notice with them, so TREAT can copy the property ID and add it to our database for the destination of trees.


War on Weeds - Pushing Out Para Grass

FNQ NRM

Simon Burchill has a personal vendetta against Para grass. "I hate the stuff," he says. "Drive around the Tablelands and you'll see it choking just about every creek. In some places it's over two metres deep and you can walk across the water.

In the wet season huge clumps of up to 10 tonnes of it float down to our place on Peterson Creek."

Introduced as a ponded pasture grass over 40 years ago. Para grass quickly became a pest on the Tablelands. It invaded creeks and formed dense, floating rafts which slow down streams until they turn into swamps and cause major floods during the wet season.

"Not much can live in there: it reduces numbers of fish. turtles and water birds." says Simon. "It turns a beautiful creek into a useless mess".

Fortunately, there's a solution. Para grass can't survive along shady rainforest creeks. With the help of land owners like the Burchills, and a healthy injection of government grants. TREAT have revegetated four of the six Para grass infected kilometres of Peterson Creek.

The region's natural resource management organisation FNQ NRM Ltd has also helped out, committing $34,000 this year to continue the work.

Biodiversity coordinator Rowena Grace said Peterson Creek was one of FNQ NRM Ltd's highest priorities.

Tips from Simon


The Green Corridor

BRICMA / Joan Wright

25th of November 2005 was the day the Barron River Integrated Catchment Management Association (BRICMA) and Cairns Port Authority (CPA) signed a memorandum of understanding that will result in CPA contributing over $l million during the next 5 years rejuvenating the banks of the Barron River ("the Green Corridor Project").

BRICMA is an association of community volunteers and Local Government representatives with a long-term commitment to sustaining the local environment. Over ten years, they have researched and developed a plan to rehabilitate the banks of they Barron River that are degraded from land clearing, farming and weeds.

Members of TREAT are associated with this activity.

BRICMA plans to bring the whole of the river corridor back to its natural state by planting native trees. This will reduce the amount of sedimentation in the river and restore natural habitats for a range of land, freshwater and marine species.

BRICMA and its associates already are making great progress through the efforts of many community volunteers, landholder participation and Local Government support. It is a vision that will become reality with funding, and cooperation of land owners.

TREAT is one of these "associates" and members have been working at creek bank restoration for many years. The revegetation of Peterson Creek is one of TREAT's major projects, and thousands of native trees have already been established in its upper reaches.

Peterson Creek is a major tributary of the Barron River in its upper course, and work which maintains healthy creek banks is a contributor to the quality of the water in Lake Tinaroo, and downstream from there.

The establishment of native trees on the creek banks also means that birds and mammals have more habitat. Monitoring of Peterson Creek from its source to the Curtain Fig Tree National Park area has shown that birds and small mammals find food and shelter there in a short time after the trees are established.

TREAT welcomes BRICMA's vision of "a river system free of weeds, that will once again provide habitat for land and water based animals".


Nursery News

By Nick Stevens

Hi All, firstly I'd like to wish all volunteers and members a Happy New Year from myself and staff at the nursery. I'd also like to thank you all for your continued support over the fairly bumpy road that was the last twelve months.

The tree planting season is with us again and it looks like another very productive time ahead of us all, with your own plantings, several community planting field days (see planting season above) and a number of QPWS estate projects as well, including continuing the Lake Barrine roadside planting project and a return to Massey Ck near Ravenshoe. The Lake Barrine planting this year will again take place during the week to allow QPWS Lake Eacham Management Unit staff, TREAT volunteers and the Traditional Owners to participate. No date has been set as yet but we'll try for a Friday morning; details will be made available as they come to hand.

It has been a number of years since our previous efforts at Massey Ck and a recent visit by QPWS staff to establish this year's work-plan showed that while older plantings are well established and mostly self-sustaining, the more recent work has suffered from lack of maintenance. This year we will rescue these works with infilling and improved edge planting. Plant stocks in the nursery are growing well and there is currently a nice variety of trees suitable for restoration projects. Members are encouraged to establish their plantings earlier rather than later once we get an improvement in local rainfall. Hope to see many of you at the nursery and community planting days over the next couple of months to help make your projects a great success.


Our River Our Future

Sustainability on the Sunshine Coast

By Peter Dellow

Since departing the nursery in May last year the family has relocated to Yandina on the Sunshine Coast where I have taken up the post of Biodiversity Officer with Maroochy Shire Council. Here's a snippet of what's happening in the south of the state.

