Latest News

$15,360 to help Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wrens 122166901_10158629521741578_4765912002760180030_o.jpg

A huge thank you to SA Power Networks Employee Foundation who presented $15,360 to help protect Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wrens at Watchalunga Nature Reserve. The funds will help us deliver revegetation work and monitoring at Watchalunga to continue to provide suitable habitat and support research for this endangered species.

Thank you to Executive Officer Vicki Shearer - pictured below with our Philanthropy Coordinator Patrick Mentzel - and everyone who contributes to the Employee Foundation!


Nature Foundation Annual Dinner – Saturday 21 November 2020 

We warmly invite you to join us at the Annual Dinner to be held at the Adelaide Sailing Club in West Beach.  
 
Enjoy spectacular panoramic coastal views from the balcony with canapes served while mingling with other Nature Foundation supporters. Also on offer is a delicious dinner and dessert, live jazz and raffle, with drinks available for purchase from the bar – we would love to see you there!
 
The sailing club offers spacious layout and configuration for tables of 8; places strictly limited - book now to secure your place! 

Image courtesy of Adelaide Sailing Club. 

Revitalising Private Conservation in SA Program Launched!

Project-partners-1.jpgWe're excited to announce the new Revitalising Private Conservation in South Australia program!

Primary producers and conservation landholders will be able to access expertise and resources for practical on-ground conservation work, which will improve the quality of their native vegetation and the financial sustainability of their properties. Good for farming, good for conservation!

Nature Foundation is thrilled to deliver this important initiative in partnership with Conservation SA, Livestock SA, Trees For Life and Nature Conservation Society of South Australia.

Minister for Environment and Water Hon David Speirs MP visited a farm at Macclesfield to launch the $3 million program, which is funded by the Government of South Australia and includes a revamped Heritage Agreements grants program.

Read more about the program and apply for a Heritage Agreement Grant here.

 

Witchelina Member Tour: Flinders Ranges & Outback September 2020

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Join us from 21-25 September 2020 in the Flinders Ranges and Outback for a tour exclusive to Nature Foundation members!

We are excited to offer our inaugural 4WD group tour adventure to our members this year (subject to any COVID restrictions).
 
Join us for a 5-day, 4-night, 4WD outback adventure through the stunning southern and northern Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia to the magnificent Witchelina Nature Reserve.
 
For details see:

  • Witchelina Member Tour brochure
  • Application Form - Please return to this to us by 14th August. If you are successful in securing a spot we will contact you for payment. Please note numbers are limited and some conditions apply.
  • Guest Information to answer all your questions about the trip including where, when, how, who and what!

Nature Foundation Update & Grant Award Ceremony webinar recording 

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Thanks to those who joined us on Monday 27 July 2020 for a webinar event to hear a Nature Foundation update and to celebrate our Grant Award recipients! Four of our fabulous researchers presented on their projects about native fish at our Watchalunga Nature Reserve, Gidgee Skinks at Witchelina, refuges of Crest-tailed Mulgara, and nocturnal basking turtles.

If you missed it, you can view a recording of the webinar on YouTube

Image by Jack Dickson: Roy & Marjory Scholarship recipient Dympna Cullen releasing a Crest-tailed Mulgara 

Vital Work Appeal webinar recording Vital-Work-Webinar-draft-invite_green.png

Thanks to all who joined us live for the Vital Work Appeal webinar!

If you missed it, please click here to view a recording of the presentation in which CEO Hugo Hopton gives a comprehensive overview of the exciting conservation work and projects Nature Foundation is involved in.  The Q&A session at the end with Chair Jan Ferguson OAM and Hugo Hopton is also included.

Special thanks to our guest Vicki Shearer from SA Power Networks Employee Foundation, who have so generously offered to dollar match your donations to our Vital Work Appeal through June 2020, up to $10,000! Thank you for all of your support. 

Visit nature - Hiltaba and Witchelina opening to visitors from 1 July!

Nature Foundation would like to thank all our supporters and visitors for their patience during the closure of our Nature Reserves due to COVID-19 restrictions.
 
STOP PRESS!    Our accommodation facilities and campgrounds at Hiltaba and Witchelina Nature Reserves will be open from Wednesday 1 July.  Walking trails and nature drives will all be open too.
 
We invite your visit!  For bookings, please check with our office for accommodation availability: phone 08 8340 2880 or email [email protected], and complete the online booking form for Hiltaba or Witchelina Nature Reserves. Drop-in campers will also be welcome. 

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Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby Recovery Program 20191104_101948-scaled.jpg

We are happy to share with members and supporters an update on the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby Recovery Program at Hiltaba Nature Reserve. This progress report provides background to the project and reports on the outcomes, results, and innovations arising from the work completed to date.

Our sincere thanks to Wettenhall Environment Trust for their support of this important recovery program to help increase the population of nationally threatened Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies in the Gawler Ranges region.

If you would like to contribute to the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby program please click here



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Wildlife Recovery Grants Program now open!

Landholders, community groups and researchers can now apply for bushfire recovery grants to help re-establish native habitat and support threatened and vulnerable native animals in South Australia.

The Wildlife Recovery Fund Grants program (the Grants program) will support individuals, community groups and other organisations to undertake projects aimed at promoting the medium to long term recovery and increasing resilience of fire impacted habitats, native flora and fauna (particularly threatened species) in South Australia.
 
The Grants program is now open for applicants for a range of projects that assist natural regeneration, pest plant and animal control, and fencing, through to technical activities such as species translocation and monitoring programs. Projects that increase scientific knowledge of habitat and native flora and fauna species recovery and resilience are encouraged.

Applications close 5 pm ACST Friday 12 June 2020. Please click here for guidelines and appliation documents.

