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News as it happens - discussion; views; topics; information

Wanted: Volunteer Key Biodiversity Area Guardians for South Australia’s nature hotspots

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, July 11, 2019

What is a KBA?

South Australia has many areas of outstanding natural beauty. Some of these areas are home to globally important populations of threatened species and have been internationally recognised as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). Through their link with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, KBAs inform and direct the conservation efforts and funding of governments and NGOs.

What does a KBA-Guardian do?

BirdLife Australia runs a KBA-Guardian program to grow and support conservation work in KBAs by individuals and groups. In South Australia 31 of 39 KBAs are still in need of a KBA Guardian (see Map below).

The KBA-Guardian role can very much complement and benefit the work of ‘Friends of Parks Groups’.

This is what being a KBA-Guardian entails:

- Completion of an annual ‘KBA Easter Health-check’ which summarizes the threats, monitoring and conservation efforts in a nationally and internationally comparable format. The time required for that is between 2-10 hrs per year.

All other KBA-Guardian activities are optional and are really driven by the KBA-Guardian’s skills and interests and the needs of the KBA. Volunteer KBA-Guardians and Guardian groups around the country engage in structured bird monitoring, tree planting, creating signage, info material even a calendar, conservation advocacy and submissions to planning processes at various levels of government and frequently close collaboration with National Parks and other government agencies.

How can KBAs work for Friends of Parks Groups?

Much of what Friends of Parks Groups do is of course aligned very much with the conservation work KBAs need. So, engagement with KBAs adds little extra work to what friends groups do but can help them refine and achieve their conservation goals. Existing Guardians have been using KBAs and their global recognition to:

- Raise funds and add to funding applications

- Increase awareness for importance of their work

- Take a second look at the area they work in

- Create interest for their work with Government agencies

- Engage landholders

- Report on their work

- National and international bench marking of their work

How can I or my Friends group become a KBA-Guardian?

If you are interested and want to know more about becoming a KBA-Guardian please get in touch with BirdLife Australia’s KBA Program Leader Golo Maurer on 0467 444 114 or

Map # Name Availability
1 Simpson Desert Available
2 Goyder Lagoon Available
3 Granite Downs Taken
4 Coongie Lakes Taken
5 Lake Eyre Available
6 Strzelecki Desert Lakes Available
7 Bulgunnia Available
8 Mount Lyndhurst Available
9 Gammon Ranges & Arkaroola Available
10 Lake Torrens Available
11 Flinders Ranges Available
12 Boolcoomatta, Bindarrah & Kalkaroo Stations Available
13 Tourville & Murat Bays Available
14 Nuyts Archipelago Available
15 Gawler Ranges Available
16 Seagull Lake (Eyre Peninsula) Available
17 Venus Bay Available
18 Spencer Gulf Available
19 Lake Newland Available
20 Riverland Mallee Taken
21 Investigator Islands Available
22 Goose Island (Spencer Gulf) Available
23 Coffin Bay Available
24 Sir Joseph Banks Islands Available
25 Gulf St Vincent Taken
26 Billiatt Taken
27 Peebinga Available
28 Troubridge Island Available
29 Wedge Island Available
30 Southern Yorke Peninsula Taken
31 Lakes Alexandrina & Albert Taken
32 Wyperfeld, Big Desert & Ngarkat Available
33 Kangaroo Island Taken
34 Coorong Available
35 Gum Lagoon Available
36 Watervalley Wetlands Available
37 Lake Hawdon System Available
38 Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds Taken
39 Arcoona Lakes Available

KBA map 2019 KBA map 2019 (1490 KB)

Bandicoot Recovery Action Group

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, July 02, 2018


Bandicoot detectives to help collect information about where bandicoots live.

Join the Bandicoot Recovery Action Group on a field trip to Deep Creek Conservation Park to set up motion-sensor cameras.

12 July, from 10am. Lunch provided.

This work will help the environment department’s fire management team improve its understanding of bandicoot distribution in parks where prescribed burns are planned, so that only small areas of habitat are burnt at any one time.

Contact Normanville Natural Resource Centre on 8558 3644 or South Coast Environment Centre on 8552 9423 to get involved. 

2017 Wetlands and Waterfowl Surveys

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, September 18, 2017

Dear Survey Volunteers,

Thank you to the volunteers for your assistance undertaking the wetland and waterfowl surveys in 2016. The information gathered by volunteers has enabled us to collect valuable information on the abundance of waterfowl and the conditions of wetlands in South Australia contributing to the Assessment of Waterfowl Abundance and Wetland Condition in south-eastern South Australia (2016). The 2016 report is available at: This information was a key element in providing evidence to support the management of waterfowls in South Australia and continues to build our knowledge of wetlands and their condition in our state.

I am writing because we would like to extend an invitation to you as a volunteer to assist us in undertaking the Annual wetlands and waterfowl surveys in your region. The survey will be undertaken in the week either side of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October 2017, depending on the conditions and your availability. The sites that are available for the surveys are the same as last year's surveys (see attached lists).

