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Nov 20, 2019

Volunteers Hard at Work

Volunteers hard at work protecting and restoring the native habitat of a much loved icon

 

 The gregarious Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos was once widespread across the West Australian Wheatbelt. It is now recognised as an endangered species. This wonderful icon has suffered huge reductions in population size - falling by over 50% in just 45 years.

 The Beeliar Regional Park is an ecologically significant reserve in the Perth Metropolitan area providing a vast diversity of native habitat for Carnaby Black Cockatoo’s living within the urban landscape.

 Volunteers again rallied to help Conservation Volunteers Australia further assist the City of Cockburn. Their much valued work made it possible to plant 600 native seedlings in the bush reserve surrounding Bibra Lake. This will significantly contribute to the ongoing expansion of Carnaby Cockatoo habitat within the Beeliar Regional Park.

 Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos face many major challenges, some of these include; the clearance of their feeding and nesting habitat, destruction of nesting hollows and significant rivalry with other species for nesting sites, along with the serious issue of plundering.

 Since European settlement, 56% of its habitat has been cleared, mainly for agriculture. Conservation Volunteers Australia has a long standing and ongoing partnership with the City of Cockburn to revegetate large areas of cleared land surrounding Bibra Lake with the purpose of increasing habitat connectivity within the reserve for our native wildlife.

 The Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos have a particularly low rate of breeding and the young birds have an especially long period of relying on the parent birds leaving them vulnerable to sudden changes to their environment.

 

Without the support of our wonderful volunteers and kind supporters, CVA would not have been able to achieve the important milestones we have to date.

 And with everyone’s ongoing assistance, we can continue to make a difference to our most vulnerable native species.

 

Thank you again for all your amazing support.

 

Tristan Duke

State Manager, Western Australia

Nov 20, 2019

Western Pygmy Possum Updates

CVA’s Western Pygmy Possums project is making good progress.

 

As our understanding of their distribution throughout the Adelaide Mount Lofty Rangers specifically the Fleurieu Peninsula grows, so too, does our appreciation of this tiny marsupial and its very endearing traits.

 

With the wonderful assistance from our local community, we have been able to install further nesting boxes in 5 new locations which has particularly important with the unseasonable cooler weather during October. Thanks to the support of local landowners and organisations, nesting boxes have been situated in three private properties and two national parks, this brings the new nesting box installation sites to eight. 

 

An important part of our work is checking that the nesting boxes remain in good condition and monitoring of these little creatures will continue throughout November and December. This is a very beautiful time of year in this area with the flowering plants all in full bloom. It is also a favourite time for the possums as they particularly enjoy feeding nectar and pollen.

 

It is also the season when possums are in full activity including migration into new territories for breeding. 

 

Some Interesting facts about the very cute Western Pygmy Possum

  

  • Pygmy possums are a threatened species

 

  

  • Only 97 recorded sightings have occurred on the Fleurieu Peninsula between 1910 and 2017

 

 

  • They use small hollows for shelter and breeding

 

 

  • As many as twelve embryos have been recorded in a pouch

 

 

  • The young leave the pouch at around 25 days but remain in a nest as they are semi naked and dependent on the mother

 

 

  • They enter a state of dormancy particularly during cold weather or rain

 

 

 

Thank you for all your wonderful support. Your donations really do make a difference and I look forward to my next report and sharing more interesting information about these incredible furry creatures.

 

Till then, all the best from everyone here at Conservation Volunteers Australia

 

Darren Kennedy, State Manager, South Australia

Sep 27, 2019

Spring updates for Eastern Barred Bandicoots

Bandicoot
Bandicoot

 

Spring updates for Eastern Barred Bandicoots at Woodlands Historic Park.


In our last report we talked about the extreme weather challenges woodlands faced with such a dry summer and start of autumn.  I’m pleased to report that the rest of autumn and winter produced close to average rainfall.  This has meant that there was no loss of grasslands and recovery of the habitat has started to take place.  We are still in a holding pattern as the temperature is still quite low.  But the warmer days have started and already the grass length has doubled.  Once the temperature gets up the grasslands will explode as they are summer growers.  

The other very important requirement of the habitat improvement was to have the invertebrate insects return.  Great news is they have started to move back in.  So, the combination of insects and grass growth means that there’s going to be more space for bandicoots so hopefully some breeding will take place shortly.  We will get a good indication soon as each summer grasshoppers breed on site.  This is a great summer food source, so we look forward to it being a bumper crop this season.

Excitingly with the softer soils there has been more and more feeding digs found.  The bandicoots are really starting to scratch up the soil also indicating that the insects are returning.  

There is a big emphasis on keeping this new growth healthy.  This means a big program is commencing to control rabbits from grazing pressure on the habitat.  Several programs will take place over the coming months to significantly reduce their numbers.  Before the program starts a survey is always undertaken via spotlight count at night.  The positive news is that healthy looking bandicoots were seen.  They were not the primary target to look for, but eight individuals were sighted at all locations throughout the park.  

So, bring on the warmer weather and a splash of rain here and there and we look forward to seeing that grass grow.  Exciting times ahead.

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

Travis Scicchitano, Woodlands Project Officer

 
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