Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #306 June 2021
The June field day was cold and damp, but two groups of 10 people ventured off to Bartley’s Block and the Mt Ochtertyre/Mt Ophir Reserves.
The first group tackled weeds at Bartley’s Block with most effort expended on removing Caper Spurge (Euphobia lathyris). This weed is very persistent, and we have been battling to contain it for over two decades.
Caper Spurge – typical plant, plant with seed heads and an armful that have been removed – Photos: Neville Bartlett
At morning tea, Margaret Considine showed us a tail that must have been the remains of some poor tuan that had been eaten near her place.
Tuan (Phascogale tapoatafa) tail draped on a log – Photo: Neville Bartlett
The second group of 10 headed to two reserves North of Chiltern – Mt Ochtertyre Reserve and Mt Ophir Reserve. The drizzle ended as soon as we got out of our cars. Score - Ochtertyre, 100+ olives, 6 hawthorns, 2 figs, 6 Bathurst burrs, 1 briar. Mt Ophir 100+ Prickly Pear, 30+ olives....
Mt Ochtertyre weed removal and well-earned break – Photos: Mick Webster
Garden Wolf Spider – Tasmanicosa godeffroyi – Eileen Collins
Formerly : Lycosa godeffroyi
Many species of Wolf Spider are found Australia wide. In our area the most common species is Tasmanicosa godeffroyi.
Wolf spiders are predatory ground dwellers that live in burrows and hunt by day and night.
Having strong legs, they are speedy hunters, seizing prey with their fangs and legs.
By night they can be found by torchlight, given away by their eyeshine from a special reflective layer in the eyes.
After mating the female makes a papery silk egg sac which she carries around attached to her spinnerets with strong silk. On hatching the tiny spiderlings are carried on her back until ready to disperse.
Dispersal is aerial. The tiny spiderlings, with a silken thread attached, are capable of drifting long distances.
According to the literature the life of a Wolf Spider is up to two years.
Garden Wolf Spider – Tasmanicosa godeffroyi - Photo: Neil Blair
Garden Wolf Spider – Tasmanicosa godeffroyi - Photo: Eileen Collins
Frog Identification - FrogID – Neville Bartlett
Recently at Baranduda, Karen Retra treated Friends of Wodonga Retained Environment Network – Baranduda (known locally as WRENs Friends - Baranduda) to a demonstration of a frog identification app that is available for Android or Apple devices. This app is freely available and encourages people to record frog calls and have them identified by experts from the Australian Museum (check out the site: https://www.frogid.net.au/). The app is an excellent example of citizen science in action. We get experts to ID frogs for us and the experts gather useful data about what frogs are active, where they are and when they are calling.
Screen shot from the app – Photo: Neville Bartlett
Here is how you can participate:
1. Go to the app store and download the app to your device. This is best done somewhere where there is excellent internet access as the app will download useful information about all 240 Australian species of frogs and their potential location.
2. Register as a user and allow the app to use your location. Activating location is important because you will only be guided with species that are likely to be in your location rather than the full list of 240 species. In my case that meant 16 species of frogs.
3. Once the app is installed and registered, you proceed to a location where frogs are calling and then press the record button and the app records 60 seconds of calls. Then submit the observation along with some background information about what environment you are in. The Australian Museum responds by identifying the calls and sends an email to you with the results (the results are also kept in the app for you to review at any time in the future).
4. My first three recordings at Baranduda received a response within a few hours but the recordings at Chiltern (Chiltern Valley No 1 Dam and Barambogie Block) on the holiday weekend did not get a response until the next working day. My five recordings so far have all been identified as Crinia signifera (Common Eastern Froglet).
I will have to try harder at more appropriate frog hours to see if I can get some other species.
FrogID is easy to use and is highly recommended. Thankyou Karen Retra for introducing it to us.
The end of financial year sees us finalising our projects and funding. The road grading program and replacement of decking on viewing platform at Woolshed Falls have been completed.
Pest animal programs will be completed this week which have targeted pigs and goats. Ranger Luke has been seconded into a Fire Team Leader role for the next twelve months so we will need to recruit a replacement in the next month.
Rainfall May 2021: 55 mm. Total for year-to-date 2021: 298 mm with the driest Autumn since 2018. In 2020 we had 390 mm up to the end of May. The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.
NEXT MEETING – SATURDAY 3rdJULY 2021
We will be tackling some weeding and clean-up within the park. Bring gloves, mattocks, or similar weed-removal tools. The location will be advised a few days beforehand and will depend on the weather forecast and the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions.
Bun will be provided as usual.
Meet at the Chiltern Post Office at 09:00am.
Contact for the day: Neville – 0412 399 239.
Dates for 2021-22
Saturday 3rd July, Sunday 1st August, Saturday 4th September, Sunday 3rd October, Saturday 6th November, Sunday 5th December 2021, and Sunday 6th February, Saturday 5th March, Sunday 3rd April, Saturday 7th May and Sunday 5th June 2022.
Rule of Thumb: For even months, the field day is held on the first Sunday of the month and for odd months, it is held on the first Saturday of the month.
Membership - It's time to renew
Membership expires on June 30th 2021. Thank you to all who have taken out membership this year. We hope you will continue your support. Friends have achieved a great deal during the past few years. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring, maintaining and surveying mammal boxes, tree planting, weed control and provision of brochures, interpretive signage and park furniture are just some of our contributions. Your support for our activities is valued and your membership renewal is important to our cause.
Please ensure your contact details are current.
Please find enclosed my membership of $15 for 2021-22. The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.
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