Support our Vital Work Appeal 2020

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We have now launched our 2020 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗹 so we can do more for nature. Your generous support will raise untied funds to provide crucial financial support for Nature Foundation's general operations. Without funding for staffing, administrative needs, rates and operational costs, vital conservation work and property maintenance activities on our precious nature reserves cannot take place.

We ask you to consider making a tax-deductible donation to our Vital Work Appeal, if you are in a position to do so. Donate here.

Please spread the word. Nature needs our help now more than ever! Thank you for your support. 

Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

Nature Foundation has been paying close attention to health recommendations regarding COVID-19 and we take seriously the health and wellbeing of our community regarding reducing the spread of this virus. You will have heard the latest medical advice and stricter government policies regarding the Coronavirus.
 
As we have already seen across the world, this situation is changing rapidly and is expected to continue for some time. Like many other organisations and businesses we need to take our role in assisting to control the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community and minimise risk to our staff and volunteers. We will keep our membership and supporters informed and respond to government directions and advice. Please click here to read more about our response. 

Nature Foundation has moved to Prospect!

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Nature Foundation has moved and we are excited to be settling into stunning new premises in Prospect!

Please note our new contact details:
Level 2 Payinthi 128 Prospect Road, Prospect 5082
PO Box 34, Prospect SA 5082
Phone: 08 83402880 Email: [email protected] 

Nature Foundation 2020 Research Grants Round - NOW CLOSED

Supporting science-based research for nature conservation

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The March 2020 Nature Foundation grants round is now open and applications are sought from post-graduate students and other researchers working in the field of nature conservation.

Nature Foundation’s Grants Program funds research focussed on the conservation of South Australia’s biodiversity and habitats, and supports post-graduate university students and researchers in their work and careers.
 
Nature Foundation is an apolitical not-for-profit foundation that invests in conserving, restoring and protecting South Australian landscapes, flora and fauna to ensure their survival. Since 2003 we have awarded university students, universities and other research institutions with 403 grants totalling more than $1.6 million in the field of biological sciences.  Find out more.

Applications close at 9 am ACST on Monday 6 April 2020 and we expect to notify successful applicants in early June 2020.

The Snipe Project - Latham's Snipe Exhibition on 2 March

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Prospect finds its true nature thJM2YDYDZ.jpg

Nature Foundation is moving to Prospect’s energetic main street. The major environmental organisation will lease the brand new top floor tenancy at Payinthi, Council’s new premises on Prospect Road.
 
Hugo Hopton, CEO of Nature Foundation said “The top floor tenancy is wonderfully fit-for-purpose for our organisation as it grows in response to environmental needs right across our state and beyond.  It is currently being fitted out for our occupancy in the next few weeks. We are most excited to be moving into these stunning new premises and looking forward to joining the vibrant and innovative Prospect community. We also look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with City of Prospect.”

Nature Foundation is a South Australian not-for-profit foundation active in South Australia for almost 40 years, and has helped protect over one million hectares of the state so far.  It is focused on engaging people in conservation and protecting South Australian landscapes, flora and fauna to ensure their survival. Nature Foundation’s vision is Inspiring people to connect with and conserve the natural habitat of South Australia for future generations.
 
“City of Prospect is looking forward to working closely with Nature Foundation’s Board. Nature Foundation is a fantastic fit with Local Government as they are a community based organisation working on improving the SA environment. 
 
I understand that they were attracted to Prospect by the excellent vibe on Prospect Road and world class digital connectivity. It is understood that Nature Foundation will join our GigCity Adelaide network and use the system for everything from phones to GIS work,” said City of Prospect Mayor David O’Loughlin.  Please click here to read the full media release. 

Wildlife Recovery Fund

Please donate now to give our wildlife the best chance of recovery.

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Please give generously to help establish a significant fund that will help our wildlife recover from devastating bushfires in South Australia.

While many community groups have mobilised to provide an immediate response to caring for injured wildlife, the Wildlife Recovery Fund will be used to re-establish habitat, particularly for threatened and vulnerable species.

Your donations will go to local landholders, Landcare, and community groups in fire affected regions to urgently undertake native plantings, feral animal and weed control, and fencing – this will give both threatened animal and plant life the best chance of recovery.

Funds will also be directed to restore habitat in fire-devastated national parks – particularly on Kangaroo Island.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia and Nature Foundation SA  – partners for almost 40 years – have again joined forces to establish and manage this fund.

We will work with communities to identify and assess impacts and to prioritise recovery activities.

We’ll make sure sound planning, good science and local advice ensures funds raised are put to use quickly in the most important places and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Please donate now to give our wildlife the best chance of recovery.Please give generously to help establish a significant fund that will help our wildlife recover from devastating bushfires in South Australia.

While many community groups have mobilised to provide an immediate response to caring for injured wildlife, the Wildlife Recovery Fund will be used to re-establish habitat, particularly for threatened and vulnerable species.

Your donations will go to local landholders, Landcare, and community groups in fire affected regions to urgently undertake native plantings, feral animal and weed control, and fencing – this will give both threatened animal and plant life the best chance of recovery.

Funds will also be directed to restore habitat in fire-devastated national parks – particularly on Kangaroo Island.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia and Nature Foundation SA  – partners for almost 40 years – have again joined forces to establish and manage this fund.

We will work with communities to identify and assess impacts and to prioritise recovery activities.

We’ll make sure sound planning, good science and local advice ensures funds raised are put to use quickly in the most important places and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Please donate now to give our wildlife the best chance of recovery.

Stunning Latham's Snipe display coming in 2020

These beautifully decorated Latham's Snipe will form part of a stunning display coming in 2020 to raise awareness of the unique birds that fly 8000 km to visit Milang! Local school children kicked off the Snipe Project with plenty of colour and artistic flair.

Details of the project below.

