Historical photos show impact of fires in the Park

The Friends of the Fitzgerald River National Park (FRNP) are seeking early photos of vegetation in this park which clearly show the density of obvious plants such as Royal Hakea (Hakea victoria) and banksias from identifiable locations. We will then try to relocate the same view to obtain a sequence of images over time to help determine the effect of fire on particular species.

An example is shown of Royal Hakeas along the No Tree Hill walk trail. The first photo (left) was taken in the 1980s prior to a wildfire started by lightning in 1989. The second photo (right), taken of the same scene in 2019, shows a considerable decline in density of Royal Hakea. This is attributed to an intervening prescribed burn in 2003, which meant that the hakeas were only 14 years old when they were burnt again, without an adequate seed bank for full recovery.

The FRNP is recognised as having a high conservation value and the Friends are concerned that the frequency of prescribed burns and escapes are causing short fire-return intervals. The most recent occurred in June 2019 when a burn for “bushfire risk management, biodiversity management” in the wilderness area escaped and burnt the Thumb Peak range, resulting in a fire interval of only 21 years. The impact on the Threatened Ecological Communities and Threatened species that occur there is currently unknown.
Most of the vegetation in the park is now less than 30 years old (see map overleaf). Although the park’s management plan specifically refers to the establishment of a Research and Monitoring Group to inform fire management, the executives of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) are against its formation. The Friends are pleased however, that following a workshop initiated by the Friends, the DBCA have funded $35,876 for their research scientists to develop a model for defining ecologically acceptable fire-return intervals for 18 susceptible plant species in the South Coast region.


The Friends are also pursuing their intent of providing a travel scholarship to post-graduate student to study the population ecology of Royal Hakea in the park.
If you have any photos, preferably pre-2000 of iconic plants in the FRNP with known location and approximate date of capture, please email them at low resolution to admin@fitzgeraldfriends.org.au or post prints/ transparencies to:


FRNP Photos

Friends of the FRNP

PO Box 199

Ravensthorpe 6346

Please provide your return address as these will be scanned and sent back to you.

Members Weekend 19th—21st June 2020

The Friends Committee is pleased to invite all members to Twertup Field Studies Centre for the Winter Solstice. The Committee has reserved the facility for an informal get-together for members. It will be an opportunity for bush-walks, socialising and enjoyment of the wonderful new accommodation facilities.

Gathering numbers are restricted due to COVID-19 so please make sure you register your attendance with admin@fitzgeraldfriends.org.au by providing:

• all names of people attending.
• contact email and phone number.
• If a bed is required or making own camping arrangements.


In the event of weather preventing entrance to Twertup the weekend will be cancelled.
Park entrance fees apply.

FACILITATOR REQUIRED to run Wildflower Discovery Sessions
for school students in the Fitzgerald Biosphere

The Friends of the Fitzgerald River National Park have received a Mary Bremner Grant through the Wildflower Society of WA to implement a program titled:

“Introducing a New Generation to the Botanical Wonders of the Fitzgerald Biosphere”

The objectives are:
1. To engage and inspire a new generation of children living in the Fitzgerald Biosphere to appreciate the exceptionally high botanical value of their local environment.
2. To encourage a greater enjoyment and care of flora through the sharing of expertise within the FoFRNP membership, school children, teachers and wider communities.
The program will achieve these objectives through a series of wildflower identification classes at local primary schools within or adjacent to the Fitzgerald Biosphere.

Calls for Expressions of Interest
The following attributes and requirements are necessary for this position:
- good knowledge of local flora;
-high degree of organisational skills;
-able to engage with students and deliver information at appropriate cognitive level;
-be familiar with local environment and safety procedures for bushwalking;
-able to contact schools, arrange session times and plan lesson;
-able to travel to primary schools in the Fitzgerald Biosphere region.

Required qualifications
Working With Children Check
Driver’s License
First Aid Certificate

The Project timeframe is 1st July 2020 to 1st November 2021 with allocated funding for approximately 15 hours for preparation and presentation time plus travel expenses.
We look forward to receiving your Expression of Interest for this position.

For further information contact FoFRNP Secretary, Delys Harland at admin@fitzgeraldfriends.org.au

by 1st July 2020.

The Friends of the Fitzgerald River National Park are an independent community group bringing people together to appreciate this remarkable National Park.

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© 2014 by Sam Elliott.