Territory Stories

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Savanna links

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Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Savannas Management


Tropical Savannas CRC


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Date:1998-06; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Cooperative Research Centre for the Sustainable Development of Tropical Savannas; Savannas; Northern Australia; Management; Research; Australia; Periodicals

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Tropical Savannas CRC

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issue 6

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Tropical Savannas CRC



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3Savanna Links May/June 1998 Take a look: are your pastures getting past it? Grazing A glove box guide has been produced by the Department of Primary Industries for native pasture identification and grazing management in North Queensland. Is Your Pasture Past It? is a loose-leaf ringbinder of plasticised colour pages compiled by Charters Towers extension officer Joe Rolfe, field assistant Tristin Golding and Bowen Futureprofit extension officer Don Cowan as a durable field manual to help producers maintain productive, perennial pastures. Its designed to help beef producers in North Queensland to identify pasture species on their property in order to make better grazing management decisions, Joe Rolfe said. As a guide it covers 62 native grass types and seven forb, legume and other common species, which are the vital to sustainable beef production in north Queensland. Each plant is described under a 3P concept, which rates its perennial, productive and palatable characteristics. 3P plants are the most desirable grasses for beef production. Regular wet season spelling and maintaining moderate stocking pressures and will help retain these grasses in the pasture, Joe explained. Most grasses are also defined as being pasture increasers or decreasers. Decreaser grasses are the ones most eagerly sought after by grazing animals they tend to decrease as grazing pressure increases. Increaser grasses, on the other hand, become better established because they are less palatable they tend to increase as more favoured species are grazed out. Sponsored by DPIs Doing More With Our Services program, the Dalrymple Landcare Committee, Meat Research Corporation and Tropical Savannas CRC, the guide is already being used for grazing management workshops around the region. Anna Cahill Flora & Fauna Producers can use the manual to look at the composition of their native grasses and adjust grazing management to favour those that are desirable. Kakadu National Park is preparing for the arrival of the ubiquitous (and probably unstoppable) cane toad with a series of research projects aimed at monitoring the impact of the pest. The toads are now almost 100 km east of Mataranka. As Piers Barrow (Project Officer, Natural Resource Management) points out, no one has ever been able to halt the spread of the toad or eradicate it. They are poisonous to predators and their eggs and tadpoles are also toxic. Native predators at risk include fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. There is also the impact of greater competition for resources to take into account as well as the toads own predatory habits. Dr Barrow writes that Kakadus indigenous frogs are one group of animals likely to suffer heavily from the impact of the toads. A research program devised and run by Professor Gordon Grigg of the University of Queensland will monitor the population levels of all frog species at several points in the park. Listening posts have been set up which can record, by their calls, the abundance of frogs. The toads calls, when they arrive, will stand out. Cane toads hop ever closer to Kakadu The Green Corps are also carrying out a fauna survey at about 70 sites throughout the park. The survey will provide baseline information which can be built on as the toads get nearer. The research will also be incorporated into the Parks fire research program, to help understand the effects of different fire regimes on small animals. (From Kakadu Gun-Wok, the newsletter for the Kakadu National Park Tourism Industry newsletter) The book is $30 from DPI offices in Charters Towers, Bowen, Mareeba and Brisbane. Contact: Joe Rolfe, Extension Officer DPI Charters Towers. Tel: (07) 4787 2155. Don Cowan, Futureprofit Extension Officer, Bowen DPI. Tel: (07 4785 2255 CSIRO has a Web page on the cane toad with links to other sites with information on the toad: www.ah.csiro.au/Topics/toad.htm