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Celebrating Latham’s Snipe at Milang

Q: What weighs less than 200 grams, flies more than 8000 kilometres and hangs out at Milang?
A: The Latham’s Snipe!lathams.jpg


These shy birds are so well camouflaged they are rarely seen. They fly from Russia and Japan to summer in parts of south-eastern Australia, including Milang, before starting the long return journey in March.

Nature Foundation and Goolwa to Wellington LAP invite you to learn more about Latham’s Snipe and celebrate their annual visit to Milang through a fun and engaging arts project. Join Nature Foundation and Goolwa to Wellington LAP at the Rotunda in Milang on Thursday, 12 December (2 pm) to hear about Latham’s Snipe and decorate a Snipe cut-out. 

The Snipe Project invites members of the community to celebrate the unique Latham’s Snipe by painting and decorating wooden cut-outs of the bird for an outdoor display at Milang.

Natalie Stalenberg from Nature Foundation commented, ‘Even though Snipe have been visiting Milang for many years, they are so good at hiding that few people have been lucky enough to see them.' Please click here to read more. 

Photo of Darryl, Natalie and Roger at the Milang Men’s Shed with one of the Snipe ready to be decorated!

A taste of Italy ...

Thanks to all who joined us for the Nature Foundation dinner on 23 November at La Vita Ristorante Cafe! We hope you had a great night.

Sincere thanks to our many generous supporters who made the silent auction and wine wall possible, and special thanks to Wines by Geoff Hardy.

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Farming and environment groups welcome $3 million commitment to revitalise conservation on private land in SA013A3522.jpg

It has been a great week for private land conservation! Based on the work commissioned by Nature Foundation, ALCA and Pew Trusts (funded by Pew), and negotiations by many around the impasse over the Landscapes Legislation, Minister Speirs has announced $3m over two years to revitalise the Heritage Agreements Grant program.  

The increased investment has been made in the context of the SA Government’s focus on natural resource management reform, and follows the release of a review of the Heritage Agreement program last month, which found that funding for the program has declined by 99 percent over the past decade.   

The report prepared by Saras Kumar of Conservation Management: A Natural Legacy – Revitalising private land conservation in South Australia for nature, people and thriving rural landscapes can be accessed here.  It was launched at a breakfast event on 9 October 2019 at the ALCA Private Land Conservation conference (PLC19), hosted by Nature Foundation in Adelaide.
 

New 2018 Barbara Hardy McLaren Vale Shiraz


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Brand NEW 2018 vintage! Another premium Wines by Geoff Hardy McLaren Vale Shiraz to celebrate Barbara Hardy's word towards the environment. The beautiful label (perfect for Christmas!) features a Western Pygmy Possum photographed by Jannico Kelk.

For every bottle sold, $3 will be donated to Nature Foundation SA. Only $90 per 6-pack!

We hope you will consider purchasing some to share with others and help raise funds for conserving, restoring and protecting nature in South Australia. 

Please click here for the order form or visit the Wines By Geoff Hardy website to order online. 

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Rainbow Bee-eater spotted at Witchelina!

Our Conservation Programs Manager Alex Nankivell captured this beautiful Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) preening in the morning sun at Witchelina Nature Reserve! These gorgeous birds pass through the reserve on their southerly summer migration.

 

Tiny fish make big splash for National Water Week 

A small fish listed as nationally endangered since 1999 – the Murray Hardyhead (Craterocephalus fluviatilis) – has been found spawning and healthy at a Nature Foundation SA Water For Nature wetland site near Lyrup in the Riverland. Murray-Hardyhead-(1).jpg
 
The EPBC-listed Murray Hardyhead were first detected at the Lyrup site in April this year, where they had not previously been seen for at least five years.
 
Nature Foundation SA works closely with Berri Barmera Landcare, who monitor the salinity of the site daily, to ensure just enough water is added at just the right time, to enable the Murray Hardyhead to successfully breed.
 
Last week the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin conducted another survey and found spawning males and pregnant females of the threatened species.
 
“It is very exciting news leading into National Water Week. The latest fish monitoring at Lyrup demonstrates that salinity levels are perfect; the fish are spawning and healthy,” said Nature Foundation SA’s Water For Nature Manager Natalie Stalenberg.
 
Read more in the full media release attached. 

 

South Australian landholders being short-changed by funding cuts

photo.jpgHundreds of South Australian landholders have been left short-changed by a long-term decline in funding to the state’s flagship program for conservation on private properties, according to a new report released today at the 2019 Private Land Conservation Conference in Adelaide. 

The new report, ‘A Natural Legacy – Revitalising private land conservation in South Australia for nature, people and thriving rural landscapes', examines the Heritage Agreement program, a trailblazing approach to nature conservation launched in South Australia by the Tonkin Liberal Government in 1981.

Report author Saras Kumas, from Conservation Management, said the report showed that funding to the Heritage Agreements program had massively decreased over the past decade.

Voluntary conservation commitments by landholders have a vital role to play in protecting South Australia’s native wildlife and sustaining thriving rural landscapes. Many landholders have committed to conservation by entering into a Heritage Agreement. There are now more than 1,600 Heritage Agreements protecting more than 1.8 million hectares.

A Natural Legacy – Revitalising private land conservation in South Australia for nature, people and thriving rural landscapes evaluates the benefits of the Heritage Agreement Program and highlights opportunities for strengthening the program.

For many years, South Australia had a well-deserved reputation as a leader in private land conservation, but a sharp decline in funding over the past decade has left landholders without much needed support to protect and manage wildlife habitat on their land.

To revitalise the program a partnership approach needs to be taken by:

  • Matching landholders’ commitment to conservation with increased investment
  • Supporting practical cooperation between landholders
  • Enhancing conservation management and monitoring
  • Encouraging integration of conservation and primary production

Read the full report here.
 

