August field trip – this SUNDAY 10th AUGUST: One of the lowest tides of the year occurs this Sunday. Join marine biologist, Jackie Wolstenholme, to explore Geoffrey Bay as the receding tide uncovers hidden treasures.  No-one needs to leap out of bed early for this excursion – just be at the SeaLink terminal in time to catch the 11.30am ferry.July field trip to Rowes Bay/Jezzine: Yes, it was our coldest morning of the year but 18 hardy members and friends (including two children) turned up at Rowes Bay for our July trip. Malcolm and Julia provided some great photos and the trip report will appear on the blog as soon as possible – it has been a very busy couple of weeks. 

Managing the Reef: A senate select committee recently held hearings in Brisbane, Mackay and Townsville on the subject of Great Barrier Reef management. Witnesses appearing at the hearings presented a summary of their evidence and then answered questions from the Committee’s senators, or provided further information as requested. From the Townsville hearings I would particularly recommend the evidence given by Wendy Tubman and Jeremy Tager (NQCC), Prof Terry Hughes and Jon Brodie (JCU), Margaret Moorhouse (ASH) and Geoffrey McPherson, an acoustics engineer from JCU. Sue Arnold from Animals Australia and Colin Mackenzie from the Association of Marine Tourism Operators also gave passionate and well-argued presentations. Transcripts from each of the three hearings are now available. Click here and then select which transcript you’d like to read. (Sorry this link no longer available)

Flying-fox update:  The Little Red flying-foxes which recently congregated in Dan Gleeson Gardens seem to have left the park, many of them moving across to join the Black flying-foxes (and a large colony of white ibis) in the Palmetum. It is thought unlikely that they will stay there long and once their young ones are able to fly independently, they will probably move on. Unfortunately the media has made this colony a lead story over the past few weeks, sometimes with the kind of headlines likely to increase community anxiety or hostility towards these animals. One columnist even wrote an extraordinary opinion piece advocating culling (ie killing).While people might bewail the defoliation or other damage to trees which a large colony can cause in the short term, they should also be considering the massive and permanent damage which we humans have done to the habitat not only of flying-foxes but a whole range of native wildlife. Without such human damage the flying-foxes would have no need to seek out small corners of our city parks which cannot fully sustain them. Incidentally, at the time of writing there is little or no bat damage visible in the Palmetum. We do need to encourage the Council to stick to its current humane and common-sense policy. If you live in the Kirwan or Annandale areas why not email, phone or write to your local Councillor to let them know you are not worried by the presence of flying-foxes, that you understand their ecological importance and that you do not want the Council to attempt dispersals or other aggressive action against them.
Uranium at Ben Lomond: Were you here in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the first activity began at the Ben Lomond uranium deposit site? Are you concerned that more than three decades later there is a risk that the mine might be re-opened? If you would like to know more about uranium mining – processes, threats and risks – please see the post already published on our blog.


Get well wishes for Margaret: Society patron, indomitable conservationist and dear friend to many, Margaret Thorsborne, spent a week in Ingham hospital last month recovering from a lung infection. She received excellent care, many visitors, a window-full of flowers and a deluge of get well wishes and is now home again recovering her appetite and strength. No need to restore her appetite for news, her interest in events near and far or her concern for others, since those things never left her. We wish her the very best for a full recovery.


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