Maroochy Shire is located between Caloundra and Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. It takes in the coastal strip from Mooloolaba north to Coolum and west through the hinterland villages of Mapleton and Montville to Kenilworth. Maroochy with it's subtropical climate is a beautiful place. Vegetation across the Shire varies from stunted heath along the coastal sand dunes to tall open Eucalypt Forests and Subtropical Rainforest across the hinterland. With an average rainfall of 1600mm and an undulating landscape, the shire is characterised by an intricate network of creeks and gullies many of which form part of the Maroochy River catchment.

Aboriginal people of the Gubbi Gubbi language group were the first to inhabit the banks of the Maroochy River (derived from Muru-kutchi meaning "red bill"; the name for the black swan). During the 1850's Europeans settled the area to cut timber, grow crops and graze cattle. Much of the native vegetation protecting the riverbanks and floodplains was cleared and with the loss of vegetation came a loss in river health.

In South East Queensland, the Environmental Protection Agency works with local Government and Catchment Groups to monitor the health of all major rivers. The Healthy Waterways Program recognises our quality of life and economic prosperity is governed largely by the condition of our watercourses and aims to work with the whole community to monitor river health, raise awareness of catchment care and formulate strategies to reduce impacts on water quality.

Each year the Healthy Waterways Program undertakes river health monitoring and produces a report card for the major rivers in South East Queensland. In 2004 the Maroochy River received a D rating sparking enormous concern from residents and a call for action from Council to address the declining health of the Shires' most valuable asset.

In response, Council launched the Maroochy River Recovery, a $3.6 million initiative to identify and mitigate key threats to the River. Analysis of monitoring data identified contaminant point sources and a total of 14 separate projects to mitigate their impacts.

All fourteen projects have implemented, the majority of which deal with council infrastructure and planning processes. The one exception is Project 3, Waterways Rehabilitation, which has similar objectives to projects undertaken by TREAT. Fortunately I am one of three council officers responsible for delivery of Project 3 which has a budget of $900,000 over three years. Commencing in April, 65,000 trees will be planted across 24 freehold properties in 2 sub-catchments of the Maroochy River. A tender process was used to award the project to 2 contractors who will perform all aspects of the work including stock exclusion fencing, creek crossings, waterpoints, site preparation, planting and maintenance over three years.

Using the same philosophy as TREAT, all plants used will be local provenance, and planting will adhere to zonation principles whereby certain species are placed along fencelines, creek edge and framework to ensure the greatest chance for closure after three years.

A rehabilitation project of this scale provides a fantastic opportunity to:

It should be noted that many of the techniques and principles developed by TREAT and nursery staff through projects like Donaghy's Corridor and Peterson Ck are now being incorporated into and applied to large scale rehabilitation in Maroochy Shire. To this end, it is the continued dedication and commitment from TREAT that directly benefits environmental projects far removed from the Atherton Tablelands and broader Wet Tropics Bioregion.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous planting season and look forward to catching up soon.


Threatened Species Network (TSN)

Impressed by Passion for Conservation in the Tropics

By Katherine Howard (TSN Program Officer) &
Rebecca Richardson (Qld TSN Coordinator)

In late November 2005, we spent three very interesting days visiting community based environment groups in the Wet Tropics and Atherton Tablelands region. Specifically we were up north to see a few of the projects that the Threatened Species Network (TSN) has helped to fund through the TSN Community Grants program. While some of the groups accused us of 'checking up on them' (mostly in jest, we think), the real intention for the site visits was to offer our continuing support, to encourage possible future involvement in the grants program (for current and new applicants) and of course to establish relationships with the project coordinators, or renew those already instigated by our usual QLD TSN Coordinator Keryn Hyslop (currently on maternity leave). For us, both of whom hail from more southerly latitudes, the benefits of the trip also included learning much about the fascinating tropical plants and unique ecosystems of the region.

We were warmly welcomed and treated very hospitably by all of the groups we visited, none more so than TREAT! The TSN has contributed some funds to TREAT's on going Peterson Creek Revegetation project, which have been used to fill gaps caused by frost or drought in previously planted sites. Simon Burchill very kindly gave us a tour of the revegetation site and the TREAT nursery, and Noel Grundon and Barbara Lanskey also did much to make us feel like honoured guests.

