Quite possibly our youngest supporter, young photographer Laura Ashby, won our hearts over with her generosity and impressed us with her raw talent. The eight year old, who has a gift for nature photography, held her first exhibition at Gallery Tasmania in Sheffield last month with all proceeds donated to the TLC.
Our CEO Jane Hutchinson was there on the day to thank Laura for her thoughtfulness and support, as well as to nab a gorgeous framed shot of a spotted quoll.
“It’s amazing that someone so young not only has such a beautiful gift and eye for photography, but has a generous heart to go with it. I just assumed eight year olds were more concerned with One Direction than protecting land for conservation, but I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong,” she said.
“The proceeds from Laura’s exhibition will go towards helping us acquire and care for an iconic property in Tasmania’s southwest called Gordonvale, which is much-loved by the state’s bushwalking community because of its history and stunning natural values.
“Laura’s name, along with other supporters who donated $300 or more to the Gordonvale campaign, will be commemorated on a plaque at the site next to interpretation signage we hope to build once we secure the property.”
Laura will also be attending the TLC’s next nature event at the Blue Tier on Saturday 27 April 2013 on a walk that’s perfect for budding nature photographers. To register and find out more about the event, visit bluetier2013.eventbrite.com
To see a selection of Laura's work visit www.redbubble.com/people/pepperpotpics
Over the weekend TLC volunteer and ecologist Jane Keble-Williams lead workshops at Blue Tier reserve and one of our revolving fund properties, West Pyengana, to look for stag beetles as part of her intensive ecological survey work for us.
The trip was a resounding success with the team confirming the presence of the iconic Simson’s stag beetle at Blue Tier and the equally vulnerable Vanderschoor’s stag beetle at West Pyengana.
Our Conservation Scientist Matt Taylor helped Jane organise and design the project and he attended the workshop with his mum and dad, Richard Taylor and Lillian Haines, who own a small farm at Goshen, which is in the same catchment as the Blue Tier and West Pyengana.
"The workshop was organised specifically with local landowners in mind, which is why mum and dad attended," he said.
"They were there to help with the survey work, but also got to learn about survey techniques that they can then apply to their own property, which is home to the threatened giant velvet worm (Tasmanipatus barretti).
"By engaging locals in the northeast in activities like this one we have the benefit of accessing local knowledge, have some extra hands, ears and eyes for the research activity and all whilst raising community awareness of invertebrate conservation.
"The Blue Tier and surrounds is a real hotspot for threatened and endemic beetles, velvet worms and snails... and other unusual creatures, no doubt!"
The research is titled, A survey of threatened stag beetle species on the Tasmanian Land Conservancy Blue Tier and West Pyengana reserves in North East Tasmania. The data collected will help direct conservation management at the reserve and will also be forwarded to the DPIPWE Threatened Species Section for inclusion in the state government’s Natural Values Atlas.
For the next few weeks the TLC is hosting Ms Conamara Burke from the University of Montana, who is visiting Tasmania as part of the United States National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) internship program. Conamara is working with TLC Conservation Scientists, Matt Taylor and Sally Bryant, on a project to document the recovery after bushfire of TLC’s Silver Peppermint Reserve.
In January 2013 Silver Peppermint Reserve was burnt by a large bushfire that began at Lake Repulse in the Derwent Valley. The entire property was affected, with the canopy scorched and the understorey vegetation completely incinerated by the fire.
Conamara is investigating how the regeneration of understorey vegetation coincides with the return of bird species to the reserve. The project is using modern techniques – digital photography and digital sound recording – to document the changes that occur in the ecosystem immediately after fire.
Ten fixed photo points were established four days after the bushfire. At each photo point a series of identical photographs are being taken of the understorey vegetation at weekly intervals for the next eight weeks. The series of photos will provide a visual record of the regeneration process. The photos will also allow quantitative ecological data on vegetation structure to be recorded.
Sound recorders are being used to document the bird species that return to Silver Peppermint over the eight week period. The recorders are placed at three of the photo points and record 20 minutes of bird song. An expert ornithologist is then able to identify the species of birds that are present at the property from the recordings.
