Conservation Volunteers Australia

Conservation Volunteers has partnered with individuals, businesses and governments in the conservation of our unique environment since 1982. In that time we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around Australia and across the world and supported their participation in a diversity of important projects to protect and enhance our environment. Our Vision We believe in a healthy and sustainable environment, and for everyone to be involved in managing and protecting that environment. Our Mission To attract and manage volunteers to participate in projects that protect or enhance our environment and heritage. Our Objectives 1. A healthy, diverse and sustainably managed envir...
Aug 11, 2014

Lights, Cameras...Bandicoots!

Eastern Barred Bandicoot
Eastern Barred Bandicoot

Wow what an amazing few months at Woodlands Historic Park! We just recently held a 3 day monitoring session and such great results have been achieved.  Conservation Volunteers Australia’s Project Officer, Travis Scicchitano, reports: “Thirty individual bandicoots were caught for processing.  Fourteen of those were bred and born on-site, which is brilliant to be catching new animals!  We captured eleven females, ten of which had pouch young totalling 27 new babies.  This is a fantastic sign that the conditions are excellent and they have settled in.  Bring on the newest generation is what I say!  On top of this another encouraging sign is that I caught a female who was released on day one last July.  She was very healthy and pregnant again.  So we are seeing animals survive long term as well as producing so many offspring.  Once again all the animals are in very good condition with great body weight.  The spread of animals over the site is improving as well so they are out and about looking for new habitats.  This will make the breeding process speed up as they are filling the gaps.  I would like to think that by the end of next year we might have around 250 bandicoots on site.  This is fantastic news!”

With so many more animals, it brings with it the need for more monitoring traps and covers, believe it or not.  So all of your wonderful donations will help us achieve this goal.  The more traps we can run will mean better results for our monitoring. Please consider donating again if you can.

Another highlight was releasing four new bandicoots in August through Zoos Victoria’s breeding program.  Travis says, “This is excellent because it means more genetic diversity within the enclosure keeping them healthy.  So thanks to Zoos Victoria for the great work and we look forward to another release shortly.”    

Thanks to our wonderful donors, we have erected three infrared monitoring cameras. Check out our first short video using the new cameras, which captured a curious bandicoot sniffing out truffle oil. According to Travis, “These new cameras are proving a great success as we can watch the bandicoots acting naturally during the night hours.  It’s so wonderful to be able to see them like this in a non-invasive way.   This will also help with our research so you can see that the donations are really making a difference.”

Other project activities on-site have seen our volunteers tirelessly removing a shrub which has been taking over sections of the incredibly important grasslands.  Travis says, “Once this plant gets to maturity it doesn’t allow the grass to grow underneath, which takes out nesting sites for the bandicoots.   With the amount of plants cleared we have created enough area for another four bandicoots.  Not bad when there is only around 400 to 500 animals all together!  We have many enthusiastic volunteers joining the programs each time we go out. Such a brilliant result and we can’t do it without you!  

Once again, great work everyone involved from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Parks Victoria, and our wonderful donors, volunteers and all members of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team who have assisted with making this possible.

We look forward to bringing you more videos of these amazing bandicoots in the next report – stay tuned!

Health check, done!
Health check, done!
Volunteers checking traps
Volunteers checking traps
Bandicoot monitoring - good morning!
Bandicoot monitoring - good morning!

Links:

Jul 28, 2014

Devil Retirement Village - Final Stages!

Tasmanian Devil Relaxing!
Tasmanian Devil Relaxing!

Conservation Volunteers is proud to announce the ‘Taking Care of the Elders’ Program is nearing completion and we are aiming to have the enclosure complete in a months’ time. This year-long program to provide a ‘retirement village’ for ageing Tasmanian devils is now taking shape and will be ready for its residents soon. The enclosure will see up to 25 healthy senior devils housed at one time. The ‘retirement village’ includes natural and native habitat, isolation/segregation areas, common sniffing platforms, digging mounds and sleeping facilities – everything a devil could want!

