July 2023 Newsletter

The company has been active over the last 2 months, with a successful planting programme at Rockleigh and being awarded a substantial grant to fund a 3 year re-vegetation project, also at Rockleigh. Bushland conservation is fortunate to have an active membership group prepared to volunteer their time to support the management and conservation work on its properties. The board would like to thank the membership
for its ongoing support, which continues to build on the legacy that has been created since the formation of the company in 1975.

The AGM in October will provide members with the opportunity to hear more about the management of our properties on Kangaroo Island, in the Tothill Ranges and at Rockleigh and the plans for the future.

Property News

Planting June 2023
We had another successful planting season thanks to the many volunteer growers and planters. The work was carried out mainly over two weekends, the first to prepare the area by mowing and scalping to control the weeds (primarily veldt grass) and the second for planting. A total of 2200 plants were planted, including over 900 native grasses in the exclosure which is being developed as a natuve grass seed nursery.

Special thanks to Angela and Nic who, once again, were major contributors, growing over 1800 plants, Ian White for supplying the water and helping out on the day, and to Graham White for overseeing the overall effort. Thanks also to Bren, for the use of his mower and mowing expertise and plant growing, and to our other growers, Tom Reeves, Ian Roberts, the Bullocks, Julie Turner and Barbara Bansemer. Twelve
people attended the first weekend from 10 memberships with 22 people on the second, representing 11 memberships. All board members participated along with our 2 youngest planters, Rita (7) and Frank (4).

Grant Award
Bushland Conservation has been awarded significant funding for a re-vegetation project on Rockleigh through the Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement Large Grant programme. This project will be carried out over 3 years and will result in the planting of over 12,000 local provenance native plants. The initial phase of the work involves weed control and erecting a 1.54 km feral proof fence to enclose an area of 13 hectares. Once again, Bushland Conservation will be engaging Goolwa Wellington Local Action Planning Group (GWLAP) to work with us on this project but there will still be plenty of opportunity for volunteers to participate.

The company will purchase a ride-on mower through the grant funding and will undertake slashing and spraying of the site when the weather dries up. A fencing contractor has now been engaged to erect the fence and this work will be undertaken in October this year.

The award of this substantial grant recognises the capability of Bushland Conservation to manage a conservation project of this scale, based on the re-vegetation work that has been undertaken at Rockleigh over many years and on the experience, expertise and motivation of its members. The company is fortunate to receive this funding and is committed to delivering a successful project that will add substantially to the conservation value of Rockleigh.

Tothill Ranges

Worm Lizard Research Project
Andrew Wurst has set up a research project to investigate the presence of worm lizards in the Tothill Ranges. This involves setting up a pattern of tiles across a part of the property and then checking them at regular intervals. This species is listed as vulnerable under the EPBC act but there is a record of it occurring in the Tothill Ranges. Andrew came up with this idea while supporting a similar project in a conservation reserves to the east of Mt. Bryan, run by a NWPS ecologist Matthew Heard. Matt will be our guest speaker at our AGM in the Tothill Ranges and he will discuss the worm lizard amongst other conservation and ecology related matters.

Property Visit

The Tothills property was visited by the U3A Nature Photography Group as part of the student studies and kindly provide a donation to the company.

Kangaroo Island

Feral Cat Eradication Programme

The Feral Cat Eradication team has reported that the Bushland Conservation property is largely cleared of feral cats and the focus is now on preventing re-enter and doubling back as the programme moves progressively west. In excess of 45 cats have been removed from the vicinity of our property through a combination of techniques. The Felixer device has proved particularly useful, including 12 cats removed from a location near our AGM site. The use of cameras has also been critical to the success of the programme. The Feral Cat Eradication team has been grateful for the support received from Bushland Conservation, including the provision of cameras.

Goanna Research Project

The initial phase of the research project on the Rosenbergs Goanna has now been concluded. The study area included Bushland Conservation’s KI property and the work on the property was carried out with the support of some of our Kangaroo Island members. This study has found that these goanna play an important role as scavengers in controlling agriculturally harmful blowfly populations, highlighting the significance of reptiles in the ecosystem

Remembering Robert (Bob) Seamark

Robert (Bob) Seamark died on 31 May 2023 after a short illness. He was on country in Central Australia when he got sick. He is survived by his loving wife Kay Hannaford and his three children Anna, Tom, Ben and his grandchildren.
Bob was one of the earliest shareholders in the company acquiring his initial shareholding on 17/12/76. He was one of the company’s earliest directors being appointed in 17/12/76 and serving on the board until 31/10/95. Bushland Conservation has been fortunate to have had people like Bob to support its conservation aims and to build the legacy that we have today.
Bushland Conservation Board extends its sympathies to his family and hopes that they are able to continue an involvement in the company.

Talyara Property

Further to the May 2023 Newsletter, the owners of the Talyara Heritage Agreement property, located approximately 10 km NW of Laura, on the eastern flanks of the southern Flinders Ranges and extending over an area of 486 hectares, have now offered to gift this property to Bushland Conservation. This is a generous proposal on an attractive, well vegetated property with significant conservation value.

The Talyara owners have identified Bushland Conservation as a credible, like minded organisation with the capability to take over the responsibility for managing the conservation of this property. The board recognises that accepting this offer does come with additional obligations on Bushland Conservation and its members. The implications of taking on the Talyara property are being reviewed by the directors but a recommendation has not yet been finalised. The plan is to provide the membership with a proposal prior to the AGM, summarising the pros and cons and implications, including financial, for a discussion and a vote at the meeting.

Best wishes

Peter Vincent
Email bushlandconservation1975@gmail.com
Mobile 0419500597