October meeting

Wed 11 October 2023 07:30pm

Lori Gould - River Restoration and Management – Rivers of Carbon
Julia Penndorf - Cockatooing around – the social lives of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in our cities

The October meeting will be a normal face-to-face one held at our usual venue. Attendees should heed social distancing and good hygiene practice etc, and use their common sense and stay home if they have COVID symptoms. Mask wearing is recommended.

The first speaker will be Lori Gould, Program Manager at the ARRC on “River Restoration and Management – Rivers of Carbon”.

Our rivers are facing many issues that cause degradation of biodiversity and water quality, which affects everyone. Issues include erosion, weed invasion, unfettered livestock access, loss of biodiversity – in particular, important riparian vegetation, and barriers to fish movement. There are solutions though. One example of a program that addresses these issues is the Rivers of Carbon (ROC) project. This is on the on-ground program of the Australian River Restoration Centre (ARRC) and operates in an area covering Cooma to Sydney, Yass, Crookwell, and Boorowa.

Since 2012, the RoC team has worked with 161 landholders, planted 112,434 trees, fenced 158 kilometres of waterways and restored 1331 hectares of riparian land in south east NSW. The model helps landholders protect their water resources, reduce soil loss, improve biodiversity and ecosystem functions (such as natural pest control) and better manage stock in adjacent paddocks by providing shelter and clean water by accessing incentives for fencing, stock water, stock crossings, small-scale erosion control, revegetation and woody weeds. The program focuses on working with farmers personally while achieving regenerative agriculture outcomes. This results in clean water, better stock management and importantly, improvement in biodiversity and habitat for birds and other animals.

The main speaker will be Julia Penndorf, a postdoctoral fellow at the ANU, on “Cockatooing around – the social lives of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in our cities.”

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are large, charismatic, rockers ever present in our urban environments – but how much do we really know about their social lives? The Cognitive Ecology Group at the Research School of Biology, ANU, focuses on the social and cognitive ecology of urban Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. As part of their research, in 2023 they have temporarily marked over 900 cockatoos across 8 roosts in the inner North of Canberra, combining these observational approaches with active GPS tracking of over 100 individuals. Julia has been studying their social associations and wider movements and will present some of her findings from both her past research on Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in Sydney, as well as preliminary findings about the social landscape of these birds in Canberra.

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