For some time now I’ve been following the fortunes of operators such as Paul VK5PAS who post on Facebook about their World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) exploits and include some fascinating photographs.
I was familiar with Summits on the Air (SOTA) where you activate the summits of hills and mountains but had no idea what WWFF is.
I operate almost entirely portable and did a number of sessions last year where I carried my gear on the bicycle to location and it occurred to me that it would not be too difficult for me to carry the gear to site for a SOTA type activation. Great idea but with one snag… SOTA peaks are hard to come by in this part of the world.
Several operators suggested that with my South West VK6 QTH, the WWFF program might suit me better so I started to investigate. So what is WWFF? In a nutshell, this is a program where you activate designated nature parks and protected nature areas. It is designed to bring awareness to the importance of protecting nature, flora and fauna. So you go to the park and set up your station and away you go.
I arranged to speak with Paul VK5PAS who runs the Australian WWFF program to find out the ins and outs of how it all works. Paul spent over an hour talking with me about the program and painstakingly went through all the details with me and how to get started. So I set myself up with a logsearch login and was ready to rock and roll (perhaps not the best choice of words when referring to activities in a national park! ).
I’ve provided links later in this post to some very handy WWFF resources so I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty here but here are the main things you need to know:-
- You can participate as either a ‘hunter’ or an ‘activator’ – yes hunter maybe an unfortunate term in a national park context but don’t take it too literally .
- To successfully activate a park requires 10 contacts for the Australian program or 44 contacts for the international program and these can be obtained from multiple sessions, e.g. 5 obtained on one session and 5 on a subsequent session gets you the 10 contacts required for the Australian program.
- The activation needs to be for at least 30 minutes to qualify for the Australian program or two hours to qualify for the international program.
I was going to visit Perth on the weekend of July 11-12 and I had promised to arrange to meet Chris VK6FCDL for a portable session. Chris lives in Butler which is about 30 minutes from Yanchep so it seemed an ideal opportunity for my maiden WWFF voyage. We found a good location in the Yanchep National Park in an area with lots of space and lots of kangaroos.
We were QRV by 06:30 UTC and had a good session on 20 metres, successfully activating the park for the Australian program with around 15 contacts. It was good to get many callers from Europe with contacts in countries including Germany, Belgium and Slovenia and some interstate VKs. All in all, a pleasant afternoon in perfect sunshine and a good introduction for Chris VK6FCDL who had not used HF at all.
If you want to find out more about the WWFF program then here are some excellent resources:-
- World Wide Flora and Fauna – Australia – excellent resource operated by Paul VK5PAS containing everything you need to know for the Australian program.
- World Wide Flora and Fauna – international program site including links to the logsearch facility.
- WWFF LogSearch facility – You will need to register for a logsearch login to get involved in the program wherever you are located whether your interest is as a ‘hunter’, ‘activator’. or both. You may already be entitled to an award as a hunter and you won’t know about it unless you have access to this utility. You can use the logsearch without a login but the information available to you is limited.
Filed under: Amateur Radio