25 September 2023

Landcare volunteers turn 30

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Landcare ACT has joined in the celebrations of the national program’s 30th anniversary this month, advocating its local Frogwatch as an event supported by “hundreds of volunteers of all ages”.

Chair of Landcare ACT, former Auditor-General and ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Maxine Cooper said Landcare had evolved into a national movement of more than 6,000 groups and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

“Given pressures on our land such as climate change, Australia and the ACT need Landcare now more than ever,” Dr Cooper said.

“It’s vital that rural and urban communities continue to work together to look after our environment and promote sustainable land management.”

She said ACT Landcare groups operated across the ACT, and into NSW, boasting hundreds of dedicated, passionate volunteers working on a vast range of projects.

She said these included sustainable land use, waterway restoration, cultural site maintenance, feral pest and weed management as well as citizen science programs such as Frogwatch.

“The ACT and Region Frogwatch Program has been under way since 2002,” Dr Cooper said.

“It involves hundreds of volunteers of all ages making for ACT’s ponds and waterways after dark to collect data on the distribution and abundance of frogs.”

Coordinator of Frogwatch’s Climate Change Project, Anke-Maria Hoefer said that due to seasonal and habitat factors, frog calling behaviour could change making them the perfect indicator species for monitoring environmental health.

“Data collected under the Frogwatch program show fluctuations in frog breeding seasons indicating the effect of changes in climate,” Ms Hoefer said.

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