The exterior fence that stretches approximately 600m across the hill of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is now completely established. To complete the fence, 80 fencing post were installed, timber rail was used for stability and hundreds of sheets of second-hand roofing iron was sourced and secured with thousands of special screws to enable completion. The 24 devil dens are also complete and ready to accommodate the ageing carnivorous marsupials. To finalise the ‘retirement village’ community volunteers will secure the remaining wire mesh along the exterior wall of the enclosure to ensure there are no digging devil escapees. (Nobody can get out - nobody can get in!).    

Conservation Volunteers would like to express thanks for all donations received for this program, without these generous contributions we would not have been able to purchase all materials for the project and ensure the devils are able to live out the remainder of their days in a disease free environment. “Volunteer contributions towards this worthy project have been outstanding and humbling. It is great to see so many people helping this unique Tasmanian animal”, said Amy Bailey, Regional Coordinator at Conservation Volunteers Tasmania. 

If you’re able to donate again we would really appreciate it – every donation will help us to continue achieving these great conservation results and see the devils move into their new, disease free, home. We also need to continue maintaining the enclosure to keep predators away. Stay tuned for the next update, when we hope to report on the Devils being transferred into their Retirement Village!

Thank you again for supporting this project.

Volunteers securing the exterior fence
Volunteers securing the exterior fence
Retirement Village almost complete!
Retirement Village almost complete!
Volunteer installing wire mesh to prevent escapees
Volunteer installing wire mesh to prevent escapees
Wire mesh - remaining task before completion
Wire mesh - remaining task before completion

Links:

Jul 7, 2014

Help save the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat

Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat
Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat

Winter is well and truly here at Brookfield Conservation Park! We have had some super rainfalls and the Park is looking very green – not bad for a semi-arid location! This is good news for our Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, as the rains will hopefully bring new growth of their favourite food – Austrostipa.

Vegetation Surveys are currently the priority at Brookfield. One of the best comments we had recently from a volunteer, Greg, summed up many people’s experiences at Brookfield: “This is marvellous – I feel like David Attenborough!”  Greg knows that these priority surveys are assisted financially by the donors from Global Giving and he is most appreciative. As are mother and daughter team Tracy & Eloise who have also assisted with the vegetation surveys. Eloise is 16 years and said: “I didn’t realise I could help do such important things for the environment. I am still at school and thought only university people could do things like this. It’s awesome!”

Tracy was surprised how little she knew about the plight of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat in the Mallee: “I hadn’t realised what a precarious position the wombats were in. They are in such a vulnerable state up here.” She was amazed at how easy it was to help: “This is such an easy way to help – just a little bit of my time and we can make a huge difference by collecting this information, and it is so interesting!” Global Giving donors not only support the on-ground activities that help preserve the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat and its habitat, but also help educate the community by spreading the word through these volunteers.

Whilst these priority surveys continue, plans are underway for vegetation exclosures. We have selected the sites and volunteers will be out in upcoming projects to collect seed for the exclosures.  However, financial assistance is still needed to purchase the materials. The exclosures have to be secure enough to keep the other wildlife grazers out and large enough to support the research and the collection of future seed. This will provide a great seed source for future revegetation and concise data for future rehabilitation and management. Your support will help us with these next steps for the Park. Donations can be made in set amounts for materials or you can pledge your own amount and know that you are furthering the survival of this iconic species.

Thank you again for your generous support. It has provided much activity at the Park recently and has also provided the impetus for future project ideas, which will soon include the assistance of Dr Elisa Sparrow, well known wombat researcher across South Australia – stay tuned for the next update!

Volunteer Greg
Volunteer Greg
Volunteer Tracey Conducting Vegetation Surveys
Volunteer Tracey Conducting Vegetation Surveys
Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat in the Sunshine
Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat in the Sunshine

Links:

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