first_imgMore than 375 media ad travel PR representatives convened on Friday 23 February for the second year running at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney for TravMedia Australia’s sixth International Media Marketplace (IMM).IMM Australia connected 170 local media with 152 travel brands encompassing 206 PR representatives of international travel and tourism product ranging from hotels, airlines, destinations and tour operators. Collectively they participated in 3,344 pre-scheduled, one-on-one appointments – as well as a dedicated USA themed Media Breakfast presented by Visit USA.Highlights of the day included the media lounge proudly presented by Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, inviting media and exhibitors to push pause on a busy day and disconnect for a moment of relaxation. Tourism NT invited media and industry to jump feet first into croc territory with an interative game and during the afternoon netowrking session delegates were entertained by Hong Kong Tourism with an impressive display from a dragon dance procession to celebrate Year of the Dog. The day concluded with an exclusive cocktail reception at the new Sofitel Darling Harbour in Darling Harbour, with an impressive array of cuisine including seafood, champagne bar and a chocolate fountain.“It was wonderful attending the IMM conference and meeting like-minded people in the industry, passionate about travel and seeing the world. Talking to people representing different companies from Northern America and Australia has given me some great insights that I can’t wait to share with our readers at Signature Media.”Nicola McClean, Signature MediaNick Wayland, CEO and founder of TravMedia said: “The success of IMM Australia 2018 would not have been possible without the support of our Headline Sponsor, Brand USA; Event Sponsors, AccorHotels, United Airlines and Hong Kong Tourism Board; and Hotel Partners, Mantra Group, TFE, The Lancemore Group, QT Sydney, Pan Pacific Hotels Group and Hyatt Regency Sydney.”Media in attendance included top national travel editors and freelancers from outlets including: Signature Luxury Travel & Style, Holidays with Kids, Fairfax Media, Traveller, News Corp, Escape, NZ Herald, The Australian, Australian Traveller, International Traveller, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Luxury Travel Magazine, Marie Claire, Australian Women’s Weekly, Higher View Inflight Magazine, Vacations & Travel, get lost magazine, Bound Round, Jetstar Magazine, Voyeur, Qantas Magazine, SilverKris, Sky Business, AFR Magazine, Financial Review Life & Leisure, Flight Centre, Senior Traveller, The Senior Newspaper, Robb Report and more.Trade publications included: Travel Today, Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly Asia, micenet, BT Publishing, CIM Magazine, Spice, Hotel Management, The Holiday and Travel Magazine, Cruise Advice and Cruise Critic.Due to the overwhelming success of this year’s event, “TravMedia IMM Australia will return to Sydney in 2019… Based on the positive feedback we anticipate a terrific turnout again,” said Nick Wayland.TravMedia’s IMM has become the leading travel industry event to meet the media. Upcoming 2017 International Media Marketplace events include IMM Germany in Berlin the day before ITB on 7 March; IMM UK in London on 13 March; IMM Brazil 2 April, IMM Asia in Singapore just prior to ITB Asia on 24 October; and IMM US on 25 January.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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first_img A beguiling, 11-kilometer-long speck of land in the Pacific Ocean 780 kilometers northeast of Sydney, Australia, Lord Howe Island hosts some of the world’s southernmost tropical coral reefs as well as throngs of endemic birds and insects. But invasive species have laid siege to its unique biodiversity, the worst of them the black rats that first scurried ashore in 1918 after the steamship SS Makambo grounded on the reef. Now, a unique effort to eradicate the invaders is unfolding—against a background of controversy among the island’s roughly 380 human inhabitants.To protect or restore native species, introduced rodents have been extirpated on more than 700 islands worldwide, many around New Zealand, with its rich but threatened endemic fauna. But the Lord Howe project, years in the making, “will be the largest rodent eradication undertaken on a permanently inhabited island anywhere in the world,” says Andrew Walsh of the Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Project, who is overseeing the effort to spread 42 tons of poisoned cereal pellets across the island. Some 28,000 bait stations were filled across farmed and residential areas starting 22 May, and helicopters will scatter baits over more forested and mountainous parts of the island as soon as weather permits.Walsh and his colleagues hope to undo some of the damage from the voracious rodents, which have wiped out five endemic birds, two plants, and 13 insects, including the 