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Earthwatch May 2005 | St Bees Volunteer Field Trip | Mission | Report April | Report June | Obituary for Ros Beasley
From our Treasurer | Walking in Northern Spain

Dr Fred Bercovitch & Dr Bill Ellis

Dr Fred Bercovitch visited Dr William (Bill) Ellis and Dr Alistair Melzer in May to discuss the potential for links between the Zoological Society of San Diego and San Diego Zoo and the koala research in Central Queensland. He visited St Bees Island during the May Earthwatch trip and spent some time working with the volunteers and discussing science with Bill, Alistair and Gail Tucker.

Dr Bercovitch is Head of the Division of Behavioral Biology within the Conservation and Research for Endangered Species department of the Zoological Society of San Diego at San Diego Zoo.

His visit to Central Queensland was part of a tour of research projects supported by the Society. After visiting St Bees Island Dr Bercovitch had further discussions at the University of Queensland before departing for Indonesia’s Komodo Island to meet with the Society’s researchers working on the Komodo dragon.

Alistair Melzer

Earthwatch May 2005

The latest Earthwatch trip was from 6th to 18th May.  We had a small team this trip with only four Earthwatch volunteers and Bill Ellis and Gail Tucker.  An injured knee on day 5 reduced us by one more!  However, we still managed to get a lot of tracking done, with 113 day observations and three nights of night tracking resulting in an additional 27 observations.  We also caught and tagged two new koalas - Vertigo and Winston - and changed the collar on koala Yellow.  Yellow had a back young which we also managed to measure and weigh at the same time.

 We spent a day surveying a new area of the island on the northern end of Vincent Bay (an area now known as VB Ridge), where we found six clean skins.  This part of the island is dominated by Poplar Gum unlike the knoll which is dominated by Blue Gum.  Future surveys and dropping collections will enable us to see if the koalas in this area are eating differently to the ones on the knoll.

Overall, everyone had a good time and enjoyed the hard work.

 Our next trip begins on the 20th July.

Gail Tucker

Oh! Why, Why, Why, do I always get to travel by boat?!!

Mary McCabe
Bill, Gail, Kim, Ashley & Lauren
Report from recent Steering Committee Meetings

19 April 2005
The web site is up and running, thanks to Nick.  Alterations and additions will happen as required.
Decision was made to sell chocolate-coated macadamia nuts during June, July and August as our main fund-raising project for 2005.  Suggestion to sell them at Heritage Village in July and Multicultural Fair in August.

Gail and Alistair were preparing for the Earthwatch trip to St Bees.

There will be a display in North Rockhampton Library in July. 

From the Treasurers Desk
Congratulations to Gail for her initiative, photographs and setting up of our Koala Calendar project and to our members and outlets for the marketing.  Our calendar has found its way to many parts of the world.

Koala Month Project – June, July, August 2005
Our current project is Koala Chocolate-coated Macadamia Nuts Drive 18 yummy chocs in a great presentation box.  If you think you can sell 27 boxes (1 carton), we can send one to your home address (not a P.O. Box). 
The chocs are a fully Queensland product from Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast. The chocs should not be kept in the frig, just in a cool place away from direct sunlight, hence, June, July and August. 
This project is an initiative of Nick Quigley, a new member who has also been responsible for our web page – do have a look – Nick updates the page regularly.

The Volunteers have set aside $dollars for a three year scholarship for a student enrolled in a PhD program.  CQU has agreed to add $ making an attractive $ yearly stipend.  The program will be for Koala Research.  There has been some frustration in finding a suitable candidate and the University is now advertising overseas.

Shirley Hopkins

St Bees Volunteer Field Trip
Kim with Yellow's baby
Fred with Lauren & Cathy
Cathy radio tracking
Lauren with Yellow's baby

CQ Koala Volunteers seek the conservation of the koala and other tree living mammals in Central Queensland by

Supporting research into koalas, other arboreal mammals and their habitat through (a) providing volunteer support to research projects, and (b) assisting in the raising of funds for research and the volunteer teams;
Developing public awareness of the needs of koalas, tree living mammals and their habitat requirements generally
Fostering community support for koalas and tree living mammals generally
Encouraging and assisting with the development of habitat rehabilitation projects where necessary through the region
Supporting the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured or displaced koalas and tree living mammals.

The Central Queensland Koala Volunteers are not about stopping development. They seek to encourage planned development, which allows for the co-existence of koalas and other tree living mammals with human activity.

Funds are used to buy equipment for the researchers, to fund volunteer field teams and provide limited support for animal carers. Donations may also be made to the Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland and are tax deductible.

Office Bearers
Alistair Melzer, Signatory, Chairperson
Carmen Drake, Signatory, CQKV representative on Koala Research Centre Board
Shirely Hopkins, Signatory, Treasurer
Gail Tucker, Minute Secretary
Doreen Lovett, Newsletter Editor

Direct correspondence and newsletter contributions to:
Central Queensland Koala Volunteers
PO Box 1489
Rockhampton, 4700

or call Denise on 0749309944 and leave a message.

  Walking in Northern Spain  

I spent the month of May on a walking tour in Northern Spain, except for six days in London where I enjoyed the parks and gardens in Spring weather, The Lion King and a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical – 'The Woman in White'.