By documenting the vegetation structure and bird species present at the reserve each week, the project aims to better understand the ecological relationship between bird diversity and vegetation structure in the period immediately following fire. The project will also produce a fascinating audio-visual record of the regeneration of Silver Peppermint Reserve.
The threat of rain and heavy mist wasn’t enough to keep 60-plus rugged-up visitors away from the Vale of Belvoir wildflower day on Saturday 2 February 2013.
We kicked off the day at Black Bluff lookout at 10am to admire the handiwork of Tim and Denna, our Reserve Management staff, who had just installed the visitor’s interpretation signage the day before.
Here’s an action shot of Tim with his power tools; I was advised by Denna to note that he’s in the process of digging a hole in case anyone was puzzled by the shot.
Mayor of Kentish Council, Don Thwaites, was kind enough to join Jane in launching the signage along with passionate, long-time Vale of Belvoir enthusiasts Sib and Keith Corbett and their daughter Christine as well as members of the Charleston family, who the TLC purchased the Vale from and whose ancestors had owned it for over 100 years prior.
Jane made a toast to the generosity of all of our fabulous supporters and volunteers, who helped us secure the purchase of the Vale in 2008 to protect it in perpetuity.
The first of the guided tours started at 11am and was headed by Sib, Keith and Christine who talked about the flora, fauna and geologic evolution of the Vale, especially its famed sinkholes… here’s a shot of Keith, the geologist of the family, and Huxley Charleston discussing the lack of correlation between sinkhole development and children.
Sib’s background as a botanist shone through as she talked us through the Vale’s wealth of flora and fauna, including the ancient cool temperate rainforests and endangered Grassland paper daisies.
Lisa Charleston recounted a story of her ancestors from the early 1900s who produced cheese in the Vale. Apparently the whey (a by-product of cheese making) was sometimes left in troughs or buckets, which attracted thylacines that were said to sometimes come into the camp to feed on it. It was also apparently highly attractive to tiger snakes, large numbers of which were often found drinking at the troughs! Not surprising as the alpine grasslands are very ‘snakey… thankfully not on that day though.
Speaking of great shots (no bias here), Sib agreed that the picture we happened to grab of a stinkhorn fungus was excellent, if slightly off-focus and more than a little reminiscent of something from an alien film. If anyone knows exactly what kind of stinkhorn it is, feel free to email me at alopez [at] tasland.org.au
Finally, if you’re a supporter of ours, if you’re a nature enthusiast, a people enthusiast or even if you just want to get out and experience some gorgeous and unique parts of Tassie, I encourage you to attend one of our events, like the Vale of Belvoir Wildflower Day… if only for the potential stinkhorn sightings.
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Just before the Christmas holiday kicked in the TLC's first TV ad was launched on SBS, and I might be biased, but it's looking pretty schmick.
The ad wouldn't have been possible without the generous donation of time and talent from Mark Ringer and Andrew Charles, who guided the creative concept development, Red Jelly Hobart for production development at cost and the SBS Foundation for awarding TLC free-to-air advertising time.
ABC Tasmania 7:30 report on sphagnum moss core sampling to reveal climate change information at Skullbone Plains - November 2012.
This TV segment covers the coring of peat at Skullbone Plains with Dr Jennie Whinam and 2 international scientists from the International Mire Conservation Group. This exciting work will form the basis to a publication next year.
View video here - Link
The TLC is very pleased to be a partner of the Australia Connectivity Council and the National Wildlife Corridors Plan.
The National Wildlife Corridors Plan, which includes the Tasmanian Midlands has been released by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
The plan is a vision for reconnecting the Australian landscape through a network of wildlife corridors across Australia and also outlines a process for communities to identify and nominate areas they believe will contribute to a national network of wildlife corridors.
"An area that meets the criteria and is declared as a National Wildlife Corridor may be eligible for priority funding under a range of Australian Government funding programs" Environment Minister, Tony Burke, said.
Thank you to the team of 21 volunteers for a tree-mendous effort on our recent working bee at our Silver Peppermint Permanent Reserve.
