Sydney researchers are using waterproof drones to collect snot from migrating humpback whales. The snot samples are used to do health check-ups!
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Sam Garrett-Jones, NPA Illawarra Branch
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is popular walking area south of Wollongong (see NPA 60 Best Walks #30) that offers spectacular displays of wildflowers. With the adjoining Budderoo National Park, Barren Grounds is one of only four large areas of heathland on the south coast and also has unusual stands of rainforest along the escarpment edge. These varied habitats contain many rare or endangered plant and animals, notably the ground parrot Pezoporus wallicus.
Mike Dodkin & Sue Baker, Mid North Coast Branch, National Parks Association of NSW
In May of this year the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and NPA Mid North Coast Branch celebrated forty years of habitat restoration, focusing particularly on Bitou bush removal in Crowdy Bay National Park, north of Taree, making this Australia’s longest-running Bitou eradication project.
Di Thompson, NCC representative Southern Ranges Regional Advisory Council and NSW Advisory Council
This story is about building a relationship that has a constructive outcome.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a phone message from the ABC Canberra, concerning 4WD damage at Dubbo Flats. I groaned. How did the ABC find me when the issue wasn’t even horses? For goodness sake I didn’t want to be the font of all knowledge on all high impact activities in Kosciuszko National Park.
Hayley Egan, Barefeet
There are many misconceptions surrounding cultural access to aquatic resources both in NSW and throughout Australia. Many people assume that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have unlimited access or no rules when it comes to harvesting resources. In NSW this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no single set of guidelines, legislation or regulations to govern cultural access. Native Title over water in NSW has for the first time been formally acknowledged in determinations in 2019. The details of the access rights to those claimants are slowly filtering through. Currently in NSW waters Aboriginal Cultural Fishing is acknowledged as a fishery along with Commercial and Recreational Fisheries. Though unlike the other two there are no regulations to govern access rights for the sector. Since 2010 there have been Interim Access Arrangements, which have evolved slightly over the last nine years. However, these are not legally binding like regulations, and as a result there are a lot of grey areas in their interpretation. This has led to the community mistrusting the Department and being in the dark about their rights within the fishery.
Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, National Parks Association of NSW
It’s been a busy period for conservation activities for NPA – not that many periods are quiet of course!