Abrolhos Trip

Whale.jpgA group of ANN Field Naturalists 2016, visited “The Abrolhos”. The Abrolhos is sited in a sanctuary and the waters surrounding the islands are protected.  The trip included the history of the Abrolhos – the shipwreck Batavia and the mutineers.  Activities such as snorkelling, fishing, glass bottom boat viewing, visiting islands and rock pooling were included.

Some of the islands are breeding grounds for different bird species such as Lesser & Brown Noddys, Terns, Ospreys, Cormorants and Sea Eagles.  Many birds nest on beaches, be on the lookout for eggs as they are easily trodden on.  Sea Lions were spotted on the islands and close to shore.  Refrain from getting too close to all birds and animals and avoid being between parents and their babies.   Sit or kneel when taking photos so that you are not a threat and you will go home with some great memories.

I indicated that I would love to see a whale close up.  One day, whilst sailing between the islands we had a fantastic encounter with a whale – just beyond the bow that also came up to the side of the boat.  A WOW moment!  Not to be outdone, a pod of dolphins decided to put on a live show surfing, jumping and bumping each other just below the bow and to the stern of the ship.  Whales are rather slow in comparison to surfing dolphins.  Neither are easy to photograph as it is extremely difficult to judge where they will surface and on a boat that is rocking side to side/up and down.  For me, this was the highlight of the trip.


Agenda for ANN General Meeting, October 2016

To be held in Perth at the Woodman Point Recreation Camp on the evening of Thursday 6 October, 2016.

1. Opening and welcome by ANN Steering Committee Chairperson, Pam Ghirardi


2. Attendance and apologies


3. Minutes of the previous general meeting held in Hobart on 25 October, 2014 – previously circulated, to be confirmed


4.Business arising

4.1 Natural environment issues of concern at a national level.

5. Reports

5.1 2014 Get-Together held in Hobart, hosted by the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club

5.2 ANN Web-master – Robert Read may wish to report

5.3 ANN register Coordinator – John Gregurke may wish to report

5.4 ANN Camp account – Denis Thurgood (SEANA Treasurer) may wish to report

6. Election of Steering Committee office bearers and ordinary members for 2016-2018

The positions of Chairperson, Secretary, Web-master and Register Coordinator for 2016-2018 are to be filled. Nominations for ordinary membership of the Steering Committee will also be sought.

7. General business

7.1 Planning for 2018 ANN Get-Together

7.2 Motion of thanks to the Western Australian Naturalists Club.

7.3 Any other business

8. Next meeting

The next general meeting will be held during the 2018 Get-Together (venue and date to be advised).

Phil Rayment, Secretary, ANN Steering Committee

e-mail: philrayment@dcsi.net.au , phone 03 5174 1730

Southern Trip Dossier

Click on the link below to view the latest information and itinerary for the post ANN Southern Tour, 10-16 October 2016.

Dossier Southern Rev 1

Northern Tour Trip Dossier

Click on the link below to view the latest information and itinerary for the pre-ANN Northern Tour, 24-20 September 2016.

Dossier Northern Rev 1

Circular 3 ANN 2016

Please note that final payment is due by July 31 for those who have paid a deposit.

There are limited vacancies – check with Margaret Larke. Please direct all enquiries to the Committee Secretary, Margaret Larke mlarke@iinet.net.au  or phone the
WA Naturalists’ Club‘s office (08) 9228 2495.

Click on the link below to find the latest information.

Circular 3 ANN16 Final accepted

About ANN2016

ANN2016 Format

The ANN2016 Get-Together will be a fully-catered event lasting for 10 days with an option to choose extra tours before and/or after the Network Get-Together.

ANN2016 Dates

Northern Pre Tour 24 – 30 September2016
Abrohlos Islands Pre Tour 25 – 30 September 2016
Network Get-Together         1 – 10 October 2016
Southern Post Tour 10 – 16 October 2016
Abrohlos Islands Post Tour 14 – 19 October 2016 (subject to minimum 15)

ANN2016 Location

The venue for ANN2016 Get-Together is the Woodman Point Recreation Camp, 74 O’Kane Court, Munster. This camp is run by the WA Department of Sport and Recreation. http://www.dsr.wa.gov.au/camps/locations/woodmanpoint. It is situated in the Woodman Point Regional Park, 10 km south of Fremantle and approximately a 45 minute drive from the Perth airport. The park is bordered by the sea (Cockburn Sound) and is a relic of Perth’s original coastal vegetation. http://www.bushlandperth.org.au/bushlandtreasures/southoftheriver/133woodmanpointregionalpark

The wooden buildings were originally the State’s Quarantine Station. Because of their historical significance they are under the protection of the National Trust. They have been refurbished recently.

Accommodation at the Woodman Point Recreation Camp

The accommodation is in dormitories with either 10 or 14 rooms. The rooms are a reasonable size with 2 double bunks in each. We will allocate only 2 persons per room unless otherwise requested. Mattresses, mattress covers, pillows provided (see What to Bring at the end of this circular).

