Facebook Pages – Panboola & Marine Society

Have a look at these Facebook pages of our Atlas partners – Panboola: https://www.facebook.com/Panboola?fref=ts

and The Sapphire Coast Marine Society: https://www.facebook.com/SapphireCoastMarineSociety

Lots to Like there….

Grey Nurse Shark release from fishing tackle

Here is a film of a Grey Nurse shark being released from entangling fishing tackle off Byron Bay

Video: Sea World divers retrieved the injured shark off Byron Bay. Watch how the rescue unfolded. (Supplied: Sea World) (ABC News)

National Science Week Events Aug 17 – 18

Come and join us for lots of science fun and interest during the last Science Week week-end of August 17th and 18th at Greencape Lighthouse.

There are a host of events  for you to join. Bookings for each activity essential as places are limited to 15 or 20 depending on the activity. Please contact Libby at: libby.alanhepburn@bigpond.com  or Leave a Reply to us at the bottom of this Post.

Look for special forest and heathland plants, take part in a shore line or rocky platform survey and learn about bird and small mammal survey techniques and see videos of nocturnal animals and how shore-based whale watching works.

The National Science Week events give you a chance to try some science, have fun and find out more about what species are in our area. “Whatever your special interest in nature, you can now join in to walk and learn with scientists and expert naturalists how to take part in real scientific surveys.  We will help you add your own sightings into the database so you can be part of the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness (ALCW) project. “ says Libby Hepburn project manager of the ALCW.

We are launching the “My Place” project which allows you to record a journal of sightings at your home or favourite place. Your local Librarians can also help you learn how to Register and Log sightings onto the Atlas.

With our partners Bournda Environmental Education Centre, Panboola, the Sapphire Coast Marine Society,  Auswide, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre we offer you a chance to get involved with our long term biodiversity survey work in this region.

 Week-end August 17/18th Greencape Lighthouse 10:30 am – 4:00pm

We are setting up shore-based whale watching at Greencape Lighthouse and long-term biodiversity monitoring projects in association with Auswide and National Parks and Wildlife Service NSW on the Greencape peninsular. Science Week will be a chance for you to learn how the surveys are undertaken and how you can take part.

The Atlas of Life will have a display showing some of its work to date and we will be there to help you Register and start logging your own sightings into the Atlas of Life database. You can learn about the “My Place” project too.

There will be heathland ecology walks and rock platform surveys (weather permitting) and we will be showing film taken with motion activated cameras and bird recording techniques. See our website for full details and how to register for the activity of your choice.

The 17/18th August  Science Week activities are held in conjunction with the Greencape Lighthouse 130 year Anniversary celebrations which include morse-code signalling to other lighthouses and the Lighting of the Old Light on Friday and Saturday. This will be a special event, so do come and join us there. Refreshments will be available courtesy of Eden and Pambula Rotary. For full details see: www.auswideservices.com.au or phone 6495 5500

The Atlas of Life will also be present at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre Open Day on August 17th in Eden, so you can come and join us there too and see other organisations who work along our coast.

Event details:

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August (Green Cape Lighthouse)

Numbers in sessions will be limited to 15 so bookings are essential.

Our Science Week activities will be part of the 13oth Anniversary of Greencape Lighthouse celebrations organised by Auswide. These include the Lighting of the Lamp event (5pm 17 August) see www.auswideservices.com.au Refreshments will be available from Eden and Pambula Rotary

 National Science Week activities: Continuous over both days

  • Launch of ALCW “My Place” project – how to create a personal nature journal –  demonstration of how to add sightings (at GCL & SCMDC Open Day 17 Aug) Libby Hepburn
  • ALCW activities and surveys display
  • Additional to ALCW activities – Auswide Projects celebrations for the 130th anniversary of the Green Cape Lighthouse

Saturday 17 August 10.30am to 12noon and 1pm to 2.30pm 

Activity time Activity number Activity Leader
10:30 – noon 1 Whalewatching training Dave Costello and Colin Hunter
2 Faunal biodiversity Andrew Morrison
3 Rock Platform Survey Michael McMaster
1 – 2:30pm
5 Faunal biodiversity Andrew Morrison
6 Flora and heathland walk Jackie Miles
4 – 6:00pm 14A Hethland birds surveying Jim Shields