Other groups that we visited in the area were Kuranda Envirocare, Mareeba Wetland Foundation, Community for Cassowary and Coastal Conservation (C4) and Malanda & Upper Johnstone Catchment Landcare Association. We were truly impressed by the high level of passion and commitment to the conservation and recovery of local bush and wildlife displayed by all these groups. Many thanks once again to all the groups that we visited for granting us some of your valuable time!

We were also pleased to see that different groups are willing to learn from each other. For example Kuranda EnviroCare has used a small TSN grant to produce a good supply of inexpensive temporary roadside signs, a terrific idea that has already been used in the Mission Beach area. EnviroCare will erect a temporary sign when a cassowary has been spotted near a road, in order to alert motorists to the recent sighting and to encourage them to slow down. (It is felt by local groups that temporary signs have a greater impact than a permanent sign which motorists quickly become accustomed to.) The sharing of knowledge and expertise between community groups and the wider scientific community is a key ingredient for environmental successes on ground and it's very encouraging to see this happening around the country.

In the next round of the TSN Community Grants (Round 9), we will be encouraging all applicants to include some level of monitoring activities in their projects wherever possible. We were particularly impressed with TREAT's commitment to ongoing monitoring of their revegetation sites to monitor the growth of seedlings and the use of the regrowing forest by birds and mammals. This is a great example for other groups to follow because it means that TREAT can actually tell whether all their hard work is paying off in terms of restoring habitat for wildlife. Round 9 of the TSN Community Grants will open in early April 2006, and we urge all Queensland community conservation groups to consider applying for a grant. If you would like to be notified when the grants are open for applications, please contact Rebecca Richardson on (07) 3839 2677 or tsnqld@wwf.org.au; or Kathy Howard on (02) 8202 1233 or tsngrants@wwf.org.au.

It's essential that you discuss any potential applications with Rebecca before submitting them so please don't hesitate to call.


Treats From TREAT

by Jenny Maclean

Members of TREAT made an enormous contribution to the running of the Tolga Bat Hospital this tick paralysis season. Live-in volunteers get so busy, there is little time to prepare food for the humans. Almost a party atmosphere was created by the regular arrival of scrumptious food parcels from the kitchens of TREAT members. Thank you to all those who cooked for us, and we would love to do it again next year! We were able to rescue 190 babies and about 120 adults, most of whom will be back in the wild by February. The enormous amount of work each tick season, and to a lesser extent throughout the year, is only possible with the support of other community groups like TREAT. It raises morale enormously to feel this support, as well as being of practical benefit.


Ecology and Conservation of Tree-kangaroos: Current Issues and Future Directions Conference 2005

by Dr Karen Coombes - Tree-kangaroo Researcher and Conference Coordinator

Wow what a turnout!!

Over 80 delegates from around the world gathered on the Tablelands, at the Genazzano Lake Tinaroo Conference Centre, in November to discuss current issues and future directions for the study and conservation of tree-kangaroos.

Delegates came from the USA, Papua New Guinea and all over Australia, and included scientists. zoo staff, veterinarians, conservation groups, wildlife managers and community groups involved in studying and conserving tree-kangaroos in captivity and the wild.

We are also pleased that we were able to sponsor 4 delegates from Papua New Guinea to come and tell us all about their work with tree-kangaroos. This iconic group of unusual marsupials faces serious threats throughout their range in Papua New Guinea and Australia. Our local species. Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo is one of two species found only in Far North Queensland, with another 8 species unique to Papua New Guinea.

This conference highlighted their current status and looked for ways forward to conserve tree-kangaroos into the future. Sessions focused on research, captive management, education and conservation of tree-kangaroos and their habitat to ensure their survival.

Speakers presented papers on the evolution of tree kangaroos, ecology in Australia and New Guinea, behaviour, captive breeding and community initiatives to conserve tree-kangaroos and their habitat.

Roger Martin, author of a recent book on the biology of tree-kangaroos, opened the conference with a plenary lecture on the evolution of tree-kangaroos and their current status.

Tree Kangaroo footprints

Tree Kangaroo footprints

Joan Wright and Barbara Lanskey were also kind enough to come and give a talk about TREAT and the work you have all done over the years. It was a great opportunity for TREAT to inform the international crowd of the work that is possible with a dedicated group of volunteers. Joan's talk was very inspirational and enjoyed by all, with many delegates telling me how much they enjoyed it. Thank you both very much.

