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North Queensland Threatened Species Symposium

Ceri Pearce | Birds With Altitude Project Coordinator

BirdLife Northern Queensland was represented recently at the North Queensland Threatened Species Symposium.

The North Queensland (NQ) Threatened Species Symposium was held in Cairns on 9 and 10 March 2023 bringing together people working on a broad range of threatened species and ecological communities. BirdLife Northern Queensland was there, along with about 235 other participants from Threatened Species Recovery Teams, Action Groups, Traditional Owners and many others with an interest in the recovery of threatened species.

Photo: BirdLife Northern Queensland participated in the North Queensland Threatened Species Symposium in Cairns. From left, Amanda Freeman, Paul Fisk, Ceri Pearce, Sanne Boland and Ed Bell with BirdLife Northern Queensland’s two new project banners advertising the Birds with Altitude and Crane Monitoring Projects.

The event was co-hosted by the members of the NQ Natural Resource Management (NRM) Alliance (Terrain NRM, Gulf Savannah NRM and Cape York NRM); the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW); and the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

It was great to be able to connect and exchange information with a diverse group of leading scientists, conservation practitioners, Traditional Owners and community advocates.

Besides sharing information about various aspects of threatened species recovery planning, coordination and monitoring, the Symposium also presented concurrent sessions on invasive species and their control, including feral pigs, cats and dogs, and invasive weeds.

Paul Fisk, who is well known for his work running our Migratory and Beach Nesting Shorebird Monitoring Program, gave a presentation about his other activities working on Amazon Frogbit, raising alarm bells about the presence of this invasive water weed in the Barron and the extreme threat it poses, should it become established in the Mitchell River Catchment.

The various groups working hard to save threatened species in our region are inspirational. At the Symposium, each threatened species action group/recovery team shared their knowledge on the threats and challenges, and failures and wins they had experienced. The groups included the Freshwater Sawfish Action Group represented by Barbara Wueringer; the Mahogany Glider Recovery Team represented by Daryl Dickson; the Northern Bettong Recovery Team represented by Manuella Fischer and Stephanie Todd; the Magnificent Broodfrog Working Group represented by Michael Anthony; the Cassowary Recovery Team represented by Terry Carmichael; the Mabi Forest Action Group represented by Evizel Seymour; Gouldian Finch Project represented by Zoe Williams (CEO Gulf Savannah); Black-throated Finch Projects represented by Stephanie Todd; the Spectacled Flying Fox Recovery Team represented by Maree Treadwell ad Sera Stevens; the Kuranda Tree Frog team represented by Bruce Wannan; and the Yellow Bellied Glider Working Group represented by John Winter. There was a great deal of conservation experience in the room.

One of the key messages was that we need to do more than just ‘count towards extinction’. Monitoring is valuable, but on-ground action to ensure the resilience and long-term survival of threatened species is essential. As a group and individually, we need to do more to ensure the survival of our threatened birds.

For more details about the program, click on the link to see the Symposium agenda.


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