Great progress continues with the cat management project, with cat numbers declining, new management approaches being trialed, Bruny Farming taking a major role, and support from the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth Government continuing.
success in removing both feral and stray cats (122 cats all up!)
but evidence of rapid re-colonisation following removal
few cats north of Great Bay
many cats at the Neck and Whalebone shearwater and little penguin colonies
greatly increased activity at colonies during breeding season
widespread although low density of cats in the wetter forests of Southern Bruny
differences in the success of baits across the different habitats
limited success in removing ‘trap-shy’ cats
Communtiy engagement, particularly with current cat owners has been high, with Bruny Farming taking a lead role in this, and other activities. This enables a cooperative and harmonious approach, which in turn leads to success in reducing the impact of cats on Bruny’s wildlife.
Kingborough Council has produced a new brochure, entitled “Tree Hollows – A home to suit every need”. It aims to help people understand the importance of tree hollows and how to retain, or help form this critical habitat.
Tree hollows – homes needed by 42 animal species – are now rare in the landscape because they take a long time to form, typically more than 150 years.
The brochure details how landholders can manage properties to provide better animal habitat whilst retaining safety for people. And it presents ideas that could work on their own properties.
It is based on the booklet “Tree Hollows in Tasmania – A Guide” published by Forest Practices Authority. Arborists, wildlife experts and land managers have provided input to the brochure to ensure it is practical and informative.
The brochure is available at Kingborough Council and here.
Three solid days of talks by experts, researchers, enthusiasts and scientists gave plenty of food for thought, culminating in the provocative and irreverent talk by First Dog on the Moon (censored!). The speaker series has become a much-loved feature of the Bird Festival and links to many of the talks are found below.
The basic idea is very simple. Just as we have economic accounts for businesses, farms, councils, states and the nation, so we’d like to build environmental accounts for how we are doing with rivers, forests, beaches and wildlife that can be aggregated up to the national level.
Doing this, however, is more complex than the simple idea.
Bruny is a perfect test-bed to try ideas out: it is small, but diverse, and as the Bruny Life survey showed, over 90% of residents are passionate about keeping our environment in good condition.
There is an old saying: “you cannot manage what you cannot measure” and environmental accounts attempt to do just that: measure the environment.
We have so far spoken with the local Natural Resource Management body NRM South, to most of the community groups on Bruny, to Tasmanian Land Conservancy and to the University of Tasmania.
Interest is certainly there, and we have a meeting with various government bodies, the university and tourist operators coming up in April 2019, where we will try to develop a process to move from ideas to action.
First Committee meeting for 2019 will be held on Sunday 17th February. All members are welcome to attend. We will be meeting at the picnic shelter at the beginning of Mavista Falls walk. Bring your own chair, snack or lunch and a cup for coffee. Optional walk up the falls track after meeting.