This wonderful dry eucalypt forest bordering the Mount Bethune Conservation Area near Mt Field National Park, protects threatened Eucalyptus tenuiramis (Silver Peppermint) woodland.
One of the biggest risks to the natural values in this area of Tasmania is illegal fire wood collection. The TLC is actively working with the community to encourage the positive use and value of the Silver Peppermint Reserve. We are also working with the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service who manage the Mt Bethune Conservation area to stop illegal fire wood cutting and together, have been successful in prosecuting several individuals in recent years.
On our September working bee our supporters had a successful day erecting “no wood cutting” signs, weeding, digging trenches, surveying tracks, repairing a fence and moving small limb wood to encourage the natural regeneration on impacted sites.
Thank you for all of the volunteers for such a fun and productive time.
To read more about the all our TLC permanent reserves click here>>
For more information on volunteer activities, read more and register here >>
Fletcher McCormack is a student at Tarremah Steiner School. Fletcher used his skills and passion for bird photography to create and sell greeting cards.
Fletcher says, “In Year 8 we are asked to work independently on a project that we are passionate about. I am passionate about birds, photography and bushwalking, so I combined the three to do a project on bird photography.
As part of my project I wanted to do something to protect a bird habitat. Working with my mentor, accomplished bird photographer Els Wakefield, we decided that the TLC would be the best way to do that.
I have taken some bird photos that I thought would look good on greeting cards and chose five images and had them professionally printed. I’ve been selling these cards in packs of five for $8. All the profits go to the TLC to help to fund sensor cameras on the TLC Blue Tier permanent reserve.
Cards can be bought at Tarremah Steiner School’s front office (Nautilus Drive, Huntingfield, Tasmania). I am happy to mail two packs or more for $8 per pack plus postage. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org ".
Thank you Fletcher for your great initiative!
Pirates of Debris Descending on Recherche Bay
The TLC has been working in partnership with the Bookend Trust since 2011. The Bookend Trust and the TLC have a mutual goal of inspiring students and the wider community to work towards positive solutions to conservation issues through education. Our role in this partnership is to host small groups of high school students at our permanent reserves, providing them with the opportunities to explore and discover the answers to their conservation questions.
The latest project, “Pirates of Debris”, will be led by seven students from the Jordan River Learning Federation, and hosted at TLC’s Recherche Bay Reserve in Tasmania’s far south. This project will explore the subject of marine debris and its effects on the environment. TLC’s Reserve Management Officer, Tim Devereux, will join the project as a qualified guide and to represent the TLC in sharing the Recherche Bay Reserve with the students and the greater community.
The students will provide daily internet updates to the 2,000+ students that follow the project through a program known as ‘Expedition Class’, with many of these students exploring and discovering the topic of marine debris in their local area.
Photo: L to R, Andrew Hughes and the team from Jordan River with TLC's Tim Devereux chart their course to Recherche Bay.Photo credit: Matthew Newton
During the months of May, June and July the TLC has hosted three teams of International Student Volunteers. The three groups of students have been given a range of wetland and woodland projects at Lutregala Marsh, Flat Rock, Long Point and Liffey Reserves.
The on-ground tasks have been varied from weeding, rubbish removal, fencing, planting trees, the rehabilitation of disturbed sites and track maintenance.
“This was the first time I had travelled overseas to volunteer and it was the best experience of my life!” said Megan from the USA. “I met so many great people, saw the most amazing things and made a difference!”
It was not all work for the students as they had fun through facilitated activities, mixing with local conservation-minded people and experiencing first hand, being in a different culture. This experience has given the opportunity to take a new perspective that can be life-changing for the students.
Since 2006 the International Student Volunteers (ISV) has been working in partnership with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. ISV is a world-wide not for profit organisation that gives university students the opportunity to volunteer on projects that enrich sustainable communities. The ISV program combines volunteering, education and adventure travel to create a fun rewarding experience. Read more >>
Image: ISV students clean-up at Flat Rock Permanent Reserve. Photo: Matthew Newton
A Tasmanian Land Conservancy party gets an Autumn view north to Lake Lea from Daisy Hill, with snow on the Black Bluff Range.
