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...
Jun 10, 2016

Breeding like Bandicoots - The program grows!

Time for a Health Check! Photo: David Paul
Time for a Health Check! Photo: David Paul

Welcome to our latest report,

The long hot and dry summer in Victoria continued well into autumn, with above average temperatures and hardly any rain.  Our last update saw us looking forward to our monitoring session in April, eager to collect data on the effect of the hot and dry conditions on our Eastern Barred Bandicoot population.  It's with great joy, I can share with you all now, that the tough critters did exceptionally well. 101 individual Bandicoots were caught, and all received perfect health check reports, showcasing that the Woodlands site is perfect for the Bandicoots.

This update for supporters of the Bandicoots is already great, but it is about to get more exciting.  Due to the successful model of Bandicoot recovery at Woodlands, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) was asked to take over the management of the original Bandicoot release site in Hamilton, Western Victoria.  The site, to be suitable to meet the requirements to successfuly house Bandicoots needed to go through a restructure, needing fence repairs and fox control to be undertaken.  The local Hamilton CVA staff took on the challenge, and within seven short months had made the essential fence repairs and removed four foxes.  This is an amazing achievement on its own, but the story gets better.  Once proving there were no foxes on site over a two month period, it was time to release Bandicoots back on site.  The release of healthy Bandicoots is also a milestone achievement for Woodlands, as we were allowed to finally relocate animals to help other sites.  This is only allowed once a population has become stable and self sufficient.  So, in April, twenty Bandicoots were released: six animals from Woodlands, six animals from Mount Rothwell and eight from Zoos Victoria's breeding program.  Each Bandicoot was carefully selected and prepared for their historical journey - to re-establish a presence and population in Hamilton.  An inspiring effort by, all and a new chapter in bringing Bandicoot's back from extinction in the wild. Watch a video of the release now.

In late May, we implemented our first post release monitoring in Hamilton.  With only twenty animals to try and catch in 110 hectares  - the odds were slim.  Catching two or three would have been a good result - so you can imagine we were over the moon with joy when we processed nine individuals, seven males and two females, all in good health and setting up their new homes.  As an extra bonus, one of the females revealed two babies in her pouch, which were conceived on site.  So we are proud parents for the first time, and very shortly these pouch young will be out and about in the real world, at Hamilton. 

It is without a doubt, that the past few months have been rather frantic - with positive activity, so kindly enabled through your kind donations.  A special thanks to you - our supporters through Global Giving, as well as the Hamilton CVA staff, the wonderful local volunteers who are assisting us all the way with this program, Parks Victoria and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team who help make this possible. The remote cameras are playing a huge role in Hamilton, reporting the movements of the Bandicoots, which already reveal that they are enjoying exploring the whole site.  This knowledge supports the suitability of the site habitat, and ensures plenty of future breeding will occur as they look to establish nest areas.  

Bandicoot recovery has reached a new milestone, but there is still much for us to achieve to truely reverse the status of being extinct in the wild.  Please show your support again for this project appeal through a kind donation.  Why not take advantage of the special GlobalGiving Bonus Day on June 15 - where an amazing 50% of your kind donation (up to $1,000) being matched.  So please consider our Eastern Barred Bandicoots this winter and donate on June 15.  Please put a reminder in your phone or calendar today and share this story with your friends and work mates!

Yours in conservation,

Hmm.. been looking after your teeth? Photo D. Paul
Hmm.. been looking after your teeth? Photo D. Paul
Finished - See you later! Photo: David Paul
Finished - See you later! Photo: David Paul
Feet...Good too!  Photo: David Paul
Feet...Good too! Photo: David Paul
Met the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Team!
Met the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Team!

Links:

Jun 10, 2016

Native Trees are dying. We need your help now!

Volunteers administering life saving injection
Volunteers administering life saving injection

Dear friends in Cockatoo conservation,

The Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) is endemic to South-West of Western Australia. The Carnaby’s populations have declined by over 50% in the past 45 years, and as a result they are now listed as an Endangered Species. The Carnaby's is a highly mobile species. They need to move sequentially through the landscape, utilising different habitat types at different times of the year. The decline in numbers of the Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo is due primarily to the loss and fragmentation of habitat, upon which the rely to survive.

Over the last three months volunteers from Perth’s Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) office were able to participate in dieback injecting, due to a donation from Alcoa’s Kwinana refinery.  The City of Kwinana is dedicated to conserving remnant vegetation and ecological corridors as habitat for the Carnaby's. Ecological corridors are areas of local native vegetation linking local biodiversity areas, such as remnant bushland and other natural areas. These ecological linkages provide important feeding and roosting sites for the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo.