15-centimeter-long, black, waxy-looking Lord Howe Island stick insect, also called the phasmid or tree lobster (Dryococelus australis). Some lost species, including the phasmid, have subsequently been rediscovered on surrounding islets. Eliminating the estimated 360,000 rodents—including house mice, which arrived in the 1860s—could allow the native animals to return to the main island, and will also protect another 70 or more threatened species, such as the little shearwater, masked booby, and several endemic palms that grow in the island’s cloud forest. IAN HUTTON “It’s going to be a landmark project throughout the history of eradications,” says Ian Hutton, naturalist and curator of the Lord Howe Island Museum, who has led research and conservation on the island since the 1980s. But the fact that Lord Howe Island—a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is officially part of the Australian state of New South Wales—is a tourist destination with an established human population created a unique challenge. Many residents feared the baits might harm children, pets, cattle, and other wildlife or damage the lucrative tourist trade.The island’s governing body decided in 2017 to go ahead with the AU$10.5 million eradication, after 15 years of research and planning and a referendum that saw 52% of islanders vote in favor. But others remained bitterly opposed. “This whole thing will be a disaster. We might as well kiss our World Heritage listing goodbye,” islander Rodney Thompson told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper in April. By John PickrellJun. 5, 2019 , 12:45 PM Mass rodent poisoning on this remote Australian island could bring back giant stick insect “We have families that have been here six generations, and some have a sense of ownership of the island,” says Hutton, a longtime advocate for the eradication.Originally scheduled for 2018, the effort was postponed for a year because of a snag in government pesticide permits, organizers say. The delay gave them time to rethink how baits would be distributed in occupied areas, which brought many remaining detractors on board.People weren’t the only complication. Research in 2007 had revealed that the poison, a rodenticide called brodifacoum, might endanger two endemic birds, the Lord Howe Island woodhen and the Lord Howe Island currawong. Since April, a team from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo has been involved in rounding them up, housing the roughly 200 woodhens and 125 currawongs captured so far—more than half the wild populations—in aviaries and pens. The birds have “settled in beautifully,” says Leanne Elliott, wildlife conservation officer at the zoo. Once the poison has broken down, they’ll be released into the wild again, likely in stages toward the end of the year.By then the rats should be gone, and biodiversity should start to rebound, says Melanie Massaro, an ornithologist at Charles Sturt University in Albury, Australia, who has been studying the currawong. Providing the eradication is successful, she says, “Some smaller seabirds that have been previously lost will likely start breeding on the island again; some populations of currently threatened species will increase in numbers, and there’s also the potential of reintroducing species.”One early returnee might be the Lord Howe stick insect, long thought extinct. In 2001, a few individuals were found clinging to life atop windswept Ball’s Pyramid, a 551-meter-tall rocky sea stack 23 kilometers to the southwest. The insects have since been bred at Australia’s Melbourne Zoo, and in 2017 researchers confirmed that their DNA matches that of museum specimens collected from the main island more than a century ago. The first step in the species return will come in 2021 with a trial release of captive-bred phasmids onto an islet in Lord Howe’s lagoon that is now being revegetated.”It’s all going to be done very carefully,” Hutton says. “In 100 years, there have been a lot of changes and the phasmid was part of an ecosystem that has altered,” he says, arguing that some of the missing birds may once have kept it in check. Without native predators, the stick insect population could surge.Then again, some of those birds may return as well. Norfolk Island, about 900 kilometers to the north, hosts related subspecies of parrots, owls, and several other birds that once made their home on Lord Howe. They are contenders for reintroductions. Others, such as the Kermadec petrel and white-bellied storm petrel, found on surrounding islets, may return on their own—providing this summer’s campaign can end the centurylong reign of the rats. Lord Howe Island has reefs, forests, and endemic species threatened by invasive rodents. 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Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) IAN HUTTON Rodents wiped out the cigar-size Lord Howe Island stick insect on the main island, but it clung to life on a nearby islet.last_img read more

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