Dr Keith Corbett and wife Sib have spent many months over the years visiting and researching the Cradle Mountain world heritage area and our adjacent Vale of Belvoir TLC permanent reserve. Keith has recently published an article for the Hobart Group of the Australian Plants Society.
You can also read more about the unique flora of Tasmania by visiting the Australian Plants Society - Tasmania Inc. website here.
Thank you to all our supporters who made the permanent protection of this wonderful place possible in 2009.
Now that the fieldwork is now over, the team of 20 scientists are back in their labs identifying the specimens. This can often take many months, if not years to complete. Each specimen will be painstakingly described and documented before being entered into the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Herbarium, as well as other museums, universities and herbaria around Australia. They will be carefully preserved and made available for research.
The nursery team are busy preparing cuttings from each species and expect it will take from 12 to 18 months before the cuttings are ready to be planted out in the Tasmanian section of the Botanic Gardens.
Phil Hurle, nursery manager at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, has a slightly different type of collection. He has collected live specimens from over 60 species of iconic Tasmanian plants found on Skullbone Plains. Carefully packed, the plants have made it back to the Botanic Gardens in Canberra in good condition.
These plants are a beautiful addition to the Gardens and preserve living examples of many species. They are also a living scientific collection. Each individual plant is given a unique number and recorded in a database along with details of where and when it was collected. Every living plant is also complemented by a pressed and dried specimen in the herbarium.
Bush Blitz* is Australia's largest nature discovery project
and it is happening right now at Skullbone Plains!
Photo credit: Matthew Newton
The TLC is very pleased that the Bush Blitz* project has selected Skullbone Plains to conduct its 13th national species survey at our very special permanent reserve. This is the second time the Bush Blitz team have surveyed in Tasmania and the team of about 20 Bush Blitz scientists will conduct the most comprehensive biodiversity survey yet of this spectacular 1,650 hectare property in Tasmania's central highlands which has been recently added to Australia's National Reserve System.
The Bush Blitz team is spending five days from 26 February to 2 March surveying the property in search of new species, and to document the plants and animals that live there. It’s all part of a multimillion dollar continental scale biodiversity discovery program between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia.
Bush Blitz manager Jo Harding said the team — from museums, herbariums, universities and botanical gardens throughout Australia — was very excited to be surveying such an outstanding example of Tasmania's highland ecosystems. “It's an incredibly beautiful place for us to be working in, with such an amazing diversity of habitats including woodlands, grasslands and ancient peat bogs providing homes for a wealth of plants and animals,” Ms Harding said.
“This is our second Bush Blitz to Tasmania and we’re confident that we’ll be adding to the 600 or so new or undescribed native species that Bush Blitz has collected from all over Australia since the program began. During our previous trip scientists were blown away to discover a species of racing stripe spider — famous for eating cane toads — that was previously only found in arid country in central and western Australia.” Dr Catherine Byrne, senior zoology curator and moth expert from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, who is taking part in her fifth Bush Blitz, said the information gathered would be critical for Tasmania in assessing the impacts of climate change.
“Alpine areas such as Skullbone Plains are the most vulnerable to climate change so it’s important to find out what’s there now because this information will help us quantify changes down the track,” Dr Byrne said. “At least half of the world’s moths and spiders haven’t been described by science, so we’re confident we’ll also find new species.”
TLC CEO Jane Hutchinson said Skullbone Plains’ remarkable natural condition was a key factor in the decision to purchase the property for conservation. “This exquisite property shares a 16 kilometre boundary with the Tasmanian Wilderness Heritage Area and retains most of its original vegetation in excellent condition,” Ms Hutchinson said.
“The diversity of plant and animal life of Skullbone is yet to be fully explored, but we do know the property is home to a range of threatened native species including the iconic Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail quoll and the nationally endangered fish, Clarence galaxias. “Finding out what plants and animals live on Skullbone Plains is essential to ensure our ongoing management is appropriate for this world class reserve.”
