Resources

Bell Frog Planting & Survey Results

In collaboration with Local Land Services (LLS) & National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and under the guidance of University of Newcastle (UoN), we conducted after-dark frog surveys in Kooragang Wetlands National Park.  These ran in conjunction with our... read more

Shorebird Workshop Results

With support from Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, HRLN hosted another successful shorebird training workshop on Saturday, March 19th, and here are the outcomes;   The Port Stephens workshop was... read more

Fauna Feature: Spotted Quoll ( Dasyurus maculatus)

If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise…..   Spotted Quoll Dasyurus maculatus, image from environment.nsw.gov.au) It’s not often we have to put a graphic content warning but here it is, the following is a bit gruesome but I thought it... read more

Woodland Birds Feature: Saving The Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater

The Regent honeyeater project in the Hunter on THE PROJECT. The Regent Honeyeater is so rare that its love song is at risk of being lost forever. But there’s new hope the critically endangered bird can be brought back from the edge of extinction through science, tech,... read more

Plant of the Month: The Call of the Lotus

Odysseus removing his men from the company of the lotus-eaters (source: Wikipedia) They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring... read more

Camera Trapping for Pest Management

Victoria Dixon, HRLN Project officer As part of HRLN’s project Supporting Landcare with post-fire and habitat recovery (HR03963), there has been a program of camera trapping in the Congewai, Wollombi/Laguna and Broke/Bulga Landcare regions. The aim of this program has... read more

Koalas Listed as Endangered

On 12 February 2022, the federal Environment Minister listed the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) as ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) in Queensland, NSW and the Australian Capital... read more

Vines gone mad?

Do you have a native vine gone mad with the La Niña conditions we are experiencing? Native vines are an important part of our natural forests.  Photos by Dennis Mayo A tangle of native vines can provide food, shelter and nesting sites for many different species of... read more

Plant of the Month: Eucalyptus nortonii

Life would be so much easier….. Y’know, life would be so much easier if plants could read books, they’d know important things like where they should grow, when they should flower and what they should look like. It would save me a lot of confusion. I’ll often find... read more

Wedge-tailed eagle

The wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax) also known as the eagle-hawk (Birabahn) is significant in the Hunter region for the Awabakal people, traditional custodians of the coastal Hunter area. The Awabakal celestial entity Kon is represented by an Aboriginal man whom,... read more

Summer Shorebird Count

The Birdlife Summer Shorebird Count – which runs from November 15th until February 28th – has 1 month remaining. We encourage attendees of our shorebird workshops, keen birders, shore-dwellers and those interested in conservation, to participate in this... read more

Everybody Likes a Bogong

(with apologies to Area 7) The population of Australia’s iconic Bogong Moth has crashed spectacularly over the past few years dropping by an estimated 99.5%. The drop is believed to have been due to a combination of land-use changes, agricultural chemicals, light... read more

Results of the Shorebird Workshop in November

With support from Hunter Local Land Services under the National Landcare Program, HRLN hosted another successful shorebird training workshop on 10th November, and here are the outcomes; The workshop was booked out – with an attendance of 22 enthusiastic... read more

Special Fauna Feature Edition: Red Fox

Vertebrate feral animal this month is the Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) The red fox, brought to Australia by Europeans in the 1850s, is an ongoing and serious pest problem due to their impact on native animals and livestock. Today foxes occur over 75% of Australia and their... read more

Plant of the Month: Learning new ‘trix

Here’s an interesting one for you (well, they’re all interesting to me at least), I was out in the field a few weeks back doing a follow up on the Fairy Bells work I’ve been doing the past couple of years (see: insert link). One of our monitoring sites is in the... read more

Shorebirds Feature: Newcastle Shorebird Training Workshop

Join us on Wednesday November 10th, 2021, for our Newcastle Shorebird Training Workshop. We will host a morning of informative presentations, followed by lunch (provided) and a field trip to Stockton Sandspit. Tidal movements are expected to provide great... read more

Fauna Feature: Teddy Bear Bees

It’s Australian Pollinator Week, 13 – 21st November https://www.australianpollinatorweek.org.au National pollinator week is approaching so let’s talk about one of our local buzzing insects, the teddy bear bee or golden haired mortar bee (Amegilla bombiformis).... read more

Special Fauna Feature Edition: What do you know about the vertebrate feral animals of the Hunter?