 

Egg-sighting news at Hogwash Bend! Parrot-Regent-Katarapko-Photo-courtesy-Helga-Kieskamp.jpg

The shy and vulnerable Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus) has moved into Hogwash Bend near Waikerie for the breeding season and is hopefully ‘getting down to business!’

ature Foundation SA has teamed up with the SA Regent Parrot Recovery Team, Gerard Community Cultural Rangers and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to improve the parrots’ habitat to encourage them to breed.
 
We are delivering a small volume of Commonwealth water for the environment to help save the bird’s favourite nesting trees, the River Red Gum, and to improve the condition of native ground covers that the birds feed upon.
 
The SA Regent Parrot Recovery Team’s Kevin Smith said, “Regent Parrots nesting at Hogwash Bend have gradually declined from 47 nesting pairs in 2010 to just 17 pairs last year. The use of water for the environment to maintain the health of riverine ecosystems is vital if we are to provide the opportunity for this endangered species to breed and survive into the future.”
 
Read the full media release here. 
Photo used with kind permission from Helga Kieskamp. 

Kids on Country set to provide more opportunities for Aboriginal youth

Nature Foundation SA is excited to announce the expansion of our highly successful Kids on Country program to reach more Aboriginal young people in regional areas for pathways to further education and employment.Katie-Iphone-645-cropped.jpg
 
Kids on Country has secured funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Region Fund, Community Investment Stream – Round 3. The grant will enable the program to employ more Aboriginal people, including more paid roles for Traditional Owners in delivering six outback ecology camps in 2020, to be held at Nature Foundation SA’s Witchelina and Hiltaba Nature Reserves in the Arid Lands and Gawler Ranges respectively.
 
The Kids on Country program is strongly underpinned by a desire to build positive working relationships and partnerships with the Aboriginal community, through connecting young people to nature and country. With a strong focus on workplace skills and links to regional employers, young Aboriginal participants gain increased opportunities for employment post-education, to enable them to contribute to their communities and the Far North region generally. 

Read the full media release here. 

New Strategic Plan launched 

Many thanks to all for who attended our Mid-year Member Update last night and helped to celebrate the launch of our new Strategic Plan: Towards 2030 Engaging People in Conservation! It was fantastic to see so many members and supporters on the night.
 
We also thank all of the grant recipients for their fascinating presentations – attendees enjoyed hearing about the exciting nature-conservation related research that is made possible thanks to generous donations from our members and supporters.
 
Nature Foundation SA is so grateful for all of your support in helping us achieve greater outcomes for biodiversity in South Australia.

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Mid-year Member Update - 22 July 2019 

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The function will commence with the launch of our newly developed Strategic Plan: Towards 2030 Engaging People In Conservation. This will be followed by presentations from the 2019 Nature Foundation SA Scholarship successful grantees, and an update from our CEO Hugo Hopton, with supper following the event.

To assist us with catering and administrative tasks, please RSVP to the office on 08 8340 2880 or [email protected] by Monday 15th July 2019.  Please click here for the flyer.

I very much look forward to seeing you there!
Jan Ferguson OAM, President

Watchalunga Nature Reserve Planting Day - 29 June 2019

Join Nature Foundation SA in planting 800 sedges and lignum plants to infill our revegetation area.

You will be helping to improve valuable habitat for the critically endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren!

watchalunga-pic.jpgSaturday 29 June 2019
 
Time: 10 am-1pm (approx.)
 
Place: Watchalunga Nature Reserve, Winery Rd, Finniss SA (4km south of Finniss, entrance gate on eastern side halfway between Gilbert Siding Rd and Barn Hill Rd)
 
RSVP: Please register by 21 June 2019 to Nature Foundation SA:
T: 8340 2880 
E: [email protected]
 
Places limited to 25 people – book now! Click here for the flyer.
Photo thanks to Subbu Conley.

 

Be part of the 2019 ALCA Private Land Conservation Conference!

In 2019, the Australian Land Conservation Alliance brings the 5th Private Land Conservation Conference (PLC19) to Adelaide! 
 
Sponsorship opportunities still available for PLC19!
 
Hosted by Nature Foundation SA, PLC19 is a key opportunity to explore how conservation of privately owned and managed land will be part of the transformational change going on across Australia in response to the profound challenges of our time.

PLC19 is an outstanding business opportunity to promote your brand and mission on a national stage.
 
A variety of sponsor packages are still available here.  Alternatively, get in touch to talk about tailoring a package to suit your business.

ALCA represents many of the most influential organisations working in private land conservation.  Together, ALCA members work with more than 3,000 landholders and have over 50,000 supporters. We manage more than 280 million hectares of land and our combined annual turnover exceeds $200 million.

To discuss partnership possibilities, please contact Patrick Mentzel on 08 8340 2880 or 0425 410 561.





























 

Nationally endangered fish rediscovered in the Riverland 

A small fish listed as nationally endangered since 1999 – the Murray Hardyhead (Craterocephalus fluviatilis) – has been discovered at a wetland near Lyrup in the Riverland for the first time in at least five years.murray-hardyhead.jpg

Dr Nick Whiterod, from Aquasave-Nature Glenelg Trust who conducted the fish survey at the site, commented “This is a very important discovery, given that the endangered Murray Hardyhead is under considerable threat and there only are a limited number of known populations of these fish in the Riverland.”

In partnership with the Central Irrigation Trust, Nature Foundation SA’s Water for Nature program delivered Commonwealth water for the environment to the site three times between 2015 and 2018.  
“Almost one thousand fish were sampled with both juveniles and adults observed, indicating recent recruitment and some persistence at the site. Although the species is quite salt tolerant, this particular wetland is extremely saline, so I am confident that environmental watering has acted to maintain the population by ensuring suitable habitat and salinity concentrations over the summer months,” Dr Whiterod said.

The Murray Hardyhead is a small freshwater fish, up to 9 cm long, that has once widespread across the Lower Murray River and Lower Lakes but it currently survives in a handful of locations.