Sunday 18 August 10.30am to 12noon and 1pm to 2.30pm

Activity time Activity number Activity Leader
8 – 10:00 14B Heathland bird surveying Jim Shields
10:30 – noon 8 Whalewatching training Dave Costello and Colin Hunter
9 Faunal biodiversity Andrew Morrison
10 Rock Platform Survey Alan Scrymgeour
11- 12:noon 14C Seabird surveying Jim Shields
1 – 2:30pm
12 Faunal biodiversity Andrew Morrison

please call for further  INFORMATION:

Bookings: reply  at the bottom of this Post  or  email: libby.alanhepburn@bigpond.com

Green Cape events (17, 18 Aug):  Libby ph: 02 6495 0917

Please wear clothes suitable for winter weather, bring water and wear non-slip shoes especially for the Rock Platform surveys. If you have cameras or smartphones do bring them so we can show you how to add sightings to the Atlas of Life

Southern Right Whales

Southern Right Whales

Southern Right whale Photo Wendy July 2009

Southern Right Whales [Eubalaena australis ] have been seen lolling about near the Merimbula wharf[ 2 adults ]and also 300 metres south of the Tura Headland. These  were possibly  a mother and calf and we watched them while they lazily rolled onto their backs ,with an occasional spyhop and fluke showing until dark.

They were still in the same area the following morning.

Southern Right Whales can be recognised by their broad backs  without a dorsal fin,wide pectoral fins,a ” V ” shaped blow and the rough whitish patches  [callosities ] on its head.[  see photo ]The callosities are actually keratinised skin and are home to whale lice . Callosities are like a fingerprint and are used to distinguish individual whales.

They are baleen whales& feed on krill,plankton & small crustaceans,these tiny creatures are captured in the baleen bristles as the whales swim along with their mouths open .

Females produce offspring every 3 or 4 years after a gestation period of about 12 months.There is a SR nursery at the head of the Australian Bight where they gather,normally they are fairly solitary animals. In this area Southern Right Whales have been observed giving birth on several occasions 3 years apart, at the same place just off where the old wharf used to be at Bermagui. in 2011 another birth was observed by several people close to Bar Beach at Merimbula.

During whaling days they were considered the ‘right ‘ whale to catch as they are rich in oil & blubber and moved slowly and were easier to catch.

Woodland bird videos & sounds

Here are some recently launched local woodland bird  videos with sounds to help us identify what we see or hear.

These have been shared by Mandi Stevenson of Panboola and NSW Landcare.


Shrub dwellers



Ground dwellers



Hollow nesters



Canopy dwellers



Published on 10 Jan 2013

This video was produced for the Communities in Landscapes Project funded by the Australian Government Caring for Our Country program 2009.

Composition by Simon Ferguson (Dunedoo Coolah Landcare Coordinator), supported by Toni McLeish (GBW CMN), and Jacqui Stohl (CSIRO) with many thanks for bird audios from Vicky Powy and Simon Ferguson, for bird images to Grant Brosie, Nick Livanos, Robin Eckerman, David Kleinert, Danielle Littlewood, Paul Randall and Simon Ferguson — Damon Oliver and Rainer Rehwinkel, Office of Environment and Heritage Queanbeyan and Alex Drew CSIRO for their valuable editorial assistance.

Further Information at:

Or Contact:
The Coordinator, Grassy Box Woodland Conservation Management Network, PO Box 733, Queanbeyan, NSW 2620
Ph 02 6229 7119 Fax 02 6229 7001 Mobile 0419 400 309

local Grey Nurse shark video

Bill Barker of the Nature Coast Marine Group at Narooma have just produced this really great video about their local Grey Nurse Sharks and the need to protect them.


Grey Nurse shark trailing fishing tackle Photo Bill Barker


Grey Nurse Shark at Dalmeny Photo Bill Barker

Blocked! but a good day for SCMS outing

21 people joined us for the latest SCMS outing last Saturday. We were all wrapped up as the morning started off cold with the possibility of rain. Sharing cars we set off for Lennard’s Island, but met this small obstruction on the way!. There were several fallen trees and even one which was still burning, over a week after the NPWS burn off had taken place.

Fortunately for us Michael suggested we detour to Terrace Beach nearby (Apparently in past times this was known as “Tear-arsed Beach” because of the laid back surfers who frequented it. It’s obviously been made polite since then). In any event we had a really good time finding lots of interesting things  including a Grey Nurse Shark tooth (Maggie Brown) and enjoyed the most glorious sunny morning.

We will re-schedule the Lennards Island visit for another time soon.

Angelika demonstrating the size of the fallen tree