These sites are part of an on-going monitoring programme so we encourage you to visit them in preference to other sites that you may know about. DEWNR are seeking to augment the number of wetlands surveyed as a part of the core sites so would welcome any suggestions you may have.

Once I have compiled your responses in regard to the selection of wetlands, a copy of the data sheet to record your observations for that wetland will be sent to you directly.

Please let me know by Friday 6 October 2017 which survey sites you have chosen to visit and whether you would prefer :

  • a pdf to print yourself,
  • a hard copy for you to record your information and post to us or,
  • a word document to add information to and return electronically.

To ensure participants are covered by the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resource’s insurance policy, everyone must be a registered DEWNR volunteer. For those of you not already registered as a DEWNR volunteer, please complete the attached Forms (Form 4: Volunteer Registration and Form 3: Volunteer Medical Management Form) and return to me via E-mail: or download the forms from the following links:

Form 3 – Volunteer Medical Management :

Form 4 – Volunteer Registration :

DEWNR values your assistance and input into this year’s survey and we look forward to hearing from you in the coming weeks. Please feel free to email or telephone (08) 82077709, if you have any questions, always happy to assist.

Thank you.

Kind regards

Dr. Suresh Kumar  B.Sc, M.Biotech, PhD

Acting Senior Policy Officer, Wetlands

Conservation, Sustainability and Wildlife Management Unit
Conservation, NRM & Protected Area Policy | Parks and Regions
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

P (08) 8207 7709

Fund My Project - Riverine Recovery

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Submissions now open!

From now until 26 April 2017, eligible community groups, individuals and organisations can apply for funding of between $5,000 and $20,000 (plus GST) for projects that will promote recovery of Murray River wetlands, floodplains and backwaters.

Projects should promote the environmental objectives of the Riverine Recovery Project and leave a lasting impact and legacy of knowledge, information and understanding of wetland management and riverine recovery.

For more information go to

Help save threatened plant species in SA

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, April 06, 2017

Help save threatened plant species in SA

Community members are being asked to help Trees For Life care for and monitor five threatened plant species from Goolwa and Monarto.

All but one of the species being targeted only occur in South Australia.

Under the new project - Community Action For Threatened Flora – volunteers will be trained in specific monitoring methods and data collection for the threatened populations.

“We are trialling a new on-line data collection method,” explains Bush For Life Manager Amelia Hurren. “This will make our monitoring more efficient and gives us the chance to use new technologies in the field”.

Bushcare activities to remove competition from weeds will also be part of the project.

The five species being targeted are:

Acacia pinguifolia (Fat-leaf Wattle) – Only two populations known in SA, one near Finniss and the other southern Eyre Peninsula. Classified as ‘extremely restricted’.

Acacia menzelii (Menzel’s Wattle) – Rated nationally vulnerable. Approximately 5600 individual plants known to remain in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region.

Prostanthera eurybioides (Monarto Mintbush) – Rated endangered under Commonwealth legislation. Only SA populations known are in the Monarto area near Murray Bridge and near Keith.

Olearia pannosa ssp. pannosa (Silver Daisy-Bush) – Listed as nationally vulnerable. Approximately only 1000 individual plants remaining in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region.

Acacia rhetinocarpa (Resin Wattle) – Listed as nationally vulnerable. Only around 2800 individual plants remaining in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region.

People wanting to find out more about the project are invited to attend Trees For Life’s Introductory bush regeneration workshops in Goolwa on April 26 and Mount Barker on May 4, or participate in an activity at Nurragi Conservation Reserve on May 10-11.

The Community Action for Threatened Flora project is supported by Natural Resources, SA Murray-Darling Basin.

For more information or to register your interest phone (08) 8406 0500 or email

Mallee Plants of South Australia and Victoria - iPhone app

Ashleigh Coombs - Sunday, January 15, 2017


Dear Friends of Parks SA

We thought your group(s) may all be interested in this new app ‘Mallee Plants of South Australia and Victoria’. It includes 764 species. Many of the photos were taken in the SA Mallee Parks

The app is for sale for $4.49. Go to iTunes or app store and in the search field enter ‘Mallee Plants’ which is usually enough to bring it up (if not, enter the full title).

It’s only for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch at this stage. Longer term we hope it will be available on Android, but that may be a while away.

It’s a large file at 1.69Gb so please ensure there is enough space and battery (or plug it in). It may take up to an hour or more to download, so please be patient, but once downloaded it’s very quick and easy to use.

We attach a flyer which gives more information and which can also be used to advertise it. Please would you circulate to your groups? If you prefer we can mail you some hard copies of the flyer, but please we would need a mailing address and an estimate of the number of flyers you could use.

