We were very lucky to be joined by Dr Daniella Teixeira, an incredible passionate and dedicated conservation scientist featured in Breaking Boundaries: The Science of our Planet, and the talented wildlife filmmaker Beau Eastman, whose footage of the Glossy Black Cockatoo was used in the documentary.
Birds are everywhere! There are many colourful species, yet their diversity is manageable with usually no more than 200 species potentially present at any one location at any one time, and often far fewer in most places. Many birds are also rather approachable and some are easy to identify.
All this can lull us into a false sense of security. Compared to the nightmarishly diverse plants or insects, identifying birds seems tractable for the mere mortal. Everyone knows a kookaburra. It can’t be that hard, can it?
Well we certainly learnt how hard it can be, when you're trying to describe the difference between the Yellow Thornbill, the Yellow-rumped Thornbill, the Buff-rumped Thornbill, and the Striated Thornbill.
Professor Fuller took us through the lingo of each part of a bird and how this relates to their naming and differential features. We also learnt the key features of eBird and how to utilise these features to best equip yourself for a successful morning out birding.
We were then joined by Professor Possingham to practice putting our new bird ID skills to the test bright and early at Gold Creek Reservoir.
After the excitement of finding a platypus, we refocused on our birding goals and quickly developed some impressive eBird lists, sighting the impressive Forest Kingfisher, the threatened Rufous Fantail, and the too-cute-to-be-real Rose Robin.
Huge thank you for members who came out this morning to help with SCB UQ restoration bird surveys!
We had very enthusiastic members collecting data and learning best practice bird surveying techniques and entering data in eBird. If you have this free app, you can have a look at the species that have been recorded along those transects for the last few years! Just look up SCB transects at UQ.
One of the key aspects of bird surveying is to repeat the survey at different times and in different seasons, so if you missed out today, we will have plenty more opportunities during the year! As well as completely the last couple of transects for this round of surveys. And if birds aren’t your thing, we will also be doing some plant and butterfly surveys.
How might we move from Hope to Action?
Dr Jane Goodall DBE has inspired generations of conservationists and enriched humankind’s understanding of animals, people and our shared environment. Today, there are Jane Goodall Institutes in 35 countries and Roots & Shoots (R&S) education programs in 100+ countries around the world to support her vision and legacy. In 2016, the Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA) launched its R&S Australia National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) to provide an opportunity for young Australians to pave the way for the next generation of conservationists.
Join Dr Jane Goodall and the R&S Australia NYLC for an inspiring evening during the last week of Dr Goodall’s 2017 Tour of Australia. The evening will focus on the role that young Australians, and those who facilitate their academic development, can play towards a sustainable future. It will include presentations from the NYLC, a lecture from Dr Goodall, and a Q&A Session facilitated by JGIA Chair, Paul Smith.
The UQ event will also feature a guest panel highlighting the primate conservation research currently being undertaken at UQ.
Limited tickets available http://janegoodall.nationbuilder.com/jane-tour-uq
Working in partnership, the SCB UQ Chapter and UQ Properties and Facilities Management-Sustainability have made a roaring success of the Riverbank Restoration Project. Not only is the project bringing back habitat and wildlife alongside the Brisbane River, it has now been awarded an Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACT) Community Engagement Green Gown Award!
Here is why we won the community engagement award:
By partnering with the university community, the State Government, and local NRM groups to plant around 12,000 native seedlings at UQ’s St Lucia campus, one of Brisbane’s busiest urban spaces, this project has restored habitat for threatened species (particularly birds) by creating wildlife corridors that offer food and shelter. It has also removed hundreds of kilograms of plastic waste from mangrove areas of the Brisbane river. The project is not only a useful case study for improving biodiversity in urban areas, but also represents a valuable community engagement opportunity for UQ: two of the three tree-planting stages were carried out by staff and student volunteers, and the restored riverbank presents UQ students and researchers with ongoing scope for ecology and environmental management learning, discovery and engagement.
Congratulations all and thank you to those who have made the project such a success, especially Nancy Auerbach, Leonie Seabrook, and Jeremy Simmonds.
What a race!
Time has been fairly kind to Matt who streaked home in 5 mins 49 sec — only 13 seconds slower than his high school best time! Duan has aged less well adding over a minute to his record time, but still managing a respectable 6 mins 17 sec!
Hernan Caceres Escobar was the winning punter just four seconds off the actual winning time, and will no doubt enjoy making Duan’s wallet lighter next week at Roof Top Drinks. Hernan also receives a years membership of SCB UQ Chapter. Yeah!
Ali Chauvenet was a very close second place getter, just five seconds off and received another SCB mug for her collection (yes, they are collectors items). Condolences to Martin who was bang on the winning time, but backed the wrong horse.
Big thanks to both Matt and Duan and to the punters and spectators, we raised just shy of $200.
There is a race on for conservation! And you can help without even having to lace up a pair of running shoes! (phew!) and best of all you can win free booze!
This Friday (11 November 4 pm) two SCB Chapter Conservation Scientists in Action Duan Biggs and Matt Holden will duel it out on the UQ track and you can bet on the outcome in support of our SCB UQ/Brisbane Chapter!
1,600 m — 4 laps of the UQ track (~1 mile).
· World record for this distance is 3 min 43.13 seconds
· USA Military considers any man who runs slower than 8 min unfit for combat
Duan Biggs (SA): 179cm, 80 kg, nickname: Nought, fastest time in high school 5:14; somewhat controversial social scientist. Is his running as fast as his talking?
Matthew Holden (USA): 166cm, 56kg, nickname: Gollum, fastest time in high school 4:46; mathemagician, plagued by injury for several years. Has he returned to peak form?
Who will win? Place your Picks Now! Here is what you do:
1. Pick your winner and guess their time.
2. Choose your preferred method of payment (Bank transfer, Paypal or direct payment to Matt in 523 Goddard
3. Do these things BEFORE 1 pm Friday 11 November
4. Turn up trackside to watch Matt and Duan duel it out
** you can have as many guesses as you like, each guess = $5.
What is in it for me?
Whoever picks the winning runner AND is closest to the winning time, will receive free drinks at the Biological Sciences Friday Rooftop drinks on the evening of Friday 18th November (rain checks possible) paid for by the last place runner. Take advantage of the new top shelf of fancier/pricier drinks if you win. AND annual membership of the SCB UQ Chapter!
The second place better will receive a mystery piece of SCB merchandise.
What is in it for SCB UQ/Chapter?
All money raised will go directly to the SCB UQ/Brisbane Chapter and will help fund future conservation related events, such as restoration projects, environmental movie nights, BBQs, and advocating for conservation science.
You may be aware that the Society for Conservation Biology UQ/Brisbane chapter has been involved in some revegetation along the river bank on campus. The grant also funded us to plant some Richmond Birdwing Butterfly vines to provide habitat for this species (pictured). So you have a chance to help two threatened species in one go!
We are holding a planting bee this coming Tuesday, 8 November from 8 – 9.30 am to plant 30 vines in the Alumni Gardens (see attached map). We will meet at the junction of the Green Bridge and UQ Lakes Bus stop. If you can’t be there at 8, you are welcome to come along a bit later.
We will provide some gardening tools and gloves. We ask that you wear a hat and suitable clothes, and bring along a bottle of water.
Join us for an Evening of Film on Wednesday 14 September.
Tickets: $10 SCB members | $12 concession | $15 full
**Concession includes primary, secondary, and tertiary students and other concession card holders who are not members of the Society of Conservation Biology (SCB).
You can purchase your tickets in person (See Fleur or Courtney), or buy tickets online.