*Bush Blitz is a three-year multimillion dollar partnership to document the plants and animals in hundreds of properties across Australia's National Reserve System. Bush Blitz is expected to uncover hundreds of new species and provide the baseline scientific data that will help us to protect our biodiversity for generations to come.
Gavin Reid is a long-time supporter of the TLC. Like many of us, his concerns about making a lasting positive impact for future generations is something that is on his mind.
He has found his own special way of doing this.....
Mates Rates Wine, business owner, Gavin Reid, has decided to bequeath the entire business, as a going concern, including all stock on hand, to the TLC upon his passing. This will ensure a future income stream (with all profits then flowing to the TLC) & could well provide much needed employment in Tasmania in the process.
To also make a positive impact now, Mates Rates Wine, Gavin's Hobart based on-line wine retailing business, is donating $2.00 to the TLC for every case of wine ordered from him.
All wines stocked are Australian grown & made, with most wines in the $7 to $15 a bottle price range, (prices start at $5.75 a bottle) concentrating on smaller wineries generally not represented by larger bottle shop chains & on-line retailers.
Gavin says "I pay particular attention to the selection of wines that have been awarded high points & praise by James Halliday & Peter Forrestal (two of Australia’s most prominent wine writers) &/or have been awarded multiple medals at wine shows. There are also a number of wines stocked that are made from organically grown grapes."
Delivery throughout Tasmania is completely free for 12 bottle cases.
To view the full range of wines available, please visit www.matesrateswine.com.au
We get many lovely comments about the photography taken at our TLC Reserves. Much of this work is generously donated for use to the TLC by members of Nature Photographers Tasmania, including the talented Claire Needham.
Claire has now contributed a number of her images from the TLC's Skullbone Plains and Vale of Belvoir in a 168 full colour page book for sale for $49.95
The book, which is edited by Ian Wallace, features the work of12 Australian photographers, and Claire is offering signed copies and free greeting card.
For more details contact Claire on her email at email@example.com, visit her website at www.claireneedham.com or call 0400 160 394
IMMERSION - NOW EXTENDED UNTIL THE 19TH FEBRUARY 2012
VALE OF BELVOIR - A SOUND/VISUAL INSTALLATION
TLC supporter Lorraine Biggs and fellow artist Lila Meleisea spent a year on a residency project in the Cradle Mountain and Vale of Belvoir (TLC permanent reserve) areas to work on a new collaborative visual/sound project.
In the Vale they made site visits in all sorts of weather to collect sounds and film footage which they have combined for this installation.
You can see the installation at the Cradle Mountain National Park Ranger Station Interpretation Centre Gallery until 19th February 2012. The installation is then available for viewing at LARQ Gallery, 8 Hunter Street Queenstown from 25th February to 24th March 2012.
For more information please download the catalogue here.
Thank you to all who braved the wet weather for our ten year family celebrations at Chauncy Vale on the 29th October.
A special thank you to those who helped make the day a real success with guiding walks, set-up and pack-up, face painting, house tour and sign launch and gold coin donations to cover hosting costs. A special word of thanks to the Friends of Chauncy Vale and Heather Chauncy for the tremendous help before and on the day and allowing us to use the wildlife sanctuary as the venue.
Congratulations to the winners of the lucky draw book prizes - Jo McRae, Deb Wace and Josephine Korn win "Family bush walks in Tasmania's Huon Valley" and Hilary Fawcett, Sam Mulcahy and Jet Lan win "Animals of Tasmania, wildlife of an incredible island".
Saturday the 29th October proved to be wet and wonderful for the TLC 10th anniversary family celebrations at Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary and Flat Rock Reserve.
Thank you to everyone who made it happen , made it special and came along to join in the fun.
The winners of the 3 copies of the book "Animals of Tasmania" by our own Sally Bryant and Tim Squires are:
Jet Lan, Hilary Fawcett and Sam Mulcahy
The winners of the 3 copies of the book " Family Bushwalks in Tasmania's Huon Valley" by Nell Tyson and Annie Rushton are:
Josephine Korn, Deborah Wace and Jo McRae
Congratulations to you all !
