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So that was the Year of the Sheep…

So 2015 was the Chinese Year of the Sheep* – and it was no coincidence Chris was found fattening up on fertile Yellow Box woodlands at Mulligans Flat. The wheat-sheep belt of Australia has ridden on the back of Box Gum woodlands but now people and animals alike are keen for a slice of Mulligans action for different reasons…

Bettong numbers are staying strong in the Sanctuary and their monitoring is always fun – bettongs are real characters and their arboreal cousins can put on a show too.

A new batch of Bush Stone-curlew have been released into Mulligans but the best news was Herbie and Rowena hooking up and producing a chick. A second pair has since been confirmed breeding in the Sanctuary. This species hasn’t nested in Canberra for nearly 50 years – officially Amaze-balls.

Some famous people stopped by the Sanctuary but two crazy critters also escaped – Brian and Betty are taking their fans on a zany escapade as the rugged ecosystem engineer looks for work (or corporate support). Their escapades are helping raise the profile of woodlands and secure an expansion of their buddies’ digs. I hear they have recently been seen visiting the family planning clinic…

Once the regulatory blanket was lifted and the window for controlling fishesferal trout was opened – I again-did my (very little so far) bit this Spring. With my flickandflyjournal.com guide we knocked off this King Brown.
If we were in there two weeks earlier we might have saved the endangered two-spine blackfish found in its gut too…

Canberra Nature Map – originally a citizen science mapping project for rare plants – really took off this Spring.  Thousands of records were added weekly and the moderators had their work cut-out keeping up with the recordings. I thoroughly enjoyed contributing until life got toooo hectic towards the end of the year.  As much as the flowers, I enjoyed the diversity of pollinators visiting their botanical life-blood.

cbrnaturemap2

Canberra Nature Map is a lot of fun and a Landcare ‘award-winning’ citizen science project


 The Ecological Society of Australia annual conference was held in Adelaide this year. This is Australia’s showpiece conference for engaging, learning and being inspired about all things biodiversity.  With over 600 delgates and the venue bursting at the seams, it stood up to its reputation.

 

The conference was a professional entree to a couple of days in the Flinders Ranges, not enough time but what a fantastic experience:

 

And so it was , the Year of the Sheep, what will the Year of the Monkey bring? I asked Santa for Phascogales, Feathertails, Snipe, Cod and new feral-free canvasses to help paint…

*The Chinese Year officially ends in February

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