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TAS Country : February 9th 2012
8 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 10, 2012 News Prime property for possums Learn to pinpoint hollows ROGER HANSON PLENTY TO LEARN: Forest managers and contractors have to keep updating their training. TREE hollows are important real estate for fauna in Tasmania. Forest planners are being trained to locate the best areas of suitable hollows within a harvest unit and then to retain them in clumps. Managing fauna values in pro- duction forests is the focus of an innovative training course this month. Training continues to play an im- portant role in the forest practices system to manage the resource and the specialised habitat of fauna. For 25 years, the Forest Practices Authority (FPA), along with the Threatened Species Section of the Department of Primary Industries, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE), have been training forest managers. Their next course is centred on managing fauna values in pro- duction forest. The course is relevant for people working in natural resource manage- ment, and designed for forest man- agers, particularly forest practices offi- cers, involved in the preparation of forest practices plans. FPA's biodiversity manager Dr Sarah Munks, who is co-ordinating the course, emphasised the importance of continuing training. Participants on the fauna course will also learn about managing special- ised habitat, for example, hollow- bearing trees. ''More than 42 vertebrate species, including the pygmy possums, parrots and bats, rely on tree hollows in Tasmania,'' Dr Munks said. ''This important real estate for fauna is maintained across the landscape in strips and patches. ''Studies have shown that by retain- ing them in clumps enables recolonisa- tion of harvested areas by hollow- using fauna.'' She said there was state and federal legislation protecting forest-dwelling fauna. ''The legislation is there, particularly for threatened species,'' Dr Munks said. ''The legislation, regulations and management prescriptions are com- plex but are enforceable. ''Forest managers and contractors must be familiar with them, which is why we run these courses regularly.'' She said conservation of forest biodiversity is a primary aim in formal reserves, but it is also important in non-reserved forest. ''The Tasmanian forest practices system aims to achieve a balance between wood production require- ments and conservation requirements in these areas outside of reserves,'' Dr Munks said. ''An important part of the system is the ongoing training of forest practices officers and other forest managers.'' She said the training was co- ordinated by the FPA and often takes place in collaboration with specialists from other organisations, such as the University of Tasmania, DPIPWE and Forestry Tasmania. ''The course will provide training on how to identify what fauna values there are in the forest and how to develop forest practices plans to take into account those values,'' Dr Munks said. She said morning theory sessions would be followed by discussions and exercises at various sites in the forest, including a bat and owl evening event. ''The sessions will range from gen- eral information on the management of fauna habitat across the landscape to information on individual threatened species,'' Dr Munks said. ''Participants will gain practical ex- perience in the use of databases and planning tools used in the conservation management of species of high conser- vation significance in areas covered by the forest practices system.'' For further information, go online to email@example.com. -- with Chris Grove, FPA Breeders flocking to sheep fest ACTION-PACKED: Breeders of White Suffolks will gather for the national conference's crammed program. BREEDERS of White Suffolks from around the country will flock to Tas- mania's north next week for a national conference on the breed. More than 100 people are expected to attend the conference and associated activities, which start on Sunday and run until Wednesday next week. The two-day conference on Monday and Tuesday, to be held at the Hadspen Cricket Grounds, will feature a packed program of guest speakers and industry experts covering all aspects of the country's sheepmeat industry. The conference program will begin with a presentation by James Rowe from the Sheep CRC, who will discuss pilot project updates and information on the nucleus next generation for meat quality. The issue of Ovine Johne's Disease will also be discussed by Tasmanian veterinarian Bruce Jackson and Phil Jarvie from animal health company Pfizer. Bruny Island producer Bruce Michael will also share his personal experiences of breeding first- and second-cross White Suffolk lambs, which he sells under his Bruny Island Murrayfield label. The afternoon program on Monday will include two interactive workshops looking at lamb production and how to determine exactly what the industry is looking for. On Tuesday, conference participants will learn more about the online tools and websites available to help them improve their businesses and how to ensure they are getting the correct Lambplan date for their sheep. Meat and Livestock Australia will also give participants an update on the organisation's latest campaign to promote lamb. After lunch on Tuesday participants will move to the Red Feather Inn, where they will see a demonstration of the breakdown of a whole lamb and the various cuts involved, beyond just roasts and chops. A dinner will be held that night, with Jackie Brown, winner of the Tasman- ian Rural Woman of the Year award, as the guest speaker. To find out more about the conference or to register go to www.whitesuffolk.org.au
February 2nd 2012
February 16th 2012