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

Jul 24, 2019

Restoring Natural Habitat For Over 10 Years

Photo Credit: Robert Nylander
Photo Credit: Robert Nylander

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) for over 10 years, and through the engagement of community members, have been restoring areas of natural habitat creating green ecological corridors for iconic South West Black Cockatoos; the endangered Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and the threatened Forrest Red Tail Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii). The Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo and Forrest Red Tail Black Cockatoo are unique to the South West of Western Australia, from Geraldton to Esperance.

 

Since the 1970s, the population of the Carnaby’s Cockatoo has declined by more than a half. This is due to clearance of feeding and nesting habitat, removal of mature (at least 200-year-old) Eucalyptus trees that bear nesting hollows, competition from feral birds for existing nesting hollows and poaching. All of which are from human intervention.

 

Humans also have the choice to control the rate of these threatened birds by acting now to make a difference. CVA facilitates project days for people that want to make a difference by donating their time to volunteer with CVA and support habitat restoration for these federally protected birds. The Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo and Forrest Red Tail black Cockatoo are protected species under the Commonwealth’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 and Western Australia’s Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, regrettably their habitat is not protected resulting in their populations decline.

 

By making a donation, you enable the mobilisation of CVA Volunteer teams to work across the Perth metropolitan region and South West of Western Australia to protect and restore significant green ecological linkages for the bird’s survival. This is through revegetation of natural habitat and food sources and the suppressing of exotic invasive weeds and allows for native seedlings to germinate and grow. This along with protecting water sources vital for their survival, and the promotion of community education and knowledge transfer, will all assist in safeguarding and the restoration of these significant species and ecosystems.

 

Last financial year’s funding is being put towards habitat restoration for the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo with the City of Cockburn, in partnership with the South West Group. The project will focus on weed management of revegetation sites to protect native seedlings survival rates to establish foraging grounds for the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo in their urban movements of fragmented native bushland.

 Thank you for all your wonderful support.

Tristan Duke

State Manager, Western Australia

 
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