Saving our Species spring newsletter

Spring is always a timely reminder of the beauty and wonder of our plants and animals – first flowerings, hidden habitats and ‘hello’ from hibernation. The Saving our Species (SoS) team and supporters really stepped it up this season with a raft of activities, experiences and successes for National Threatened Species Day on 7 September, Science Week in August and the Biodiversity Month of September.

Turquoise parrot (Neophema pulchella)

This edition of SoS News celebrates and shines a spotlight on the important Saving our Species work that continues every day for our dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

Featured in this issue:

Also in the newsletter:

  • Awards and nominations – David Hunter; the Green Globes; and Peter Higgins
  • In the field: Meet SoS's Anna Murphy, Geetha Ortac and Damon Oliver
  • From the Green Room: Three more plant success stories: Wee Jasper grevillea; obcordate-leaved zieria; Minyon quandong.
  • The new NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 became effective on 25 August 2017. Read more about Saving our Species and the new framework.

Thank you to those who continue to contribute their time, energy and expertise into Saving our Species.

Threatened Species Day Spectacular

Threatened Species Day 2017 really took off for Saving Our Species with over 35 registered events around the State on and around the day – from Byron to Braidwood and Blackheath to a bake-off. It was inspiring to see so many in the community participating, hats, boots and all. Check out some of the highlights in our photo gallery.

Threatened Species Day is observed on the 7 September each year (commemorating the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger on that day in 1936) to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction and to highlight the work that is being done to save them.

Awards and nominations

In the field

From the Green Room

Featured species

Villous mint-bush (Prostanthera densa) flower

Common name: Villous mint-bush
Scientific name: Prostanthera densa
Conservation status: Vulnerable

Villous Mint-bush is an erect mint-smelling shrub up to 2m tall. Branches and leaves are covered with long, spreading hairs. The leaves are in pairs and almost triangular in shape, to 15mm long and 12mm wide. They are dark green above and paler below, with curled-under edges. The tubular flowers are mauve with orange markings and grow in the angles where the leaves meet the stems. Flowering has been observed throughout the year, but occurs chiefly in spring or from May - December.

Distribution: This species has been recorded from the Currarong area in Jervis Bay, Royal National Park, Cronulla, Garie Beach and Port Stephens (Gan Gan Hill, Nelson Bay). The Sydney and Royal National Park populations were thought possibly extinct, but the species is now known to occur near Bundeena and Cronulla.

Threats: Weed invasion, illegal dumping and recreational activities. Susceptible to extinction because of its small population size.

Villous mint-bush heads for victory

Volunteers' ears needed to listen out for Eastern bristlebirds

Eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) is an example of a site-managed species

PhD candidate Jessica Cappadonna is calling for volunteers in the North Coast NSW area who are interested in learning more or taking part in Project Bristle Whistle, an audio project on the endangered Eastern bristlebird. This bird is easily located by its loud, melodic song and a harsh, sharp alarm-call. Jessica plans to start the project later this year – email if you would like to be involved.

Noble Spirit - an exhibition of wildlife portraits by Esther Beaton

This is the work of esteemed wildlife photographer, Esther Beaton – and took her 3 decades to capture.

The exhibition, at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, aims to elevate the stature of Australia’s native fauna in the eyes of the general public. It draws attention to the right of all species, from endangered to common, to call this continent their own.

Noble Spirit, Australian Wildlife Portraits by Esther Beaton

1-14 November 2017 – open daily – free entry
The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens

Dates for your diary

15 October - National Water Week

23 October - Bird Week and Great Aussie Backyard Bird Count

12 November - Pollinator Week

5 December - World Soil Day

11 December - International Mountain Day

Saving our Species in the news

In addition to strong social media postings, at least 70 Saving our Species items appeared in print and electronic media over the last 2 months. Here are a few from around the state:


This video of a stranded koala being rescued from rising floodwaters on the Murray River caught the attention of viewers around the world.

The Guardian: Koala takes a ride in a canoe to escape rising river.

Threatened Species Day gallery