Are you involved in controlling of them? We will be highlighting each of these species over the coming months to give you an insight into their behaviour and their effect on the ecology of our region. Loading... Taking too long? Reload document | Open in new tab View,... read more

Plant of the Month: Staying Muddy

Last month we were in the mud looking at mangroves, this month we’ll go slightly closer shoreward and take a look at what grows in the hypersaline environment of the Salt Marshes. Salt Marshes occur around the high tide zone, often in shallow depressions which fill on... read more

Shorebirds feature: Sooty Oystercatcher

Haematopus fuliginosus Sooty Oystercatchers are a large coastal wader, with pinkish legs and scarlet-orange eyes and bills, offset by jet-black plumage. Reaching similar sizes as their Pied relatives – about 50cm in length – their contrasting all-black... read more

Fauna Feature – Eastern Pygmy Possum

Climbing between banksias, you may spot a tiny brown marsupial feeding on the nectar. The Eastern pygmy possum (Cercartetus nanus) is a remarkable, endemic Australian species of the eastern coast, including the Hunter region. They are part of a family divided into two... read more

Cactus Causing Prickly Problem

Loading... Taking too long? Reload document | Open in new tab View, Print and Download [659.68 KB] A new state-wide campaign is urging residents to be on the lookout for the prohibited sale or trade of prickly pear cacti. Image of Blind cactus,  courtesy of Queensland... read more

Helping Scientists Control Lantana – Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain

Do you have Lantana camara in your backyard or on your property? Our scientists are documenting patterns in Lantana’s genetic diversity across Australia and need your help. “Lantana camara is a widespread shrub with colourful flowers. It’s poisonous to people... read more

Plant of the Month: Mangroves – Getting Muddy

There’s a concept in evolutionary biology called convergent evolution, it’s where distantly related organisms evolve the same or similar strategies for dealing with the environment in which they find themselves. One example many will be aware of are the Thylacines... read more

Plant of the Month: Please don’t pull this one out

Another couple of plants which commonly get mistaken for weeds (and pulled out) is  Flannel Leaf (Astrotricha floccosa). With a home range between Newcastle and Sydney it’s found in Dry Sclerophyll Forest on sandstone, unfortunately the leaves can have a strong... read more

Ask a Plant Nerd: From Little Things

Ask a Plant Nerd: From little things.  This month’s “Ask a Plant Nerd” question comes from HRLN committee member Les Pearson who asks “What’s a forb and why are they important?” The first bit is easy, a forb is a herbaceous flowering non graminoid (grass like) plant,... read more

Shorebird Feature: Crested Tern

Thalasseus bergii As many of us flock to the shoreline for some lockdown-permitted exercise, you may have spotted flocks of Crested Terns. These ubiquitous shorebirds are the 2nd largest of the Australian Terns- approximately 49cm in length and are the most commonly... read more

Fauna Feature: Rainbow Bee-eater

A First Nations’ Dreaming story describes how birds were created when a rainbow burst and its fragments fell on Earth. The colours of the rainbow are well represented in one of the most magnificent and colourful Australian birds, the rainbow bee-eater (Merops... read more

Frog Deaths Across Eastern Australia

Have you noticed ill and dying frogs in your backyard or Landcare site? Please read this article to find out more and send any reports of sick or dead frogs (and if possible, photos) to the national citizen science project FrogID, or email calls@frogid.net.au They... read more

Fauna Feature: Joseph’s Coat Moth

Among the diverse moth species fluttering throughout the Hunter is the magnificently colourful Joseph’s Coat Moth (Agarista agricola), or painted vine moth. The name recalls a biblical story in which Joseph received a “coat of many colours” as a gift from his... read more

Woodland Birds School Program Feature – Mistletoe: Marvellous yet often misunderstood!

