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OUR CONSERVATION ACTIONS

CBOC supports a variety of bird-related conservation activities and initiatives, some of which are listed below.  We encourage our members to participate in these if interested.  

Our CBOC Conservation Officer  regularly prepares submissions on behalf of CBOC to support our object of actively advocating for the protection and conservation of native birds and their habitat. 

 

Our Conservation Officer can be contacted on conservation@cboc.org.au.  Refer to Meet Our Committee to see the current person.

We also have a CBOC Memorial Fund from which CBOC makes Grants to bird-related conservation initiatives.

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PROPOSED DOG PARK IN FAGAN PARK

Hornsby Shire Council is planning to create an off-leash dog park in Fagan Park in Galston next to the north-eastern dam which supports many water birds and other bird species. The Club and individual members have written to the Mayor, Phillip Ruddock, to oppose this plan.
The Club’s Conservation Officer spoke at a Council meeting and another member
participated in a meeting with Mr Ruddock. The Council subsequently decided to pause work on the proposed site in order to consider more thoroughly the impacts of putting the dog park there and to also consider options for other locations within Fagan Park. The Club will continue to monitor the situation.

REFORMING AUSTRALIA'S NATURE PROTECTION LAWS

The Federal Government is in the process of deciding on reforms to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act which the 2020 independent Samuel Review concluded was “not fit for purpose”. Club members made submissions to the Government’s consultation about the reform of the Act. The Government has recently decided that it will create a body called Environment Protection Australia to regulate the nature protection laws but has postponed decisions about the actual reforms that it will make
to the laws. This means that the EPA will be regulating the existing inadequate laws. The Club along with BirdLife Australia and other conservation organisations will continue to urge the Government to ensure that Australia’s nature protection laws do actually protect the birds and other species we love.

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SAVE TOONDAH HARBOUR

Club members took action to oppose Walker Corporation’s proposal for a development on the wetlands at Toondah Harbour which would have had a harmful impact on the many bird species that live and visit there in particular the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew. They phoned Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, urging her to reject the proposal, and when she made an interim decision to reject it, they contacted her to urge her to confirm that decision. Before she could make her final decision, Walker Corp withdrew their proposal. This was a great victory for the community and the environment.

TRACKING AUSTRALIAN PAINTED-SNIPE

Australian Painted-snipe are Australia’s rarest breeding waterbird. They are listed as globally and nationally Endangered but very little is known about them. But that is changing. A crowdfunded project, to which CBOC has made a financial contribution, is using the latest satellite and mobile phone tower technology to track their movements.

 

You can meet Gloria, the first ever Australian Painted-snipe to be tracked, at: https://paintedsnipe.com.au/2023/10/24/the-journey-begins-introducing-gloria/.  She was caught recently near Balranald and is already giving us new insights into the secret lives of these near-mythical ghost birds. You can read the tribute from Gloria's sponsor, EnviroKey, and find some more details about her at: https://paintedsnipe.com.au/follow-the-birds/gloria-envirokey/.

 

And you can also learn more about these wonderful birds and the exciting tracking project and, if you’re lucky enough to spot one, where to report your sighting at: https://paintedsnipe.com.au/.

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For more information, see 

How to use Birdata

MAKE YOUR BIRDING COUNT

Make your birding count by submitting Bird Surveys of your sightings.  Surveys provide data on the abundance and distribution of bird species, and can help to support a variety of conservation initiatives.  The surveys can be submitted in easy to use apps or web portals.  Various different types of surveys can be submitted including formal 2 hectare, 20 min surveys, more general area searches of 500m or 5km, or more informal incidental searches. 

The main apps that are used for this are:

  • Birdata

  • eBird

 

BirdLife Australia and CBOC recommend the use of Birdata for recording surveys because of the standardised scientific survey basis that is used.  This information goes directly into a national bird database and can then be used for use in research and conservation.​ 

SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK SPRING SURVEYS

Every year Cumberland Bird Observers Club partners with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to carry out the Spring Bird Census.  CBOC members survey over 45 sites around the Park each spring.  Surveys start in September, continue for eight weeks, and are conducted on Tuesday mornings.  Even if you are unable to commit to the full 8 weeks, your help on some survey days will be useful and appreciated.  An information and training session is held on the Tuesday morning before the first survey.

For over 17 years, the Census has been the fundamental source of data for measuring habitat health to protect the thousands of birds which reside within the 425 hectares of parklands at Sydney Olympic Park.  This long-term monitoring of birds allows for ongoing assessment of trends in bird abundance and diversity, and assists in managing the park and its variety of habitats.

CBOC receives a donation from Sydney Olympic Park Authority for doing these surveys, which is to be used to support bird-related conservation projects.  In the 2022-2023 financial year, this money has been used to sponsor two projects: firstly, research into Sooty Terns as indicators of ecosystem health and management, and secondly, the role of social behaviour as a buffer to impacts of climate change on the Red winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans).

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For information on upcoming survey dates, refer to Other Activities

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BIRDSCAPING YOUR GARDEN

There is a great opportunity to attract birds to your garden, even in an urban environment, by designing and planting a garden that will provide them with water, food and an appropriate habitat for them to visit or live in.

Dr Tony Saunders has written a very helpful article, full of information and tips on how to Birdscape your Garden.

