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KILMORE & DISTRICT

PO Box 550 Kilmore 3764

President: Bea Lay Ph. 5783 2944

                                                         Vice President: Paul Brinsden Ph. 5783 1940

                                                         Secretary: Wendy Matthews

MARCH 2019

Happy Autumn to you all from U3A Kilmore & District Inc. Sadly Summer is over; I hope you like Autumn; nothing can be done; it has arrived!

We held our AGM on 1st March. It was a successful meeting with only 1 committee position remaining available. The committee remains pretty much the same with only two very welcome new members. We were fortunate to have two guests from The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) attend and following the meeting Leah Royle gave a very interesting and informative presentation. Her companion was Bianca Friend but Leah was the main presenter and her passion and dedication to wildlife conservation shone through her entire presentation. I cannot begin to relate all her presentation, but I will provide some of her information.

Australia has the worst reputation in the world for the extinction of its mammals. One example is the Woylie, a bush tailed Bettong; in 2000 there were 225000; in 2012 there were less than 18000 on the planet.

AWC wants to share their methods of conservation to influence changes to the management of all native parks, believing our unique flora and fauna will benefit.

Over the past 20 years AWC has purchased 27 properties across Australia grossing 4.65 million hectares. They operate with 120 staff, 80% of whom operate in the field. Their properties and projects are situated in the Gulf of Carpentaria, The Kimberly, on the North shores of Lake Eyre, Cape York, some in N.S.W., S.A & W.A. It was interesting to learn that they have no current projects in Victoria because land is too expensive to buy here.

Leah was particularly pleased to report the successes of AWC have led to them taking control of i) a government national park, ii) an area within the defence force control and finally it has been approached by one aboriginal managed park to assist them in the management of said park.

The two main causes of the destruction of our wildlife are feral animals and Fire.

Fencing is an effective method to protect the ecology and aid in the elimination of feral animals from inside the fence.

Fire also contributes to the loss of both flora and fauna. A raging Wildfire cannot be stopped nor con-trolled; it goes where the wind blows it, destroying everything in its path.

AWC has proven that controlled burning early in the season reduces the risk of wildfires taking off. The reduction of flammable material available to a fire reduces the risk of it growing and growing into an uncontrollable monster.

Finally I want to describe just one comparison pair of the many photos Leah showed. The first photo showed a barren desolate scene of a dried up swamp area where the ground was cracked and dry, with a little patch of water showing in the far distance. There was no green showing anywhere. All up, it was an ugly photo. Leah then showed a photo taken at the same spot 4-5 years later and the difference bordered on the miraculous. The cracks were covered in water and streams of water could be tracked back into the distance where the original photo had shown a patch of water, and all around was green; Bushes and shrubs were in abundance. Now for the punch line

AWC had done nothing in this area except Put a Fence Around It. As Leah demonstrated, our great land’s ecology (flora & fauna) will recover if we use wise human intervention to protect it from the depredations caused by human settlement: i.e. the introduced species allowed to roam and breed.

U3A can be contacted via info@u3akilmoreanddistrict.com.au

Australian Wildlife Conservancy contact is www.australianwildlife.org