Our Queensland branches in 2018
We asked our groups a few questions about how they fared in 2018, including, what their biggest achievement was, how many volunteers hours they put in and how many surveys and events they did over the year. In total, 140k volunteer hours, 40k surveys and 5000 events happened across our Network in 2018, what an achievement!
Queensland branches - Nth Qld, Townville, Capricornia, Mackay, Bundaberg and Sth Qld.
Local habitat management and restoration for the Capricorn Yellow Chat continued; Eungella Bird Week raised awareness of the Eungella Honeyeater; a previously unknown population of Gouldian Finches was discovered in the Far North; a statewide focus on shorebirds and their conservation continued; the Ornithological Conference in Brisbane was well attended (again); the Powerful Owl project successfully kicked off in Brisbane; and Birds in Schools was picked up by branches across the state. See below for more detail branch by branch.
In our Nth Qld branch regular bimonthly supporter engagement, extensive local media coverage and advocacy for waders in the Cairns mudflats area have kept birds and their conservation in the news;
The discovery of a previously unknown population of Gouldian Finches in Nth QLD is a major highlight alongside new important bird surveys including the Grasswren, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Cranes and Beach-nesting birds. Total survey hours for 2018 are 2759. The branch has also kept up with ongoing social birding activities for supporters across the region.
This year has overseen a huge increase in community engagement with three schools participating in the "Birds in Schools" program, and additional schools indicating they will come onboard in 2019. In October (Townsville Bird Month) we showcased the 'Aussie Backyard Bird Count" by providing information and bird displays at the three Townsville Libraries as well as three Shopping Centres, visited four schools to promote the "App" and provide Bird ID and Observation techniques. We also entered two teams in the National Twitchathon (with other members now showing a greater interest in participating next year). The overall goal of our Branch was to foster the importance of conservation of birds and their habitat as well as promoting amongst our membership the benefits of belonging to a strong and vibrant national organisation --- for example the Libraries and Shopping Centre displays involved 39 Branch members contributing a total of 67 volunteer hours.
We participated in 66 surveys across all types of habitat -- Woodland, Wetland, Rainforest, Coastal (Shorebirds 2020), Torresian Pigeon Count, Black-throated Finch Count and BIBY in all cases we use birdata.
Organising and working with Wildmob members to deliver Eungella Bird Week to 25 enthusiastic visitors from as far away as Perth, was our major achievement. During the days preceding this event we managed to have a 'Home of the Eungella Honeyeater KBA' road sign erected.
All of our monthly club outings 'bird call' lists get entered into birdata plus any other outing bird lists that I participate in. Monthly counts at the Regional Botanic Gardens are also recorded. Regular shorebird counts are forwarded to the Queensland Wader Study Group. Overall about 50 surveys per year are now recorded by Birdlife Mackay. This year, additional lists went on birdata from the Eungella Bird Week.
Capricornia saw habitat restoration for the Capricorn Yellow Chat from funds raised through the 2018 Twitchathon, community engagement at wetland weekend, environment day, and local Shorebird workshops. We continued to use Birdata for monthly shorebird surveys at Kinka Beach and Wetlands, and annual surveys of the Fitzroy Delta and Floodplain KBA (28 wetlands), the Broadsound KBA, Blackdown Tablelands, North Keppel Island.
Biggest achievement this year was getting Bundaberg Regional Council on board to partner with better management of Baldwin Swamp Environmental Park. We kept up monthly shorebird surveys of Bundaberg Port and continued weekly regular surveys of the Cordalba State Forest
In Sth QLD we used structured surveys to tell us how our birds are doing within projects including Brolga Lakes, Yandina Wetlands, general wetland surveys, Powerful Owl monitoring, and Texas surveys.
The number of activities also grew in local branches from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast.
Over 15 workshops were run, multiple community displays and events were attended, meetings with local and state stakeholders were attended, education programs were facilitated, another successful ornithological conference was organised as well as a Act for Birds Nature Laws forum to call for stronger national environment laws.
Advocacy and campaigning has continued to protect our birds, and we have worked to support national campaigns and activities such as bird week. The associated media coverage from all of this activity has grown tremendously this year, which in turn has resulted in a huge increase in public engagement related to birds and their conservation.
Image: One of our survey teams: L-R Neil Humphris, Sheena Gilman, Deborah Metters, Christopher Ewing