Monday, August 21, 2017

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Project Calliope

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Assist with the preservation of a variety of Tinker Frog via control of predators and pest animals that carry the chytrid fungus that endangers the frog via spread of the fungus and predation on the frog.

Location:

Central Queensland, in the Gladstone highlands region.

Stakeholders:

Queensland Government - www.derm.qld.gov.au

Conservation Outcomes

Control of predators and pest animals that carry the chytrid fungus (www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Environment/Biodiversity/Fighting-frog-fungus.aspx) that endangers the frog via spread of the fungus and predation on the frog.  Therefore there is a need to control Feral Pig numbers on the project property at the request of the property owners and informed conservation and research groups.
Feral predator control, including:

  • primary
    • feral pig (Sus scrofa)
  • secondary
    • European red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
    • feral cat (Felis catus)
    • wild dog (Canis lupus spp)

 

History

The area is home to a variety of Tinker frog and the reason for the effort to control pig numbers on the property is the pigs’ destruction of its habitat and the spreading of the fungus from one water course to another.  cwm.ssaaqld.org.au/research.html

The frog is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN (www.iucn.org) and critically endangered in the schedules of the The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).

A variety of vegetation types grow in the area, from woodland and open eucalypt forest to extensive patches of rainforest boarding a network of escarpments and creeks.  Much of the property area that is high priority for pig control is dense rainforest or forest areas with patches of open grassed areas.

Due to the elevation of the property and the dense canopy, temperatures can be very cold in contrast to Gladstone closer to the coast. Generally temperatures are 8°c cooler on the plateau compared to the surrounding country side.

Project Milestones

Commenced: 2009

SSAA Conservation & Wildlife Management Expertise utilised

  • ground shooting of feral pig, European red fox, feral cat and wild dogs according to NSW DPI Code of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures
  • trapping and disposal of feral pigs, in accordance with NSW DPI Code of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures
  • monitoring of feral activity in order to improve & develop control techniques in this specialised environment.

Logistics

Accommodation

Hut for some meal preparation (need to bring own cooking equipment as well).  Shower and toilet provided.

Bush camping on an open grassed area (also consider bringing swag or small tent to camp away from main site at times for specialised control techniques).

Transportation

To project: Standard 2wd vehicle satisfactory unless wet then 4wd with reasonable clearance.

On project: 4wd is required.

Members usually arrive onsite on the Saturday afternoon, the day before the project begins.  Saturday afternoon and evening is used to sort CWM members’ and our project partner’s equipment and receive safety briefing.

CWM members camp overnight at the base camp where the hut is located.

What to bring

  • standard equipment as per CWM operating procedures (refer to your team leader for details)
  • cool to cold weather gear including suitable clothes and camping equipment
  • wet weather gear
  • no electricity so self sufficient camping fridges/eskies. Occasionally there is 240v electricity in the hut (provided via a portable generator) so recharging of radios can be done, plus one gas fridge is generally available for members to use.
  • food, plates and cutlery
  • tent/swag
  • GPS (very highly recommended due to terrain and vegetation)
  • ear protection, eye protection
  • sun block, insect repellent, hat, long sleeve and long pants, robust hiking boots
  • knee-high gaiters
  • torch
  • spare pair of hunting boots (in wet weather)

Consider the weather conditions for the time of year that you are attending the project.

A reasonable level of fitness and agility is needed to attend this project due to the terrain and vegetation.

Ticks, leaches and snakes can present a challenge in this location, so bring appropriate first aid and good repellent (Bushman’s seems to work best).

Mobile phones only work in limited places on this property.

Local Weather

www.weatherzone.com.au/qld/capricornia/biloela

Project Contacts

Greg Dekoning, Gladstone Area Project Officer

Tel. 0458 732 993
Email. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 
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