During October the Department for Environment and Heritage, in conjunction with theUniversity of Adelaide, undertook bird surveys at 65 sites in the southern Murray Mallee. Sitesstretched from Greenways and Bakara to Pinnaroo, although the Billiatt area was avoidedbecause it has been well surveyed for birds. We attempted to survey each of the differentvegetation types present within this area, with each site being visited 3 times.The bird surveys, which provide knowledge of each species' preferred habitat and their currentdistribution in the area, help us to determine conservation priorities. Preliminary figuresindicate that birds which may be of concern in parts of the area surveyed include the BrownTreecreeper, Crested Bellbird and Chestnut Quailthrush.The results from the southern Murray Mallee contrast with those of the northern MurrayMallee. In the southern region a number of bird species were more commonly encountered insuitable habitat compared with those of the northern region. For example, the Southern Scrub-robin is found in areas of patchily-dense shrubby understorey. In the southern region, these birds were relatively common, but in the northern region they are nowrestricted to the vicinity of Bakara Conservation Park. A number of inland Australian bird species were frequently recorded, includingCockatiels, White-winged Trillers, Crimson Chats and Budgies. Possibly, after relatively good rains in inland Australia, these species have been able to breed upin numbers and are now moving further south.Over the next few months we will be analysing the data further to determine if there are pressing conservation issues in the southern Murray Mallee.Thanks to the Murray Mallee LAP for assistance with contacting landholders andto all the landholders for giving us access to their scrub.Nigel Willoughby, Department for Environment and Heritage
Southern Mallee Bird Surveys
Budgies near the Victorian border a few kilometres southeast of Pinnaroo, above left. Photographs © Joel Allan A Crimson Chat in a grassland area just east of Bakara, above left
Australia's first National Weed Strategy, developed in 1997, highlighted the need for coordinated National action to address thethreat that weeds pose to our environmental and agricultural assets. From this strategy came the concept of identifying a group of Australia's worst weeds and harnessing National action to manage them. States and Territories were given the opportunity tonominate those species of greatest concern and approximately 70 species were subsequently assessed based on their invasiveness,impact, potential for spread and socio-economic and environmental values. A final list of 20 species was announced in 2000 and since that time a National Strategy has been developed for each species.The strategies identify the long term outcomes that National coordination can help realise, as well as objectives, partnerships andresearch and knowledge gaps. Each species also has a National Coordinator and management group which oversee theimplementation of priority actions. A comprehensive amount of extension material has been developed as part of the program, inaddition to targeted funding addressing National control priorities, research into best practice management and an enormousamount of community effort to manage these weeds.Information on each of the 20 WoNS, including best practice information and distribution maps, can be found atwww.weeds.org.au You can also contact me at the NRM Biosecurity Unit, Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservationby phoning (08) 8303 9748 or by emailing to email@example.comShauna Potter, South Australian WoNS Coordinator Boneseed,
Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera
, is one of the WoNS found in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basinregion. Please see the flyer included with this newsletter for information about this proclaimed weed.
Weeds of National Significance (WoNS)