Environmental experts have backflipped on whether grazing is detrimental for the endangered Plains Wanderer bird.November 23, 2012 4:11am
Local landholders who say their advice on the endangered Plains Wanderer bird was ignored have been vindicated.
Environmental experts have done a major backflip, after a decade of declaring that grazing was bad for the endangered bird.
In Victoria, sheep are now being released into National Parks to try and eat down overgrown Plains Wanderer habitat, which has been abandoned by the tiny bird.
North Conargo Land Management Group chair Colin Bull said farmers were ‘‘treated like fools’’ when ecologists began implementing conservation efforts.
‘‘Landholders knew nothing, according to the scientific ‘experts’, however now we have proven we are not as silly as they believed,’’ he said.
‘‘In the future, government departments should make sure they respect landholder knowledge and local experience.’’
A large amount of local land has been identified as Plains Wanderer habitat, particularly in north Conargo, and different conservation efforts have affected local properties since the late 1990s.
Among them was the purchase and de-stocking of Carrathool property ‘Oolambeyan’, and restrictions on development and locust spraying.
Conargo Mayor Norm Brennan believes NSW paid about $4 million to purchase ‘Oolambeyan’, which was de-stocked and converted to a National Park.
Mr Bull said National Parks and Wildlife Service is now having ‘‘great difficulty’’ finding Plains Wanderers in Oolambeyan, due to its management policy.
‘‘Although some grazing is now allowed it is too little too late,’’ he said.
Experts say the Plains Wanderers have left the areas where grazing has been stopped, because the vegetation is overgrown and does not suit them.
It is the very thing that local landholders said would happen years ago.
In fact, the ecologist they told was Dr David Baker-Gabb.
He is now Victoria’s ‘leading expert on Plains Wanderers’ - and the very man who has admitted he cannot find Plains-Wanderers on de-stocked Victorian land.
Mr Bull said at the time, Dr Baker-Gabb ‘‘wouldn’t listen to landholders’’.
‘‘The situation was handled very, very badly. NPWS used the big stick approach rather than working with landholders,’’ he said.
‘‘They put everyone off-side - to the detriment of the Plains Wanderer.
‘‘Landholders are more than happy to look out for the Plains Wanderer and enhance their survival and numbers.
‘‘It is a sad situation when the scientific community believe they have all the answers for species such as the Plains Wanderer.’’
However, Mr Bull said recent consultations with the NPWS were encouraging and suggested a common sense outcome can be achieved.
Farmers have also been restricted on where and how they spray locusts due to the Plains Wanderer, according to Cr Brennan.
He said during locust plagues, crops were lost because of the restrictions.
Some Plains Wanderers were sent to the University of Wollongong, to be bred and tested to see how locust sprays affect them.
However, Cr Brennan said six years later, their questions are still unanswered.
Threlfall runs into Commonwealth Games contention in Berlin
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
The Tatura Football Netball Club is hosting ‘‘A day with Fev and Des’’ this Friday from noon to 5pm at the Ballantyne Centre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore was a sea of colour earlier this month for Footy Colours Day.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
When Pyalong Primary School does something, it does it well. Here are the students all dressed up for the school's recent Roald Dahl day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on September 13, 1916.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
Skipper claims second B&F in thrilling count
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.