Please click here to read the full media release. 

 

Join us for the national ALCA Private Land Conservation Conference (PLC19) in Adelaide!


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Registrations opening soon. If you would like to be added to the conference mailing list for updates please click here or email [email protected] 

Nature Foundation SA is very excited to be hosting this national conference, to be held in Adelaide for the first time.

The fifth national Private Land Conservation Conference 2019 (PLC19) builds on the growing momentum for private land conservation across Australia, so evident from the last four conferences.  PLC19 asks presenters and delegates alike the question of how will we Rise to the Challenge – smarter, faster, bigger, together – and make a significant, positive and enduring difference to nature?  This urgent and compelling question is posed to the private land conservation sector, to industry and business, governments, future generations, society, education and research.

We are currently finalising an exciting and thought-provoking program addressing the 2019 theme 'Rising to the Challenge'. Presentations will focus on work that is transforming our sector and delegates will leave energised and informed to work towards solving conservation’s most pressing problems.

 

Applications for the Nature Foundation SA Grants Program are now open!Diamond-Firetail.jpg

Honours, Masters and PhD students are invited to apply for grants to deliver nature conservation focussed research projects. Research that informs the management of our six nature reserves, our conservation programs and our Water For Nature program is strongly encouraged.

Grants are offered in the following categories:
- Grand Start Grants
- Nature Foundation Scientific Expedition Foundation RL & GK Willing Grant kindly supported through the Scientific Expedition Group 
- Roy and Marjory Edwards Scholarship.

Thanks to our generous donors and supporters, we have awarded 384 grants in the field of biological sciences to a value of $1.5 million since 2003.

Full details including Guidelines and an Application Form can be found here. Applications close 5 pm ACST, Friday 12 April 2019.

Pictured: PhD grant recipient Grace Hodder from the University of Adelaide holding a diamond firetail captured in a mist-net at Rockleigh. Grace investigated the ecology of the diamond firetail in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Photo thanks to Casey O’Brien

Major appeal launched for River MurrayNEW-Nature-Matters-Cover-credit-Anne-Jensen-(1).jpg

Nature Foundation SA has launched a major $200,000 public appeal to enable us to continue our work helping to restore and maintain the health of the River Murray and its surrounds through environmental watering.
 
President of Nature Foundation SA Jan Ferguson OAM said the appeal is a response to the unprecedented threats to the river from drought, population growth, climate change and river regulation.
 
“These factors have combined in a way we’ve never seen before to threaten the habitats – and the very existence – of many bird, animal and plant species,” Ms Ferguson said.
 
“This ‘Water For Nature’ appeal is a concerted effort to arrest the deterioration of dozens of wetland and floodplain habitats.  It builds on many years of success we have achieved through our environmental watering and conservation programs, which have seen great progress in restoring habitats for vulnerable species.
 
“For example, the Southern Bell Frog has been recorded for the first time since 2010 at a Water For Nature site near Paringa. Another threatened species, the Freckled Duck, has returned to its former habitats near Nildottie and Renmark following environmental watering at those sites.
 
“Our Water For Nature program has also used Commonwealth water for the environment to help save native River Red Gum and Black Box woodlands and is restoring wetlands near Milang that host Latham’s Snipes. These birds fly tens of thousands of kilometres from Korea to access the freshwater wetlands and surrounding vegetation."

Read the full media release here. 

Photo by Dr Anne Jensen, Water For Nature ecologist 

Witchelina Grand Working Bee, 1-6 May 2019

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You are warmly invited to join us for the Witchelina Grand Working Bee, to be held over four days from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th May 2019 with Wednesday and Monday allocated as travelling days. 

Witchelina Nature Reserve is located in the northern Flinders Ranges 700 km north of Adelaide. Our Grand Working Bees bring together enthusiastic volunteers aged from teens to people in their 80s and from all walks of life, and unite everyone with a real passion for nature, conservation and appreciation of the spectacular South Australian outback. This is a great opportunity to meet like-minded members and experience the majestic Witchelina.

Nature Foundation SA will provide a ‘tag along’ tour of the nature reserve and breakfast, lunch and dinner each day for our willing and much appreciated worker beez, with a small $100 p.p. charge to help cover costs. 

It’s BYO camping facilities or you can nominate for a bed in the Shearing Quarters – limited space so get in first!

We would love to see you there! Registrations now open - for catering purposes please RSVP by no later than 15 April. 

 

Threatened species found as locals bring SA River Murray wetlands back to life

In a very dry season, local landholders, irrigators and community groups are taking action along the River Murray to save dozens of thirsty wetlands – and threatened species are enjoying the results!Southern-Bell-Frog-Callie-Nickolai.JPG
 
Private landholders, on the Pike River floodplain near Paringa, have recorded for the first time the Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis), otherwise known as the Growling Grass Frog. The bright green and gold frog is listed as vulnerable in South Australia and has not been heard on the property since it was purchased in 2010.
 
The Southern Bell Frog was once widespread across south-eastern Australia. Over the last 30 years populations have declined significantly. Nature Foundation SA CEO Hugo Hopton said, “Changes to the frequency and timing of natural floods are among the key threats to the Southern Bell Frog. Over the past three years, our Water For Nature program has replicated, as best we can, the natural wetland wetting and drying cycle. The recording of the Southern Bell Frog at this site is a very exciting development that tells us the plant and animal communities in and around this wetland and floodplain are being brought back to health.”

Please click here to read the full media release. Photo of Southern Bell Frog courtesy of Callie Nickolai.
 

Committed conservationist Elizabeth Law-Smith honoured with Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) 

Elizabeth-Law-Smith.JPGElizabeth Law-Smith has been recognised in the Australia Day Honours List with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (General Division). The award was granted in recognition of Mrs Law-Smith's nature restoration vision and donation of land to the Para Woodlands Nature Reserve, a woodland area 50km north east of Adelaide on the edge of the city's rapidly expanding northern suburbs.
 
