By the Community  -  For the Community

December 2020 Newsletter. Issue 154

the Landcare SJ Office

State NRM 2020 Community Stewardship Grants Announced 

The State Natural Resouce Management Program WA  has announced the successful projects through the 2020 Community Stewardship Grants Program. Landcare SJ has received two of the 96 successful grants in WA.

The first of the two projects is the Restoration of Gooralong Brook, Jarrahdale at a value of $33,650, will continue on-ground restoration work carried out by the Jarrahdale Heritage Society and Landcare SJ since 2013, involving implementation of environmental restoration activities along a 500m reach of the Gooralong Brook in Jarrahdale. Weeds including those of National Significance will be removed and replaced with species native to the valleys of the Jarrah Forest. Once completed, the project will connect environmental restoration upstream and downstream. Creating 1.2km rehabilitated site, encompassing the whole Jarrahdale Heritage Park, owned by National Trust. 

The second project is the Cultural and Environmental Restoration in the Mundijong Road Reserve at a value of $34,022will improve the health and resilience of the nationally significant Mundijong Road Reserve by applying Noongar Kaartdijin 'knowledge' to controlled burning practices and aiding native regeneration by carefully managing weed germination. Flora monitoring and weed control activities will be carried out both before and after. The development of a fire management plan is hoped to further protect significant plant communities past the life thof the project by incorporating traditional Noongar burning methods. 

Landcare SJ News 

Landcare SJ
2020 Annual General Metting 

On the 11h of November, Landcare SJ held the 2020 AGM. Jane Brown, Roger Harrington, Nancy Scade and Jan Star were re-elected to the board. Michelle Rich accepted a nomination and was elected to the board. David Lindsay did not renominate for a position on the board, after serving on Landcare SJ board for 18 years, 16 years of which as Chairperson. Colleen Rankin, Alan Elliott and Neil Kentish remained for the second year of their term as board members. The executive committee was re-elected and consists of Jane Brown (Chairperson), Colleen Rankin (Deputy Chairperson)  and Neil Kentish (Treasurer). 

2020 End of Year Celebration

Landcare SJ volunteers and friends kicked off the beginning of December by gathering at the SJ Landcare Centre for a celebration of all of the hard work that they have contributed to many different conservation efforts through Landcare SJ. The night was full of laughs, smiles and delicious food. 

2020 has been a testing year for many, but our volunteers have done some pretty amazing things, even with this year's extraordinary conditions. With thousands of hours being spent on rubbish collection, planting seedlings, watering seedlings, tree guard removal, construction of nesting hollows and organising events. 

We thank all of our volunteers and community groups for all of their efforts throughout 2020. We couldn't have done we've done without you. 

Weed Pullers 

In mid-November, Reece and Sue were busy pulling out more than 300 Narrow-leaf Cotton Bush plants that were gearing up to bust open their fruit and disperse their thousands of seeds along sections of Wright and Lowlands Road. Over the coming weeks, the Landcare SJ team will be returning to the reserves and verges of Serpentine Jarrahdale, in an effort to control infestations before the populations in areas grow too large to manually control. 

Narrow-leaf Cotton Bush is a declared pest species throughout Serpentine Jarrahdale. It can be highly invasive. If you see a Cotton Bush on your property or verge, please pull it out. Together, we can control this invasive species.

Your Local Environment 

Identifying Grass Tree Species 

There are many types of Grass tree (Xanthorrhoea) endemic to Australia. Two species found on the Swan Coastal Plain are Xanthorrhoea preissii (Grass Tree) and Xanthorrhoea brunonis (Graceful Grass Tree). Xanthorrhoea brunonis could easily be mistaken for a young preissii so how can you tell them apart? One simple way is too look at a cross section of the leaves. The leaf cross-section of Xanthorrhoea preissii is diamond-shaped while the cross section of Xanthorrhoea brunonis is a triangle shape.

The very slow-growing Xanthorrhoea preissii forms a trunk of old stacked leaf bases and grows up to 5 meters. The flower spike can grow to over 3 meters flowering from June to December. Xanthorrhoea brunonis generally has no visible trunk and grows to a height of 1.5 meters. The flower spike can grow up to 0.3 meters flowering from October to December. The flower spikes between the two are also distinctive, in preissii the flowering part is longer than the stalk, while in brunonis the stalk is longer than the flowering part.