Although it is often considered the bane of gardeners, arborists and farmers, the pendulous clumps of mistletoe provide an extremely important resource for all manner of wildlife. Mistletoe boosts wildlife numbers in agricultural landscapes, especially insect-eating... read more

Understanding Nest Boxes

This informative video from Granite Borders Landcare can help explain the need for nest boxes in our changed landscapes and explain some of the complexities in choosing the right nest box for your site or property.... read more

Plant of the Month – Of Serpents and Spinifex

Botanically the Hunter Region compares well with other regions of the world for diversity. Given our geographic location with the New England Fold Belt to the North and East and the largely sedimentary Sydney Basin to the South and West (with the Hunter-Mooki Thrust... read more

Woodland birds: Swift parrot feature

The Central Hunter Valley Woodlands and Eucalypt forests is a vegetation community that has been declared critically endangered since May 2015 (EPBC Act 1999). It is typified by limited undergrowth and a variety of eucalyptus species, including Box gums and Ironbarks.... read more

Fauna Feature: The Pale-headed Snake

On the 16th of July the world celebrates snakes. There is no better place than Australia to increase awareness and introduce you to one of our slithering residents of the Hunter, the pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). Australia hosts 14% of the world’s... read more

The 2021 Winter Shorebird Count season is here…

Hi Shorebirders, The Winter Shorebird Count season is already in full swing, starting 15 May and going through until 15 August. Birdlife Australia and the Hunter Bird Observers Club encourage you all to share your survey results when you go to local shorebird areas,... read more

Watch Your Step

When most people think of rare plants they think of large and exotic and hidden in the middle of nowhere. Oftentimes the rare ones can be found right under our feet, or in this case from London, just over our heads. “A rare species of orchid believed to have... read more

Fauna Feature: The Green and Golden Bell Frog

  At the Tocal Field Day, many of you expressed interest in rehabilitating ponds for frogs. So, this month, let me tell you about a fascinating Hunter resident, the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea).  The green and golden bell frog is typically found in... read more

Plants of the Month: That’s gotta be a weed?

Plant(s) of the Month: That’s gotta be a weed, doesn’t it? Well….. You know how it goes, you go wandering through the bush and see a plant which just doesn’t fit in, which just by the general look of it you just know it’s gotta be a weed. So you reach down and…. NO!... read more

Fauna Feature: Koalas

On the 3rd of May Australia celebrates Wild Koala day. It is the perfect moment to raise awareness of the endangered koalas and their threatened habitat. For this occasion, we introduce you to the koalas of the Hunter (Phascolarctos cinereus cinereus) and a few facts... read more

Do trees (forests) really make rain? Or do areas with high rainfall grow forests?

You may have debated this topic at a dinner party, or maybe not… Either way, it is worth pondering.  And perhaps planting. An expanding body of evidence supports the idea that forests, in the right conditions, not only make rain locally but also hundreds of kilometres... read more

Wildlife Friendly Fencing

Fencing is important for effective stock control, but barbed wire near fauna corridors can be problematic for wildlife. Check out this handy resource from Hunter Local Land Services…   Download as... read more

Plant of the Month: Australian Toadflax

(Thesium australe) When most people think of endangered species they think of something like the Wollemi Pine, tall, majestic and hidden away in a remote valley in the wilderness but in truth most of our endangered plant species are small, nondescript and in places... read more

Fauna Feature: The Australasian Bittern

The Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) is a 75 cm semi-nocturnal, migratory waterbird found in Australia and New Zealand. It can be seen in the southeastern and southwestern coastal and sub-coastal areas of Australia. A lucky bird watcher has recently... read more