A long-time resident of South Australia, Mrs Law-Smith donated the family property she lived on with her late husband, David Law-Smith, in 2003. The property, known as Yaringa, is situated just outside Gawler and had been in David Law-Smith's family for more than 80 years, run as a successful farm for grazing and cropping.
 
Click here to read the full media release. 


 

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New Stratco carport at Hiltaba Homestead


Nature Foundation SA’s work vehicles have a new home thanks to rotational Reserve Manager, Fred van der Heiden, who helped secure a significantly reduced rate for materials from Stratco to build a 9m x 6m carport at Hiltaba Nature Reserve. The heat at Hiltaba during six months of the year means our work vehicles often become too hot to drive when out in the burning sun. Fred van der Heiden, along with a number of volunteers, built the carport to provide shade to keep vehicles cool and this is now proudly in operation.
Thank you to Stratco and Fred van der Heiden.  Stratco-How-To-HORIZ.JPG

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The results of the first dedicated fish survey of our Watchalunga Nature Reserve are in!

  • 517 fish across 13 species (9 native and 4 non-native species) were recorded at 8 sites on Watchalunga
  • Freshwater generalists including Dwarf Flathead Gudgeon and Flathead Gudgeon dominated the catch
  • Diadromous species (that move between freshwater and the ocean) such as Congolli and Common Galaxias were recorded in low numbers

The results show that Watchalunga, located on the lower Finniss River, supports a relatively diverse fish community. This survey will be used to inform future conservation actions to protect and restore native fish populations in this important wetland.
 
Thanks to Aquasave – Nature Glenelg Trust for conducting the survey!

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An unlikely alliance is working together to bring Cadell wetlands to life

The wetlands at Cadell will soon be teeming with bird-life thanks to a project that has brought together an unlikely alliance of irrigators, community, two environmental groups and government.
Nature Foundation SA’s Chief Executive Officer Hugo Hopton said “It is a wonderful story – we often see these groups in conflict but at Cadell we are all working together to help a dry and struggling wetland.”

“Because of the way the river is managed, the lagoon is almost permanently dry when normally it would have received regular natural floods. The last time it was wet was following the high river in December 2016. This project will provide an important drought refuge for waterbirds, providing them with food, roosting and nesting habitat. There will also be benefits for the fringing vegetation.”

“The wetland will take some time to be fully restored, but by pumping water into it this year we can give nature a chance to recover and build its resilience ahead of future dry years.”
Read the full media release here
 

 

Nature Foundation SA Kids on Country program a finalist in 2018 Community Achievement Awards 

Nature Foundation SA's Kids on Country Program was delighted to be presented as a Finalist in the prestigious TAFE SA Connecting Communities Award, by Alex Reid, Interim Chief Executive, TAFE SA at the 2018 South Australian Community Achievement Awards Presentation Gala held at the Hilton Adelaide on Friday 2nd November. It was a fantastic event with 500 guests in attendance at The Grand Ballroom, Hilton Adelaide, celebrating the achievements and community contributions of South Australians. Pictured below are Katie Perry (Youth Programs Coordinator) holding the certificate, Warren Milera (Facilitator) and Bev Patterson (Traditional Owner) with Alex Reid.

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Time to share a little story about the adventures of a Freckled Duck ...

In early 2016, Nature Foundation SA pumped some Commonwealth environmental water into a lagoon at Greenways Landing in SA. We worked with the Eastern Hills & Murray Plains Catchment Group Inc, Nildottie Progress & Soldiers Memorial Hall Association INC and the local landholders. In April of that year our volunteer Ron Kerlertas spotted one little Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa) amongst the other birdlife enjoying the lagoon. The Freckled Duck is vulnerable in SA and so it was very exciting. We didn’t have any reports of the Freckled Duck in April 2018, when we again put some water into the lagoon to 'prime' it for spring. However, last month following our spring watering our Freckled Duck brought his mates back with him and we now have two pairs of freckled ducks enjoying the wetland! They appear to be sticking around - guess the word is getting out.
A big thanks to Ron as well as our delivery partners Goolwa Tourism 5214 and Berri Barmera Landcare 

Ron is also a great citizen scientist and has been using FrogSpotter to monitor the frogs - recording numerous species including: Common Froglet (Crinia signifera), Eastern Banjo Frog, Pobblebonk, Bull Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii), Spotted Marsh Frog, Spotted Grass Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) and the Peron’s Tree Frog (Litoria peronii).

If you would like to learn more about environmental watering and get involved - join the My Healthy River Toolkit page or contact Nature Foundation SA. 

Photo of first Freckled Duck below left, and four Freckled Ducks below right courtesy of Ron Kerlertas.

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Fish surveys at Watchalunga

Aquatic ecologists from Aquasave – Nature Glenelg Trust have undertaken fish surveys at Watchalunga Nature Reserve to improve our understanding of the reserve’s fish species and recommend ways we can protect Watchalunga’s native fish into the future.
 
Watchalunga, with its shallow wetland areas and deeper channels, provides important habitat for freshwater fishes, as well as diadromous species that move between freshwater and the ocean.
 
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Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren surveys now underway 

Surveys for the nationally endangered Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren are underway at Watchalunga Nature Reserve, supported by a Nature Foundation SA research project grant. MLRSEW_F-(1).JPG

Southern Emu-wrens rely on Watchalunga Nature Reserve as core habitat. Researchers from the The University of Adelaide are investigating the types of high quality habitat within Watchalunga that allow the birds to breed and raise fledglings successfully. Breeding habitat suitability maps will be developed and this research will help us to identify ways to protect these endangered birds into the future.