My real delight was walking in the high areas of Northern Spain which is the green area of the country.  We covered the areas of Picos de Europa, Ordesa/Monte Perdido and Aiges Tortes National Parks in the Pyrenees.  These areas featured magnificent gorges up to 1 000 metres deep with wonderful waterfalls, lakes high up in the mountains, great mountains of limestone and granite.  Our highest climb was to 2 000 metres through meadows with wonderful wild flowers peeping through the melting snow.  There were still large patches of unmelted snow.  In the limestone country we saw Ibex, an animal like a goat with horns that spiral above their heads.  In the grassy meadows we saw Chamois and Marmots frolicking in the spring weather, with eagles flying overhead and small birds singing in the bushes.

The group walked 10 km of the St.James Way Pilgrimage which covers 900 kms from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela.  Pilgrims can receive a certificate if they complete 100 kms.  There is free accommodation along the way and in 2004, the pilgrims who completed 100 kms numbered 200 000.  St James' ashes are held in a silver casket in the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela where pilgrims are greeted.

On an Aussie note, there are thousands of Eucalyptus trees which are used in paper making.  I did see two koalas, mother and babe in a San Sebastin Jewellers – diamond studded with jet stone eyes – the price tag – 2 500 Eu (around Aus $4 000) .My holiday was another wonderful experience and I am grateful to have good health to take on such adventures.

Shirley Hopkins

Report from recent Steering Committee Meetings

21June 2005

 Gail and Alistair gave a short account of the trip to St Bees.  There were only four volunteers this time but they managed to accomplish many tasks.

Library display is 4 – 16 July.  Sausage sizzle is on 5 November.  There is a meeting on 5 July at 5.00pm in the Science Meeting Room to make preparations for the  Multicultural Fair on 14 August.  The koala suit now has a remodelled head organized by Mary and someone will be wearing the suit at the fair!

The next meeting is on 16 August.

Reminder from Carmen and Dawn

Please find some small koalas to help replenish their 'Orphan Koalas' supplies.

Note from Gail

The trip dates for the rest of the year are below; if you would like to participate in the trip in the role of Field Mentor, or would like more information, please contact Gail on 4930 9625

July 20th to August 1st  & October 14th to 26th

(Keep in mind you will need to be in Mackay the day before for an early departure on the start date)

Obituary for Ros Beasley

It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of the death of Ros.  Ros came to us (the Koala Volunteers ) in about 1996 and began organizing us into some semblance of order.  She applied for and got a grant to set up a website for the Koala Research.  She badgered all manner of people to get funding to take the exhibition 'The Art of Wilderness' to London.  She succeeded and in 1997 the exhibition was on display in Queensland House, London, with great emphasis on the plight of the koala.  Ros went on research trips to St.Bees on several occasions and was a constant supporter of the Volunteers Group.  It was on one of these trips that her partner Ken suffered a stroke and subsequently required considerable care from Ros.  The artists that she helped as well the C.Q. Koala Volunteers have lost a great supporter. Carmen Drake


My Memories of Ros Beasley

I first met Ros on St Bees, our very first koala trip to the island. She was an energetic, vibrant, creative lady whose mind moved faster than mine and a lady who did not let conditions get in her way.  Those who were there will remember how tough going it was, exploring over the rugged dense terrain and how delightful it was to tally up the wildlife we'd come to meet

 I'll never forget the day when Ros and I were sitting on the slope of the knoll on St Bees, when she suggested that I go over to London to look after the house whilst her family came out to visit.

This conversation was to lead to a most wonderful three month adventure.  Back on the mainland, I visited Ros at Emu Park several times to chat and plan my house sitting.  Her energy pushed me along to finally get around to do something I had wanted to do for decades – I, being both terrified but excited, Ros enthused me all the way.

I have many memories of gathering with family, in a cove north of Main Beach, just down from her house and studio.  I delighted in sharing an afternoon at one of Ros' BBQ's.  Her handcrafted clay cooking pot was broken through popular use, but once Ros fitted it together again we enjoyed tasty snags on this cold breezy special day

I met family, on St Bees,

I met more family on the beach back home.

I met more family at fundraising events

I met her partner.

And, then I met even more family overseas!!

I came to love that family, thinking of them often, even though the distances and time restricted contact.

Ros' spirit will live on in them and in all who have known her

Mary McCabe

A Tribute to Ros Beasley

All people connected with the Arts and in later years with the Koala Research Volunteers were saddened to hear of the passing of Ros Beasley in late April this year after a short illness.

My association with Ros was through the Exhibition 'Arts in the Wilderness'.  Ros was the driving force behind this exhibition which went to London in October,1997.

Through her enthusiasm and encouragement the small group of artists who had spent ten days painting the landscape of Idalia National Park put together an exhibition which was finally hung in Queensland House in London.  This was to help create an awareness overseas of the work done by the Central Queensland Koala Research Centre.

It was through guidance and encouragement of Ros that I made the decision to travel to London with the Exhibition. Lorraine Prins, her husband Steve, Ros and I hung the exhibition and were very pleased with the result.

Ros' efforts were greatly appreciated by the artists concerned. She had spent a great deal of her time and resources contacting the people who were connected with environmental matters and who had connections and influences in positions she thought may benefit the Koala Research both in Australia and overseas. We felt the attendance at the Opening and throughout the exhibition was an indication of the interest created by Ros in our Central Queensland Koalas.

Dawn Pound