Latest news

Annual general meeting

Saturday 30 September, evening at the Shoreham Spring camp. All IFFA members are invited to attend and guests are welcome too.  Please consider nominating for a position on the committee.  Nominations need to go to the Secretary. Read more »

An entomologist returns to the Little Desert

AN INVITATION to participate in the IFFA camp at Dimboola at the beginning of October 2016, which included forays into the mallee-heathlands of the Little Desert, sparked in me reflections of my early years as an amateur entomologist in the Little Desert, and the role of those experiences in the course of my life as a professional entomologist, naturalist, field ecologist and taxonomist.  My career started with a PhD on… Read more »

On top of the world on an ecological tour

What more could a naturalist ask for, than to not only be immersed in the sheer magnitude and beauty of the alpine summits, but to be provided with a guided tour from renowned experts in these unique environments? Joab Wilson reports. Read more »

Whatever happened to BioSites?

Victorian government planning once relied on use of individually mapped and documented BioSites. Now a simplified state-wide map and computer modelling inform decisions. Nic McCaffrey and Graeme Lorimer explain what has been lost and gained. Introduction ‘Sites of biological significance’ are defined areas of land or water containing high biological values such as threatened species or ecological communities (DSE 2005). Most of the recognised sites have been mapped, documented… Read more »

Editor’s column

The theme of this issue of Indigenotes is the use of technology in the conservation and management of biota in Australia. Graeme Lorimer and Nic McCaffrey provide an evaluation of DELWP’s online interactive mapping technology for identifying areas of biological significance in Victoria. The focus of their article is the replacement of the Biosite mapping technology, with the streamlined, but less accurate Natureprint program. Graeme provides another article… Read more »

Click to connect

Can technology improve conservation outcomes and our connectedness with nature? Warren Tomlinson ponders the new age of citizen science and online identification. Read more »

President's letter

THE IFFA committee has been busy pursuing the interests and values of its members, with activities, advocacy and plans for the future.  Scarcely three months after the Little Desert Camp, we ran the Alpine Adventure in January 2017, which you will read about in this issue. The flora, fauna, landscape, people, good times and perfect weather made the Alpine Adventure a really memorable experience. The committee is planning for a… Read more »

Good for junior naturalists and kids who like mud

The group meandered off botanising and birding, with a mixture of professional ecologists and amateur naturalists there was plenty of knowledge to be shared.  My kids were eager to ask the adults about the various bugs, fungi and plants. Everyone was extremely obliging, answering questions and dealing with small people wondering through groups. As persistent rain set in we managed to get to a large saline wetland before heading… Read more »

Food web of the Little Desert

The Little Desert has a fascinating food web (trophic structure) which is central to the entire ecosystem. Involving plants, herbivores, omnivores and predators in ascending trophic levels with decomposers to return nutrients for plants, this food web is the basis of biodiversity.  On the IFFA camp of spring 2016 we viewed distribution maps and discussed the ecology of vertebrate herbivores, omnivores, mesopredators and top predators in the Aboriginal and European… Read more »

One-way traffic

During our visit to the Little Desert, I remembered that on occasion, I witnessed an unusual phenomenon on my trips to the semi-arid mallee regions of south western NSW. This was the strange insect-driven conga-line of the processionary caterpillars, making their way across the sandy roads of the outback. Read more »

President’s letter
A reflection upon thirty years of IFFA.

SINCE the last issue of Indigenotes, I realised that 2016 was IFFA’s thirtieth anniversary. I think that’s a good milestone to reflect upon what has happened since I and many others attended that first meeting at Burnley College in 1986.  I think IFFA has a very good record of facilitating positive changes and helping people appreciate the flora and fauna that are our natural heritage. There are… Read more »

Crowdfunding conservation

Australians have taken to crowdfunding with some zeal with new platforms and the range of campaign themes expanding quickly. Crowdfunding results in small donations from a large number of people enabling start-up ideas to develop into real projects.  In 2015 the Victorian Government launched a collaborative pilot with Pozible, a leading Australian crowdfunding platform, to encourage and support community initiatives to help protect threatened species.  Michelle Butler, Senior Project… Read more »

Book review
The Biggest Estate on Earth — How Aborigines Made Australia.

Bill Gammage 2011 Allen & Unwin, 384 pages Fire management in Victoria appears to be ruled by a science of idiocy. Burning of the land is focused on reaching senseless area-targets with little regard to effects on ecology or even on reducing further fires. With all our science, technology and civilized ways, it seems that overall we are still a long way from appropriately… Read more »

Ground vegetation biodiversity monitoring protocols
How to prepare a species accumulation curve.

Extract from Patricia Roberts-Pichette and Lynn Gillespie, 1999. When developing a methodology to undertake research in plant communities it can often be difficult to determine how many quadrats are needed to best sample the subject area. A species accumulation curve can be prepared specific to your sample community and is a useful tool to help determine the number of quadrats needed for your monitoring project. To develop a species accumulation… Read more »

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