Tony has also created a list of 101 Bird-attracting Plants for your garden.

BIGnet (Bird Interest Group Network)

BIGnet is an affiliation of NSW and ACT birdwatching clubs and organisations who signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2003.  BIGnet brings together representatives of birding organisations in NSW to discuss issues, share knowledge, increase skills and source volunteers for projects.

BIGnet fosters co-operation among bird interest groups across a range of activities which these groups undertake, including bird surveys, bird research and conservation initiatives.  It encourages exchange of information and sharing of resources.

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For more information, contact Cathy Goswell on cathycrg@bigpond.com

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For information, refer to Act for Birds

ACT FOR BIRDS

We support Birdlife Australia’s initiative Act for Birds and their motto “We are standing together to protect birds forever”.

The 2019/20 bushfires were devastating for millions of Australian birds and the natural places that are their homes. Many species lost half of their habitat, increasing the number of threatened bird species by as much as 25%. Protecting natural places is more important than ever.

COWRA WOODLAND BIRDS PROGRAM

The Cowra Woodland Birds Program was launched in July 2001 by members of BirdLife Australia Southern NSW and local landholders and land managers to address concerns that woodland birds appear to be declining in rural landscapes in the Cowra district.  Its activities involve bird surveys and monitoring of the gathered data, as well as habitat restoration and conservation.

The principal activity is conducting quarterly bird surveys on 94 sites in the district.  The bird and habitat surveys to date have identified which sites are better for woodland birds and, based on these observations, the team can make a number of general recommendations for land managers interested in reversing the decline in woodland birds.

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For more information, refer to the BirdLife Southern NSW projects website.

For information on the upcoming survey dates, refer to Other Activities.

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For more information and to add your voice to this campaign, refer to Protect Swift Parrot

BIRDLIFE SWIFT PARROT PROJECT

As you are probably aware, the State of the Environment Report recently released shows clearly that nature and the environment in Australia are in crisis. This is true for many species of plants, animals and birds. 

 

One bird that is under threat is the Swift Parrot in particular due to the destruction of their habitat especially by the State-owned logging corporations of NSW and Tasmania.

 

BirdLife Australia is currently running a campaign to change the laws from allowing the destruction of Swift Parrot habitat to instead protecting the habitat of this special bird.

CAPERTEE VALLEY REGENT HONEYEATER RECOVERY PROJECT

This project is run by BirdLife Southern NSW.  The Capertee Valley (about 50 km north of Lithgow), is the one of the most important known breeding areas for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.  Much of the suitable habitat within the valley has been cleared for agriculture and remaining habitat is fragmented and generally degraded.

The project forms part of a national recovery effort for this critically endangered species and undertakes activities aligned with priority actions in the national Regent Honeyeater Recovery Plan.  Project activities include research, monitoring and tree-planting, which will also benefit a range of other declining and threatened woodland bird species. 

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For more information, refer to the BirdLife Southern NSW projects website.

 

For information on the upcoming tree planting dates, refer to Other Activities.

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BIRDLIFE MISTLETOE RESTORATION PROJECT

BirdLife Australia is working with the Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council to restore mistletoe to burnt woodlands in the Hunter Valley. Mistletoe provides vital food and nesting resources for the Regent Honeyeater. This project is another part of efforts to ensure the survival and prosperity of this iconic bird. You can find out more about the here 

RAT POISON IS IMPACTING BIRDS

Owls, eagles, and other birds of prey are unnecessarily dying by ingesting rats and mice that have been poisoned. Rodenticides are poisons designed to kill pest mice and rats but they have other impacts too. Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGAR) poisons are the worst.

BirdLife Australia are asking Bunnings to remove SGARs from their shelves. 

You can find information about actions that individuals can take on this issue, including a link to the BirdLife Australia petition to Bunnings, here.

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You can read the CBOC Submission here.

If you wish, you can follow our letter-writing guide to assist you to write your own letter to The Hills Council.

There is a also a petition opposing the Master Plan on Change.org as well as a "Save Fred Caterson Reserve" Facebook group.

FRED CATERSON RESERVE

The Hills Shire Council is planning to destroy over 36,000 square metres of irreplaceable bushland in Fred Caterson Reserve which is the last large piece of bushland left in the Castle Hill area. The reserve is home to many bird species and is a favourite place for club birding outings. The Council's plan significantly reduces the amount of habitat in the reserve, including large numbers of mature trees, which birds need to feed, roost and breed. 

The Council's Master Plan for the reserve involves a massive upgrading of existing sporting and other facilities, an expansion of the road network, and in particular the creation of a "premier rugby union precinct" for which Eastwood Rugby Club has submitted an Expression of Interest. The need for such a precinct is unclear as there are only 350 registered rugby union players in The Hills Shire.

Our club Conservation Officer has written a letter on behalf of the club to the Mayor, Dr Peter Gangemi, expressing our strong opposition to the plans contained in the Master Plan. He has also informed all the Councillors that he has written this letter to the Mayor.

It is important that the Mayor and the Councillors realise how widespread the opposition is to the Council's plans for Fred Caterson Reserve so it would be great if as many people as possible write to him and possibly also to Councillors. There is a letter-writing guide here that will assist you to write your letter.

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