Shower cubicles and toilets located in each dormitory. Disabled toilet/shower in each dormitory. There is a laundry on site (4x$1).

Other Accommodation (your responsibility)

Participants not wishing to stay at the Woodman Point Recreation Camp must make their own arrangements. Here are some suggestions.

  • The Woodman Point Holiday Park is adjacent to the ANN2016 venue, about 1.7km by road. It has camping/caravan sites plus chalets/villas. http://big4.com.au/caravanparks/wa/…/woodmanpointholidaypark.When booking, mention the WA Naturalists’ Club and Australian Naturalists’ Network for a 10% discount on their standard rates.
  • Coogee Beach Holiday Park: http://www.aspenparks.com.au/CoogeeBeachis located 8km south of Fremantle.
  • Search Coogee, Munster, Naval Base, Rockingham, South Fremantle for apartments and other rentals. The nearest hotel style accommodation is in Fremantle.


All meals from dinner on Saturday 1 October to breakfast on Monday 10 October are included in the registration fee regardless of your chosen accommodation.

The catering is done by the Camp caterer in a modern kitchen and served in a dining room built to resemble the inside of an upside-down ship hull.

Cooked breakfasts, most lunches will be packed for bus travel, 2 course dinner at night. Continuous coffee/tea.

Alcohol is permitted, BYO.

Special meals: diabetic/gluten free/vegetarian/vegan will be available subject to advance notification.


WiFi and landline not available.

Mobile networks coverage.

There is no canteen or shops on site. Nearest shopping centre is located at Spearwood, about 5 minutes’ drive.


The October average maximum temperature: 23.1C; average minimum: 11.6C. There could be rain and it will be windy most afternoons.

Southwest Australia’s Global Biodiversity Hotspot



400th anniversary of the first European Landing in Australia

The Western Australian Naturalists’ Club cordially invites naturalists over Australia to attend the eighth Australian Naturalists’ Network Get-Together to be held at Woodman Point, near Perth, in 2016.

This circular gives;

  • an introduction to the Southwest, (botanical and historical),
  • dates of the ANN2016 and associated tours,
  • details of location, format, accommodation and catering,
  • details of pre and post tours,
  • cost of events and accommodation,
  • enrolment form, and
  • details of timing and payment options.

Introduction to the Southwest

The unique biogeographic region of Southwest Australia, stretching from Shark Bay in the north to Israelite Bay in the south, covers over 300 000 square kilometres and is recognised as an international biodiversity hotspot. https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/conservation/hotspots. Briefly a Global Biodiversity Hot Spot is one where there are over 1500 endemic plant species and where 70% of the land has been cleared.

The Southwest of Western Australia has over 5710 plant species and some 3000 (52.5%) are endemic. The uniqueness of our flora is the result of growing in an area which has been exposed and uninfluenced by glaciation or volcanism for at least 290 million years, which has been totally isolated by seas and deserts for 30 million years and which has had a drying summer climate for 10-15 million years. Professor Stephen Hopper (UWA and former Director of Kew Gardens, London and Kings Park, Perth) termed it OCBIL – old climate-buffered infertile landscape. This region also has 12 species of mammals, 13 species of bird, 27 reptile species and 28 species of frog that are endemic.


Western Australia also has played a significant part in the European discovery of the Great South Land. http://museum.wa.gov.au/maritimearchaeologydb/maritimereports/findingancientlandillustratedresearchessay.

On the 25th of October 1616, Captain Dirk Hartog arrived on the Dutch East India Company vessel the

Eendracht at Shark Bay. By nailing an inscribed pewter plate to a wooden post at the site now known as Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island, he and his crew made the first recorded European landing on Australian soil – 400 years ago this year. http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/dirkhartog.

In 1697, after exploring the Swan River and collecting some plants, William de Vlamingh landed at Cape Inscription and removed the original plate and replaced it with one of his own. Hartog’s plate is now housed at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Vlamingh’s plate is on display in the Shipwreck Gallery of the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle. ANN2016 participants will have an opportunity to see the plate during one of the scheduled tours.

Interestingly for botanists, Vlamingh’s collections would have been the earliest from Australia had they survived. Only two specimens were found in Batavia many years later, then incorrectly identified as ferns, and finally correctly named in the early 1800s by Robert Brown (naturalist aboard Mathew Flinders’ Investigator) as Acacia truncata and Synaphea spinulosa from the Swan River area. However in 1699, the British explorer William Dampier also landed at Shark Bay and explored the surrounding area and further north. Dampier was interested in the country and collected and documented many plant and other specimens; 24 plant specimens and documentation survived a ship wreck and now are in the FieldingDruce Herbarium in Oxford– the first scientific collection of plants and other specimens from Australia.

During the Get-Together and the associated tours you will have numerous opportunities to view many of the species that are unique to the Southwest and to visit exhibitions and displays relating to European discovery and exploration as well as learning about the Noongar people, the original inhabitants of the area, and their relationship to the land and sea.