Photo 1. Two species of Grasstree (1) Xanthorrhoea preissii (2) Xanthorrhoea brunonis .
Photo 2. Cross Section of Xanthorrhoea leaves. Top Xanthorrhoea preissii bottom Xanthorrhoea brunonis

Photo 3. Two species of Grasstree foreground Xanthorrhoea brunonis and background Xanthorrhoea preissii

Flora Assessments 

Springtime means Spring Flora Monitoring of Banksia Woodland for Landcare SJ. Banksia Woodland has been classified as a Threatened Ecological Community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. With only small remnants remaining, much of this remnant bushland is located on private property. The 2020 season of spring flora monitoring is part of the Banksia Woodland Project supported by the Peel Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the National Landcare Program. Furthermore, all of the properties where monitoring is being carried out are members of the Healthy Habitats Program, which a partnership between Landcare SJ and the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale to support landholders in looking after their remnant bushland.

Flora monitoring involves Landcare SJ setting out 10 x 10-metre quadrats within the woodland where Botanist Dr Penny Hollick from the Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire carefully identifies and records each individual plant species within the quadrat. At the initial visit baseline monitoring of the site is performed which records native species, invasive weed species, ground cover, native canopy and any ecological threats that may be present.

Return visits to the same quadrat are carried out at the land owner’s convenience where the process is repeated and data recorded. Over time this valuable information helps us to better understand the health of the woodland and mitigate any threats.

Landowners and managers who have an interest in Landcare activities and are seeking advice about how to look after their woodland patch can become a member of the Healthy Habitats Program. Where members have Banksia Woodland and choose to participate in monitoring Landcare SJ will provide participants with a species list of native flora found on their property, a list of invasive weed species, photographs and advice on activities they can carry out to improve the health of their bushland.

A New Hope 

A new Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo breeding Site has been discovered 250km north of the previously known northernmost breeding site.
Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo breeding has been long suspected in Kalbarri. However, there has only ever been speculation. With no concrete evidence of breeding occurring in the area, until now. A team, led by Birdlife WA, has recently spent two days searching natural hollows around the Kalbarri region to find evidence of their breeding activity in the area. To their success, they found an occupied nest with an egg. There’s an estimated 20 active breeding pairs around the region.
The discovery of this nesting site will be significant for continuing conservation efforts throughout the northern range of this charismatic bird's habitat. 

Laughing Kookaburra

Friend, Foe and a National Treasure 

The Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is one of the most loved and recognisable species of Australian bird. However, to the surprise of many, the Laughing Kookaburra is only native to the Eastern mainland sates of Australia. It is believed that the deserts bordering Western Australia have created an environmental barrier which prevented the Laughing Kookaburra from naturally migrating into the Southwest of WA. Unfortunately, as European settlers spread crossed Australia, so did other species. In 1897, the Laughing Kookaburra became one of those species, made their way into WA. The introduction of the species did reach the desired result. However, the bird did not only impact the snake populations, but many other small invertebrate populations around the Southwest. Such as the Splendid Fairywren (Malurus splendis), Common Garden Skink (lampropholis guichenoti), Motorbike Frog (Litoria moorei).

Whilst the Laughing Kookaburra isn’t native to Southwest of WA, populations can only be controlled under certain circumstances. If you are seeing damage from the Laughing Kookaburra on your property you can apply for a license through the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions under damage mitigation (Regulation 29) or dangerous fauna (Regulation 26) by clicking here.

Photo by Greg Close

Nyoongar Calendar

Season of the Young

Birak season sees the rains ease up and the warm weather really start to take hold. The afternoons are cooled by the sea breezes that abound from the southwest. This was the fire season, a time to burn the country in mosaic patterns.

An almost clockwork style of easterly winds in the morning and sea breezes in the afternoon meant that traditionally this was the burning time of year for Nyoongar people.

They would burn the country in mosaic patterns for several reasons including fuel reduction, increasing the grazing pastures for some animals, to aid in seed germination for some plants and for ease of mobility across the country.

As for the animals, there are many fledglings now venturing out of nests, though some are still staying close to their parents. Reptiles are looking to shed their old skin for a new one.

With the rising temperatures and the decreasing rainfall, it's also time for the baby frogs to complete their transformation into adulthood.

- South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council

Species: Baudin's Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii)

Guess What I Am?


For your chance to win an Australian Native Nursery gift voucher valued at $20 

Do you know what native species I am?

Be the first person to Email my scientific and common name to Reece Jerrett at Landcare SJ and you'll receive an Australian Native Nursery gift voucher valued at $20!


(Individuals can only win the monthly competition every 3 months)

Help The Cause


  and help save these charismatic birds.

It takes over 100 years for a natural hollow to form that our endangered Black Cockatoos will breed in, but only a few minutes to donate towards the construction of Landcare SJ's 'Cockatubes'. 

Any contribution is greatly appreciated! 

Please Donate Today

(Photo by Rick Dawson)
                               Contact us:

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 9am-4pm

Cnr Cockram St and Paterson St
(PO Box 41), Mundijong WA 6123


(08) 9526 0012     


Landcare SJ, proudly supported by the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.
Copyright © *|2017* *|Landcare SJ Inc.|*, All rights reserved.

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