Workshops were held at the end of each day to discuss issues and a final workshop was held on the last day to bring together these issues and discuss how we can set priorities for the next ten years. It was extraordinary that we still had a full house right till the end with delegates enthusiastically volunteering to be included in further action groups.

The last speaker even commented that it was the first conference where there was still a full house at the last talk.

The conference organisers also wish to thank the Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group who hosted the conference with assistance and sponsorship from James Cook University, Rainforest CRC. and a range of local businesses.

We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support: Far North Queensland Natural Resource Management Ltd, Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary Port Douglas, Eacham Shire Council, Mt Quincan Crater Retreat, Rivers Edge Rainforest Retreat, Fur 'N' Feathers Rainforest Tree Houses, Crater Lakes Rainforest Cottages, Rosegums Wilderness Retreat, Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges, Travellers Rest Guesthouse Farm Stay, and Lumholtz Lodge.

If you have any visitors coming to stay on the Tablelands, please encourage them to stay at one of these. It is the least we can do for their generous support.

We would also like to express our gratitude to the Genazzano Lake Tinaroo Conference Centre for a wonderful venue and for looking after the delegates so well. A great venue for anyone thinking about having a conference in the future.

This is the first International Conference on tree-kangaroos and we are very proud to have held it here on the Tablelands and to have attracted such a wide range of experts.

A great success!!

Thank you very much to all who came along and helped make this such a success.


Col Walsh - A Tribute

By Allan Gillanders

Geoffrey Chaucer "No where so bisy a man as he ther nas, and yet he seemed bisier than he was."

This character of Chaucer's was the antithesis of Col Walsh who was a man much more busy than he seemed. He was a man who made time for people and projects. It was not that he could not say no but that he rarely did.

Accepting others as he found them enabled Col to bring out their strengths. He was a teacher and coach for many; in his professional life, his hobbies and his community involvement. It is difficult to say if Col's great strength was his grateful attitude or that his strength arose from that attitude. It is a bit of a circular argument in any case. Col Walsh was a man of strength and kindness. Col had an appreciation of the finer things in life and was knowledgeable in many fields. He used this knowledge to further his own appreciation and I never heard him use it for one-upmanship.

Having heard of this place where one could obtain trees. Col and Barb went along to find out about TREAT late one Friday morning. As they walked up the hill they were told in no uncertain words by a 'sparrow-like woman' that they were too late and would have to come back next Friday. They did, and as they say in the classics, the rest is history.

As treasurer of TREAT, Col and other key committee members took us from a small tree planting group to a revegetation organisation. His skills and dedication meant that other committee members could concentrate on other things. During discussions of programs Col was able to give a good idea of the state of project funds without reference to the books but if an exact figure was needed, he would produce it quickly. Col's wide life experience enabled him to see the possible pitfalls of others' unbridled enthusiasm and direct it towards more productive paths. In TREAT as in all things Col tackled, he was hard working and reliable.

Caring deeply about the world, Col involved himself in the community. Col as a man of intellect and knowledge lived by doing, not thinking about doing.

Col Walsh is survived by his stalwart wife Barbara and his five children: Peter, Laurelle, Russell, Heather and Susan and their families.


Col

Geoff Errey

They spoke of days at Customs, of model trains he'd run
Col will be remembered for the many things he's done.
For years he was our treasurer, a most important post-
In the history of TREAT he'll be remembered more than most.
But still one thing we need to know, an answer please we beg
To whom has he bequeathed the recipe for curried egg?

Col was a man of many skills and interests. Every Friday at TREAT smokos, one of the most sought-after plates was the one containing his curried egg sandwiches. None were ever taken back home afterwards.