Photo Credit: Kip Nunn
[Caption:"A perfect April morning at "the bones""]
Dear TLC supporters,
I am shortly moving on from my role as CEO of the TLC after ten years at the helm. Since being part of the founding group of the organisation back in 2001 we have already achieved so much for conservation in Tasmania and I want to thank you for your support and encouragement over that time.
I believe that Tasmania has an important global role to play. We have one of the most diverse and beautiful islands as well as one of the world's most advanced reserve systems. With careful additions like the reserves established by the TLC we can be a living example how to properly balance protection of the environment with production and economic activity. It is really important to have a non-political, science-based, community-owned conservation organisation like the TLC to work towards that goal.
My time as the CEO of the TLC has been exciting and incredibly rewarding. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work on building the organisation and working with financial supporters, farmers, foresters, landowners and volunteers, and the TLC's fantastic team of staff and volunteer board to protect so many important natural places in the state. Long Point, the Egg Islands, the Vale of Belvior and Skullbone Plains stand out among the amazing places that I am proud to have been part of establishing as protected areas.
After ten years it is time for a new adventure. I am committed to bringing up my young family in Tasmania and to establishing a small business in Hobart. I will also continue to work part-time with the TLC in a project role for the foreseeable future and remain absolutely committed to the TLC's mission and vision.
I think it is healthy for organisations to refresh their leadership teams to ensure that energy remains high and new ideas can flourish. The TLC has always endeavoured to act with effective leadership and governance. Renewal of the CEO role is a critical part of any organisation's journey and it is particularly important for the transition of the founding CEO to be smooth and timely.
Jane Hutchinson is taking over as the CEO after a two-year succession plan in which she has led the fundraising team. Prior to that Jane was on the TLC's board for seven years and served as president for three of those years. She is an outstanding skilled leader who is dedicated to conservation and to Tasmania. I am delighted that she will be the TLC's next CEO.
As well as working in a part-time capacity I intend to continue to support the TLC by providing ongoing monthly donations as I have done over many years. The monthly donations are absolutely critical to the work of a small community organisation as they provide some financial certainty particularly in the face of ongoing land management costs for the important habitats and ecosystems that the TLC now stewards.
I also intend to establish a fund in the TLC's Foundation and plan in the future to make a bequest. These are means of providing the special lands protected by the TLC with the long-term certainty that they will need beyond all of our lifetimes, as well as building an enduring association for myself with the organisation.
I hope you will join me in considering both of these means of supporting the organisation in the long-term. I believe in the TLC as a vehicle which we can trust to enact a conservation vision for this unique and special island. The TLC's vision needs support in the decades and centuries to come and it is one that I know many people are committed to.
In closing, I want to thank you personally for your part in the TLC's work over the last decade — it has been a great journey so far and one that is set to continue into the future. I will maintain a lifelong commitment to this organisation and its conservation work and I look forward to working with you in my new role as a project officer for the TLC and ongoing supporter of the organisation.
Thanks and best wishes
Tasmanian Land Conservancy
[Caption:"Nathan Males and Jane Hutchinson"]
A small Caring for our Country grant through the Understorey Network enabled Sally Bryant and Fiona Hume (TLC) to undertake a follow up survey of the forty-spotted pardalote on Flinders Island in July 2011. Joined by Phil Bell and Matt Webb from the Threatened Species Section DPIPWE, the team spent five days searching areas of white gum in the north and the south of the island.
Forty-spot colonies previously known on Walkers Lookout and Broughams Sugar Loaf were re-surveyed, but no birds were found. Patches of white gum throughout the Darling Range, on the track to Mount Strezelecki and at North East River were searched but no birds were found. Thankfully, the small colony identified in August 2010 in Costers Gully in the Strzelecki Range, south of Bob Smiths Gully, were re-sighted and an identical count of six birds made. While it was terrific to re-sight the species on Flinders Island, there has to be more birds somewhere, and we are determined to find them.