Plant of the Month: Ribbon Gum

Twenty third of March is National Eucalypt Day so with that in mind it’s time for another gum PotM. This month’s PotM is the Ribbon Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), there’s a couple of them growing near the bridge at Bunnan on the Scone-Merriwa Road, I’ve looked at these... read more

Fauna Feature: Blue-banded bees

by Sebastien Doleac Blue-banded bees (Amegilla cingulata) are native to Australia and can be found all across the country except in Tasmania. Their size varies between 8 and 14 mm. Although blue-banded bees have a sting, they are not aggressive and present no danger.... read more

Fauna Feature: Cicada killer

The Australian cicada-killer wasp (Exeirus Laterius) is commonly mistaken for a hornet due to its imposing size (4 cm). Interestingly, there are no hornets reported in Australia. Exeirus Laterius is closely related to the American cicada killer wasp. Solitary,... read more

Weed of the Month: Khaki Weed (Alternanthera pungens)

I hate Khaki Weed, I really do, so much so that at one stage I had it almost eliminated from the footpaths of the small village I live in and despite my slackness over the past couple of years numbers are still low and just the other week had to spray the footpath... read more

Plant of the Month: What’s in a name? Hard Quandong

(Elaeocarpus obovatus) Also known as Blueberry Ash, Whitewood, Grey Carabeen, Freckled Oliveberry and Grey Carrobeen, despite the plethora of names it is not related to the other Quandongs (Santalum spp.), Ashes (Mountain Ash, Red Ash, Claret Ash, Himalayan Ash) or... read more

Weed of the Month: Coolatai grass Hyparrhenia hirta

Regional Priority Weed Objective – ASSET PROTECTION An invasive drought, fire and herbicide tolerant tussock forming perennial grass.   It is found in all Australian states and territories. The main infestations on the East coast were south-eastern Queensland,... read more

Bird species feature: Regent Honeyeater

It’s been a big year for the Regent Honeyeater, and the captive bred birds released in the Hunter region this year are doing well and settling into a life in the wild, a significant step in protecting this critically endangered species. It’s the work of... read more

Plant of the Month: Choccie Lily

Mmmm Chocolate (Lilies!) One of the most anticipated Spring arrivals in woodland and forest areas in this area is the blooming of the Chocolate Lilies (Dichopogon fimbriatus) not only for the attractive purple flowers but also for the chocolate scent they have. While... read more

Bar-tailed Godwit

This species, listed as a Critically Endangered Shorebird of Australia, has been recorded flying 11,000kms across the globe non-stop! So when they reach the mudflats of our estuaries, they need lots of good food sources such as molluscs, worms and aquatic insects, and... read more

PlantNET Search – Find your local plants

I’m giving away trade secrets here but apart from identifying plants one of our common requests is for species lists of what grows in an area, or what is suitable to plant in an area. Some areas we know quite well and will be able to give a reasonable list just off... read more

Reptile of the Month: Eastern Bearded dragon, Pogona barbata

What a wonderful sign of spring! This little fella was sunning himself on the road- As I stopped to move him along out of harms way, he puffed out his beard and expanded his body by inhaling air, making him seem larger than life. I was respectfully warned and kept my... read more

Plant of the month: Antarctic Beech, Nothofagus moorei

Every now and then I get the opportunity to wander through the cool, dark, damp Antarctic Beech forests of the high country up in the Barrington Tops. The Antarctic Beech rainforests are a Gondawanan relic showing little similarity to the surrounding Snow Gum and... read more

The impact of cats in Australia

A recent research article by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub really woke me up to the devastating effect that cats (feral and pet cats) have on our native biodiversity.

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The Fern Creek Gully Landcare Squirrel Glider Documentary

Toby Davidson’s wonderful documentary on our Squirrel Glider project and the great team and the great supporters that made it happen.

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Grasses quiz

Can you identify these common weedy grasses that were presented at Tilligerry Landcare workshop recently? Once you’ve had your guess, scroll down for the answers! v v v v v v v v v v v Answers:  Red Natal from Africa Whiskey Grass from the USA Erharta from... read more