The project is seeking volunteers to assist with Emu-wren surveys at Watchalunga until December 2018 - see the Southern emu-wren project for details https://dguevara53.wixsite.com/southern-emu-wren

 

Update from 'The Eagle Team'  IMG_6763.jpg

Six Nature Foundation SA donors joined ecologists and ornithologists to observe Raptors and to map and monitor nests across the diverse landscapes of Witchelina Nature Reserve. 
 
Eight raptor species were recorded in a range of habitats. Sightings included 78 Wedge-tailed Eagles, the majority of breeding age and in many cases in pairs, suggesting a resident breeding population. Despite the very dry conditions being poor for raptor breeding, the team was lucky enough to find an almost week-old fluffy, white Wedge-tailed Eagle chick in one of the nests.
 
This trip is only the start of our study into Witchelina’s captivating raptors and was made possible by your donations to our 2018 Raptor Appeal.

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Waikerie silos artists announced!

Two prominent artists have been named to undertake Waikerie’s $150,000 silo mural painting project, which will reflect the theme “Healthy River, Healthy Community”.gdmugshotbb1.jpg

They are Garry Duncan (pictured right), a world-renowned professional artist who has spent many decades living and painting in South Australia’s Riverland area; and Jimmy Dvate (pictured below), a Melbourne-based artist and graphic designer whose position in the street art scene is well established and admired on walls, canvas and in magazines both locally and internationally.
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Silo art at Coonalpyn, Kimba and Tumby Bay in SA have generated tourism booms in those towns and it is anticipated that the Waikerie silo art will have a similar effect; the mural will also be unique in that the entire silos will be painted, giving different perspectives from the river and town sides.

Local community artist Liz Frankel has worked with project partners Nature Foundation SA, the SA Government, Viterra and others in securing the financing and managing the project. Wills & Co Mitre 10 in Waikerie and Taubmans Paints are also supporting the project.

Click here for the full media release. 

Understanding the role of raptors in ecosystem recovery 

The response to our recent Raptor appeal “The Role of Raptors in Ecosystem Recovery” was fantastic and has produced a firm foundation from which to begin understanding how raptors at Witchelina Nature Reserve are responding to a regenerating ecosystem. The first field trip to kick off the project commences on 24 September 2018. Black-breasted-buzzards,-Witchelina-Nature-Reserve-(photo-Phil-Cole)-(1).jpg

A recent reconnoiter to Witchelina Nature Reserve provided an opportunity to undertake a short one-day driving survey where 25 wedge-tailed eagles were sighted and three brown falcons. This equates to roughly 22 eagles/100 km and three brown falcons/100 km. There is lots more work to be done to get a full picture of the Witchelina population!

We would also like to congratulate the top six donors! Through their very generous support they won a spot on the first field trip to be honorary field assistants. In addition to raptor surveys, participants will enjoy spending time touring the property, taking in the great views, regenerating vegetation, and hopefully encountering some fantastic wildlife.

Raptor expert Ian Falkenberg is leading the trip. Watch this space for more details! 
Photo of Black-breasted Buzzards at Witchelina Nature Reserve by Phil Cole

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The Waikerie Silo Art Mural project is excited to release its Artist Expression of Interest document. We are looking for an artist/s to deliver a stunning mural on the Viterra silos to attract lots of visitors to Waikerie, beautify the silos, and promote the need for a healthy river.

If you think you’ve got what it takes please read the EOI and get your submission in by Friday 24th August.

This project is funded through Fund My Neighbourhood and the Government of South Australia.

  

Cleland Walking Trail Launch, at Hiltaba Nature Reserve

Nature Foundation SA warmly invites you to attend: DSC04445.jpg
CELEBRATIONS OF THE FOUNDERS’ WALKING TRAILS AT HILTABA NATURE RESERVE
Friday 24 August to Monday 27 August 2018
and in particular to

The launch of the David Cleland Walking Trail on Sunday 26th August at 11.00 am
The weekend will include opportunities to walk on other Hiltaba Founders Walking Trails and see the work of Nature Foundation SA in this distinctive landscape.

Please click here for the event flyer.
Please click here for the event booking form.

 

Kids on Country program gaining national coverage 

Katie-Iphone-538.JPGTo involve more people and local communities in nature conservation, it is important that we share stories that resonate with the wider community. 
 
Our wonderful Kids on Country program is one such example of a story that ignites the interest and imagination of many.  The Nature Foundation SA team worked with ABC Eyre Peninsula to cover the camp program held at Hiltaba Nature Reserve in May.  Journalist Samantha Jonscher spent two days and one night with the KoC crew, filming activities and interviewing traditional owners, staff and students.
 
The resulting ABC online article is already generating further interest in our Kids on Country program, with a follow-up interview requested by an national Indigenous radio station. Television coverage on ABC news has also been aired and will be featured on the children’s news program, Behind the News, soon. 

My Healthy River Toolkit now available! 

MHRT-launch.jpgWe were excited to officially launch the My Healthy River Toolkit at the Riverland Bioblitz on Saturday 19 May!

The Toolkit provides information to interested wetland owners, community people, and organisations about what environmental watering is and how you can help to improve the health of our river. The Toolkit includes six fact sheets with accompanying videos, and is an initiative of Nature Foundation SA’s Water For Nature program. 

Access the My Healthy River Tookit here.
 

My Healthy River Toolkit on location!

30705551_10156163441740275_8374015943101120512_o.jpgThe My Healthy River Toolkit has been out filming for a series of videos - watch this space!

Thanks to Seed Consulting Services and Charlie Phillpot Photography for help with developing the videos.

The Toolkit is being developed with funding from the SA Government via the 
National Landcare Program. It aims to help people along the river restore wetlands and floodplains to ensure the river is healthy for everyone.

 

Waikerie Silos Art Mural project leaps to life 

Waikerie-silos-2.jpgNature Foundation SA is excited to announce that the Waikerie silos are one step closer to becoming a beautiful reflection of our River Murray, after signing a grant with the South Australian government.
 