With thanks

Annabel Carle

Land line 0362435370

Mallee of SA Vic app Mallee of SA Vic app (542 KB)

Square Tailed Kite monitoring

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dear Friends of Black Hill and Morialta,

I have been part of a group of people monitoring a Square Tailed Kite nest in the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges for the last two seasons. There has also been a nesting pair in the Belair area. This season there have been reports (including photos) of Square tailed Kites at Anstey Hill, Black Hill and Athelstone. Last week I photographed one hawking in Sinclair Gully on the boundary of Morialta. I have discussed these sighting with others and we believe there is a resident pair in the Black Hill - Morialta area. I ask that while you are out working in or enjoying the parks you keep an eye out for these magnificent birds. They are usually seen wheeling over the tree tops in forests but other birds attacking them can also give away their presence. Any Kite sightings in the Mount Lofty Ranges can be sent through to me at the email address below. It will help us to develop a better understanding of the distribution of these birds. This in turn will be used to ensure their habitats are protected. As an example, scheduled prescribed burns have already been changed to allow for the nest sites we know about.

I attach a recent photograph for identification purposes.


Danny McCreadie


Wild Orchid Watch

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

We are developing an online service called Wild Orchid Watch that allows users access to tools for identifying orchid species and maintenance of records of populations of orchids in the wild. This database of native orchids is to be available for access by different types of users, for different purposes.

To help us develop a useful website our IT team are seeking input from its potential users, to find out what you would like to see on the website. As part of this, they have a prepared a survey and we would appreciate your help by filling it in, and/or passing this email on to other people who may be able to answer our questions.

We are interested in having a variety of people from many different backgrounds answering the survey. For example, the people that we think might use the website could be:

- Bushcarers;

- Hikers and bushwalkers;

- Landholders and farmers;

- Members of Orchid Societies & Conservation Groups;

- Government agencies (which will include contractors, park rangers, CFS volunteers);

- School and university students;

- Authors and Academics;

- Scientists and Field Botanists.

We would appreciate it if you could circulate this survey to your members via the following link

The deadline for completing the survey is the end of November 30th 2016.

For further information contact our IT representative -


Rosalie Lawrence,
Secretary Native Orchid Society of SA (NOSSA)
0488 159 357

No Species Loss Strategy survey

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, October 24, 2016

Good to see many of you on Monday at the meeting re the Nature of SA.

I will arrange another meeting in November for those who could not attend.

As mentioned - there is a survey out at the moment re the No Species Loss Strategy. Most of you should have received the link but here it is again. Would be great if you could do the survey. Close date 5 November.

Participate Now in a Survey Re the States Biodiversity Strategy – No Species Loss

You and your networks are invited to participate in a survey that first of all aims to review the State’s biodiversity conservation strategy No Species Loss - a Nature Conservation Strategy for South Australia 2007-2017 and second to capture comments on what you think are important elements to include in a future strategy. The strategy is the State's primary policy guiding activities intended to manage biodiversity on private and public land.

The following survey forms part of the review process in preparation for development of the next iteration of the strategy. The information gathered will be used to learn from the past and build on successes. It is confidential.


Jill Woodlands NGO - Natural Resources Management Facilitator


Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, August 08, 2016

by Brenda Westlake

Ten years ago, the onlyGoodenia albiflora(white goodenia) known to exist between Kingston Park and O’Halloran Hill were a couple of weak plants along a cliff path above the Brighton Caravan Park, a patch under trees east of the Hallett Cove Railway Station and another patch south of the O’Halloran Hill Fire Station. It is believed the O’Halloran Hill plants are the only ones to have survived.

A member of the Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park, who discovered these colonies of Goodenia albiflora, and recognised their uncommon status, took cuttings and spread them in the Park at Hallett Cove and around the district. At that time, he was working closely with the nursery staff of the City of Marion, and so gave them several plants, from which they propagated. Since then Council have included them extensively in their native gardens. The most notable use is at the new Cove Civic Centre at Hallett Cove, where the 2016 Friends of Parks Forum will be held in October this year. Other nearby councils now include them in their plantings as well. They make a good drought-tolerant addition to a home garden. In summer, the plants die back, but sprout and spread the following year. However, they will not survive the fungus caused by organic mulch.

It is the aim of the Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park to make the park a refuge for endangered, threatened, vulnerable rare and uncommon plants from nearby. We have also successfully saved Myoporum viscosum (sticky boobialla)from near extinction in this district, as well as protecting other remnant plants like Acacia victoriae, Adriana quadripartita, Dichanthium sericeum (silky blue-grass), Eremophila longifolium (weeping emu bush), Lycium australe (Australian boxthorn) Maireana rohrlachii (Rohrlach’s blue-bush), Scleranthus pungens (prickly knawel) Sida petrophila (rock sida) and Solanum simile. Maireana aphilla, Teucrium racemosum (grey germander) and Gonocarpus mezeanus (heart-leaved raspwort) are treasured remnants from within the park.

One of the patches of Goodenia albiflora in Hallett Cove CP

We invite you to come to the 30th Friends of Parks Forum, to be held from 14-16 October 2016 at Hallett Cove, and see what else we have accomplished in the district. Hallett Cove is not only renowned for its geology.




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