Fruit Collection Diary October - December 2005

SpeciesCommon NameCollection Provenance
Acmenosperma claviflorum Trumpet satinashRE 7.8.3
Archidendron lucyii Scarlet beanRE 7.11.1
Arytera divaricata Rose tamarind RE 7.8.3
Arytera pauciflora Small leaved tamarindRE 7.8.2
Athertonia diversifolia Atherton oakRE 7.8.3
Beilschmedia collina Blush walnutRE 7.8.2
Buckinghamia celsissima Ivory curl tree RE 7.8.2
Bursaria tenuifolia Sweet blackthorn 
Cardwellia sublimis Northern silky oakRE 7.8.1, 7.8.2. 7.8.3, 7.12.1
Castanospora alphandii Brown tamarindRE 7.8.2, 7.8.3
Casuarina cunninghamiana River sheoakRE 7.8.3
Chionanthus ramiflora Northern oliveRE 7.8.2
Cryptocarya mackinnoniana Rusty laurel RE 7.8.2. 7.8.3
Cryptocarya onoprienkoana Rose maple RE 7.8.2
Cryptocarya triplinervis var riparia Brown laurel RE 7.1 1.1
Daphnandra repandula SassafrasRE 7.8.4
Darlingia ferruginea Rose silky oakRE 7.8.2
Decaspermum humile Brown myrtleRE 7.8.2
Dianella atraxis Northern flax lilyRE 7.8.2
Diploglottis berniana Bernie's tamarindRE 7.8.1
Diploglottis bracteata Boonjee tamarindRE 7.8.2
Diploglottis diphyllostegia Northern tamarindRE 7.8.3
Diploglottis smithii Smith's tamarindRE 7.8.1
Dysoxylum rufum Rusty mahoganyRE 7.8.3
E/aeocarpus folveolatus Northern quandongRE 7.8.2
Elaeocarpus /argiflorens Tropical quandongRE 7.8.4
Endiandra sankeyana Sankey's walnutRE 7.8.2
Endiandra sideroxylon Buff walnutRE 7.8.4
Ficus copiosa Plentiful figRE 7.8.2
Ficus crassipes Round leaf banana figRE 7.8.4
Ficus destruens Rusty figRE 7.8.2
Ficus obliqua Small leaf figRE 7.8.2
Ficus platypoda Rock figRE 7.8.3
Ficus pleurocarpa Banana figRE 7.8.2
Ficus variegata Variegated figRE 7.11.1
Ficus wens Green figRE 7.8.3
Ficus watkinsiana Watkin's figRE 7.8.2
Flindersia acuminata Silver silkwoodRE 7.8.2, 7.8.3
Flindersia bourjotiana Silver ashRE 7.8.2
Flindersia brayleyana Queensland mapleRE 7.8.2. 7.8.3
Glochidion hylandii Hyland's buttonwoodRE 7.8.2
Guioa acutifolia Glossy tamarindRE 7.8.3
Helicia nortoniana Norton's silky oakRE 7.8.2
Hymenosporum flavum Native frangipaniRE 7.8.1
Litsea leefeana BollywoodRE 7.8.4
Lomatia fraxinifolia Lomatia silky oakRE 7.8.2, 7.8.4
Macaranga involucrata Brown macarangaRE 7.12.1
Melicope bonwickii Yellow evodiaRE 7.8.2
Melicope xanthoxyloides Yellow evodiaRE 7.8.2
Mischocarpus pyriiformis Pear fruited tamarindRE 7.8.2
Oleo paniculata Native oliveRE 7.8.2
Pararchidendron pruinosum Tulip sirisRE 7.8.3
Podocarpus dispermus Broad leaved brown pineRE 7.8.2
Polyscias elegens Silver basswoodRE 7.8.2
Pouteria myrsinodendron Yellow boxwoodRE 7.8.3
Prunus turneriana Almond barkRE 7.8.2
Rhysotoechia robertsonii Robert's tuckerooRE 7.8.2, 7.12.1
Siphonodon membranaceus Ivory woodRE 7.8.4
Sloanea langii White carabeenRE 7.8.2
Sloanea macbrydei Grey carabeenRE 7.8.1
Stenocarpus sinuatus Wheel of fire treeRE 7.8.2
Symploccos cochinchinensis var gittonsii Gittin's hazlewoodRE 7.8.2
Synima cordierorum SynimaRE 7.8.4
Synima macrophylla Topaz tamarindRE 7.8.4
Syzygium cormiflorum Bumpy satinash RE 7.8.2, 7.8.3
Syzygium gustavioides Water gumRE 7.8.4
Syzygium kuranda Kuranda satinashRE 7.8.2
Syzygium leuhmannii Cherry satinashRE 7.8.2
Syzygium papyraceum Paperbark satinashRE 7.8.2
Toechima erythrocarpum Pink tamarindRE 7.8.2

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