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Hotspots camera traps picked up an important family sighting!

Thursday, 16th May 2013

Hotspots camera traps picked up an important family sighting!

It may seem strange to many that the Hotspots team were so excited to see a photo of a family of emus taken from one of our prescribed burn monitoring sites. But for the NSW north coast, the emu is a rare sight indeed. Geographically isolated from inland population, the north coast emu is an endangered population now only found within Yuraygir National Park, some coastal parts of the Clarence Valley and a small population centred on Main Camp, south of Casino.  The last census count (2012) suggests that only approximately 130 birds remain, with numbers declining.

Over the last 18 months Hotspots has been working with over 80 community representatives stretching from Corindi (just north of Coffs Harbour) to Main Camp (just south of Casino) to explore ways to improve fire management for the emu. Specifically exploring ways in which communities can work collectively to reduce fire risk whilst maintaining a diverse mosaic of post-fire regeneration feeding sites likely to be needed to help the survival of the emu.

During this time the Hotspots team has not only been surprised by the level of interest to protect the coastal emu but has also been encouraged by the wide mix of landholder support ranging from agricultural land uses through to conservation and lifestyle landholdings and Aboriginal owned lands.

Jimmy Malecki, an award winning photographer and landholder from the Bungawalbin region, felt that it was important not only to relay this important emu story but to relay all the fire related stories being expressed by the community at the Hotspots workshops. These will soon be available via the Hotspots YouTube channel, however you can preview one landholder’s personal experience on the benefits of property fire management planning via this YouTube clip.

For more information on the Bungawalbin workshop, visit the where we work map and the Bungawalbin Catchment Workshop Regional Report. 

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