The Waikerie community has shown strong support for the concept of the project by voting for the Silos Art Mural and the project is now officially to be funded by a grant through Fund My Neighbourhood and the Government of South Australia.
 
Local woman, Liz Frankel, who initially nominated the silo art mural project last year, and partnered with Nature Foundation SA as sponsors of the project, said that it is a “huge win for our community and an exciting opportunity”.
 
The project aims to unite the local community, instill a sense of civic pride and attract both interstate and international tourists to the town, in addition to educating people about riverine health.
 
Nature Foundation SA has now established a Waikerie Silo Art Mural Working Group (WSAMWG) to help advise and guide the Silo Art Mural project to fruition. Read more here.

Kids on Country – Witchelina camp 19-23 March 2018

“This is the best day of my life, I love this!”
 – Quarney Chester over the UHF Radio on the property tour

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Sixteen high school students from Carlton Area School, Port Augusta and Leigh Creek Area School spent the week immersed in conservation and cultural activities, life skills and building on their talents to increase the capacity for wellbeing, and their communities’ long-term success and development. 

We look forward to the second Kids on Country camp being held at Hiltaba Nature Reserve from 21 May 2018. Watch this space for updates!

The camps were made possible with the generous support of Perpetual’s Impact Philanthropy Program. 
 

Nature Foundation SA is a Partner of Carbon Neutral Adelaide 

We are proud to announce our new partnership with Carbon Neutral Adelaide. As a Partner, Nature Foundation SA has been recognised for our commitment and contribution to reducing emissions, helping to make the City of Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city. partner-gradient.jpg
 
The Carbon Neutral Adelaide Partner Program celebrates and empowers business and community organisations to rapidly reduce carbon emissions, provide leadership and encourage others to take action.
 
As the world’s first carbon neutral city, the City of Adelaide will be a showcase for embracing the economic, social and environmental opportunities of responding to climate change, including the uptake of renewable energy and clean, smart technologies.
 
Carbon Neutral Adelaide will provide a platform to attract new investment to the City and the State and create opportunities for local business, innovation and new industries. Carbon Neutral Adelaide will strengthen Adelaide’s reputation as a smart, green, liveable and creative city.
 
To find out more information about the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Partner Program and how you can play your part visit www.carbonneutraladelaide.com.au

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Join the Eagle Team!

“Birds of prey, whose powers of flight and vision, imposing manner and impressive predatory capabilities, have long captured the imagination of humans. The awesome sight of a Wedge-tailed Eagle in flight at close range will leave a lasting impression and may lead to a lifelong fascination.”
       From Stephen Debus [raptor researcher], Birds of Prey of Australia: a field guide

There are few wildlife experiences that match looking deep into the eye of a wild eagle … cropped-eagle-2-(1).jpg
 
Nature Foundation SA is delighted to launch an appeal for donations to create a program to better understand the role of wedge-tailed eagles and other raptors in the recovering ecosystems of outback Australia.
 
At 421,900 hectares Witchelina Nature Reserve in the northern Flinders is the largest of Nature Foundation SA’s nature reserves, and a hidden gem showcasing an impressive variety of South Australia’s magnificent biodiversity.  With its ecosystem recovering after more than 100 years of intensive grazing, it is suspected there are now hundreds of eagles and other raptors on the reserve.
 
Witchelina provides a unique opportunity to understand and examine the lives of our “wedgies” and other iconic raptors such as black-breasted buzzards, whistling kites, swamp harriers and nankeen kestrels as they thrive. How big are their territories? What do they eat?  What is their role as an apex predator, scavenger, and their interaction with other bird species?
 
Nature Foundation SA is seeking to partner with scientists, university students, ecologists, ornithologists and citizen scientists to begin to unravel the mysteries of these majestic birds.
 
The not-for-profit environmental organisation is also offering six places on the “The Eagle Team” to the six highest donors – a unique opportunity to work closely with ecologists and ornithologists to track and observe eagles up close while learning about their behaviour and ecology. 
 
Wedge-tailed eagles are arguably our most famous bird. Loved, hated, admired, feared, majestic, terrifying, powerful and haughty, the eagle holds us spellbound. It is impossible to not be awe-struck by the bird, whether it is perched on a nest or soaring high in the sky.

Birds SA President John Gitsham states that “the Wedge-tailed Eagle is Australia’s most majestic raptor, bringing delight to all birders who see them soaring, often in pairs in the thermals, or being harassed by a trail of magpies or ravens. The “Wedgie” also plays an important ecological role in feral pest control of rabbits and cleaning up other dead animals in the landscape”.

Find out more here.
 

Glossy Black-cockatoo recovery program saved by sponsorship

The future of an endangered bird on Kangaroo Island is now more secure after much-needed sponsorship was found for the Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program.
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A $72,500 sponsorship boost from Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers (KIPT) has provided a last-minute lifeline for the recovery program to continue after the timber company committed to support the program for the 2017-18 financial year.

The funding, through the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board (KI NRM Board), will allow the program’s recovery team to continue to protect the endangered bird, its breeding places and feeding habitat. Click here to read the full media release. Find out more about the Glossy Black-cockatoo recovery program, for which Nature Foundation SA has partnered with Natural Resources Kangaroo Island here.  

Photo courtesy of Ray Tipper

Grasswrens: Australian Outback Identities   grsasswrens-book-cover.jpg

Nature Foundation SA is delighted to support a brilliant new book that shines a light on an outback enigma: Grasswrens: Australian Outback Identities, launched on 20 September. 

After more than a decade of chasing the highly elusive grasswren, authors Andrew Black and Peter Gower have put together a comprehensive account of the lives and habits of these mysterious little birds.

Available for only $45 - click here for the order form.