The city has several bushland spots that are susceptible to the effects of Dieback. Phytophthora dieback is caused by the plant pathogen, Phytophthora cinnamomi, which kills susceptible plants, such as banksia, jarrah and grass trees, by attacking their root systems. Dieback is a symptom of a Phytophthora infection, and affects more than 40% of the native plant species, and 50% of the endangered species in the south-west of Western Australia. The plants die because they cannot take up the water and nutrients they need to flourish.

Dedicated volunteers spent time in three bushland reserves within the City injecting susceptible trees with phosphite.  Working from GPS locations that the City provided, the team worked in areas with heavily dieback infested trees, trying to strengthen trees that have not yet been infected by the disease.

From April to June, volunteers also spent time preparing sites for this winter’s planting season.  Due to Perth’s temperate climate, natural resource management groups only have a small window of opportunity to plant trees in the ground. Preparing sites in advance of the first winter rains, allows planting efforts to be maximised during this optimum period.  Some groups of volunteers even had the opportunity to help with some early planting at some of our riverine sites with the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL). 

CVA would like to thank our GlobalGiving supporters and volunteers.  Without your support, CVA wouldn’t be able to make a difference to this important cause.  If you are able to donate again we would really appreciate it – every donation will help us to continue achieving these great conservation results and give these beautiful cockatoos a better chance at coming back from the brink of extinction.  Why not take advantage of the special GlobalGiving Bonus Day on June 15 - where an amazing 50% of your kind donation (up to $1,000) being matched.  So please consider our Cockatoo’s this winter and donate on June 15.  Please put a reminder in your phone or calendar today and share this story with your friends and work mates!

Tree dieback protection for Cockatoo
Tree dieback protection for Cockatoo's future
Essential tree planting for Cockatoo habitat
Essential tree planting for Cockatoo habitat
Another tree lovingly placed in the ground!
Another tree lovingly placed in the ground!
One of our beautiful red-tails
One of our beautiful red-tails
The majestic Carnaby
The majestic Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Links:

Jun 10, 2016

Help create a Devil's Future

Showing their Devilish Fierceness
Showing their Devilish Fierceness

Dear friends in Tasmanian Devil conservation,

The Tasmanian Devil is an iconic Australian species endemic to Tasmania that has faced morbidity and disease. Although various groups are doing all they can for the survival of the species, unfortunately, the threats Devils are faced with are not subsiding but rather, increasing. It’s not all bad news though… The attempt to understand the Devil Facial Tumour Disease is progressing with various vaccines being trialled.  There has been great success in increasing healthy populations through breeding programs, and providing healthy Devils with a place to call home, like Conservation Volunteers Australia’s ‘Saving the Elders’ program.  But, they aren’t out of the woods yet. 

Unfortunately a large percentage of Devils that have been released in both the Tarkine and Forestier Peninsula, have met with another deadly factor, cars. This has been heart breaking, considering the huge effort that has gone into breeding and ensuring healthy Devils for release. Of the ten juvenile Devils recently released on the Forestier Peninsular, two were run over; and in total from various releases, eleven have been killed.

So why is this happening? Devils head to the road to eat ‘road kill’ and this increases their chances of fatality. To prevent these deaths from happening, community awareness, signage and virtual fencing has been discussed and encouraged. Virtual fencing has already been installed in ‘road kill’ hotspots on the Forestier Peninsula. The virtual fence emits lights and alarm noises that scare animals away from the road when cars are approaching. Conservation Volunteers Australia is seeking funding to support a wider virtual fencing installation program, coupled with community awareness campaigns and monitoring to protect devils from the threat of road kill.

We are also seeking funding to continue to support the successful captive breeding and ‘soft release’ programs through constructing and deconstructing enclosures around the state. The portable enclosures are set up in the area of release, to allow Devils to adapt to their surroundings for two weeks prior to their release into the wild. Locations have been chosen based on suitability, genetics and previous population data. This program is vitally important for healthy Devil populations to reintegrate into the wild.  

Please help us ensure the Devils receive a fighting chance at a future in the Tasmanian wilderness, please take advantage of the special GlobalGiving Bonus Day on June 15 - where an amazing 50% of your kind donation (up to $1,000) will be matched.  So please consider supporting the next step in our program to save the iconic Tasmanian Devil and donate on June 15.  Please put a reminder in your phone or calendar today and share this story with your friends and work mates!

A Wild Devil with the deadly Tumour Disease
A Wild Devil with the deadly Tumour Disease
If only the Devil
If only the Devil's life was so simple
How can you resist our Devilish Charm? Donate Now
How can you resist our Devilish Charm? Donate Now

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