Feb 6, 2019

Summer updates for Eastern Barred Bandicoots

Volunteer with Bandicoot
Volunteer with Bandicoot

Summer updates for Eastern Barred Bandicoots at Woodlands Historic Park

 

Once again we were hoping for late spring and summer rain. Fortunately, we were off to a great start with around 65mm of rain falling over two days at the start of December. This was great soaking rain and we got an instant burst of grass growth.  

Unfortunately, over the two months since then there has only been around 20mm in total.  On top of this it was the hottest January on record with several days hitting 40 degrees and a day of 45 degrees.  This put a quick stop to the growth of the grasses but on a positive front the size and structure has remained.  Hopefully meaning there will still be some extra habitat for new nests to be made for the bandicoots.  

In other good news our bloom of summer grasshoppers arrived meaning there is plenty of food around above ground while it’s harder to dig for insects as the ground dries up.  This is part of summer in Australia and a natural element flora and fauna go through.  

The bandicoot is very clever and adaptable and will adjust its breeding rates, so a healthy population gets through this dry period. No physical trapping takes place over summer to make sure there are no health and heat stress issues for the wildlife.  But during spotlight monitoring bandicoots have still been seen across the entire enclosure.  Plenty of work to reduce weeds has taken place during the dry season and new rabbit control programs run during this period as well to reduce grazing pressure on the grasslands.

One of the major concerns for keeping small populations of fenced wildlife is fire.  That’s why there are several sites across Victoria to minimise the risk of a major catastrophe.  There have been plenty of bushfires around the state as per normal. Thankfully Woodlands Parks Victoria staff take great care to prepare the site before the fire season to massively reduce the risk of fire threat.  Once again we haven’t had any issues here.  

So, we will battle through this dry, hot and long summer.  Hopefully getting some late summer rain and moving onto a big breeding season starting in autumn.  


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

 

Grassland area
Grassland area
Bandicoot active through the day
Bandicoot active through the day
Woodlands Historic Park
Woodlands Historic Park
Nov 16, 2018

Spring Update

Red Tail Black Cockatoo
Red Tail Black Cockatoo

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) is working in partnership with the South West Group (SWG) and five of its Council Members; City of Cockburn, City of Fremantle, City of Kwinana, City of Melville and Town of East Fremantle to enhance and extend a regional network of ecological linkages connecting local and state government managed land in the south west metropolitan region.   

 

CVA is assisting these local governments to enhance these ecological linkages by engaging volunteers to undertake a range of practical conservation activities.  The objective of the partnership is to engage local residents in local environmental projects, increase community awareness of environmental threats and issues, and to enhance the condition of the region’s natural areas to preserve or improve its biodiversity values and the community’s enjoyment of those areas. 

 

Importantly, the work being undertaken is contributing to the preservation and improvement of the natural habitat for the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (listed as Endangered under Commonwealth legislation) and the Forest Red Tail Black Cockatoo (listed as Vulnerable).  This sees volunteers undertaking conservation activities that protect waterways and improve the habitat values of natural areas.  Our volunteers also engage in the protection of threatened ecological communities such as Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain.  Banksia Woodlands are an important foraging ground for the Carnaby’s Cockatoo and is declared threatened due to human impacts such as land clearing for urbanisation and spread of pathogens such as Phytophthora Dieback. 

 

Since July 2017, CVA volunteers have been actively enhancing ecological linkages that support Black Cockatoos in their foraging and roosting habitats.  Volunteers have contributed 5,770 hours in conservation activities, planted 23,763 native seedlings and cleared nearly 458,000m2 of invasive weeds species. 

 

Your generous donations continue to enable further engagement of the community in local and state initiatives that deliver on-ground activities which protect threatened species and communities, and which actively contribute to ‘greener’ cities. 

 

Thank you for your continuing support.

Tristan Duke, Regional Manager - Perth 

Carnaby's Cockatoo needs your help
Carnaby's Cockatoo needs your help
Carnaby's Cockatoo
Carnaby's Cockatoo
Nov 13, 2018

Thank You for Your Support

Tasmanian Devil Breeding project
Tasmanian Devil Breeding project

Thank You for Supporting the Help Save the Tasmanian Devil Projects

As the Help Save the Tasmanian Devil projects come to a close, Conservation Volunteers Australia would like to thank all those involved and share some of our achievements with you.

From the beginning of the project, it was Conservation Volunteers Australia’s aim to ensure there is a healthy future for Tasmanian Devils by constructing safe, comfortable dens and protective breeding enclosures at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. A number of crucial structures within the enclosures, including digging mounds and sniffing platforms provide Devils with the essentials to utilise their natural behavioural characteristics and communicate effectively with each other.

A particularly satisfying part of the project was being able to involve the local community to join in and help maximise the generous support of our Global Giving donors through applied, everyday action. This was demonstrated by enthusiastic volunteers completing enclosures as part of the 'Nurturing the Tasmanian Devil' project, providing Tasmanian Devils involved in the breeding program more space and shelter. Really a great effort! 

With the ongoing help of all our wonderful volunteers, Conservation Volunteers Australia has been able to install 25 Devil dens, providing a safe and comfortable habitat for the retired Devil. The construction of a large ‘Retirement Village’ to humanely house older disease-free Tasmanian Devils that are no longer required for breeding purposes, ensures a safe place for them to live out their lives. Much focus was also placed on improvement to the surrounding landscapes and ecosystems which assists other local native wildlife to flourish.

With a large proportion of the wild population of Tasmanian Devils at risk from the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), it was vital that an ‘insurance population’ of healthy Devils be carefully managed through captive breeding to ensure the species' survival.  

This required providing a healthy and safe environment for quarantined Tasmanian Devils on the Australian mainland. Conservation Volunteers Australia assisted in habitat maintenance for a population of disease-free Devils being housed in New South Wales to further boost population numbers of healthy Tasmanian Devil individuals. This type of program is vital for the future of the Tasmanian Devil.

Our very special thanks also goes to our Global Giving donors, who have become such an important part of the Help Save the Tasmanian Devil projects. With your help we have been able to achieve our goals and provide the Tasmanian Devil with much needed support and hope for the future.

There is still much to do, as the prognosis for wild Devils is sadly not so rosy. Scientists are estimating a possible wild population extinction within the next decade.  Creating and managing these types of programs for ‘captive breeding’ and ‘insurance populations’ of Tasmanian Devils is paramount to the species survival, should the wild population completely succumb to the deadly DFTD, and disappear from the forests of Tasmania altogether.

It has been a real pleasure working with the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tasmanian government over the past 6 years and we look forward to collaborating with them on many other projects in the future.

So as we close the Help Save the Tasmanian Devil project, all our thanks from everyone here at Conservation Volunteers Australia and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Your help and generous donations have provided the Tasmanian Devil population with vital research, monitoring and breeding programs, all of which have made a real difference.

We look forward to your ongoing support of our future projects. Thank you again.

Renae Riviere - State Manager

Tasmanian Devil Retirement Village Construction
Tasmanian Devil Retirement Village Construction
Volunteers assist with Pen Construction
Volunteers assist with Pen Construction
Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian Devil successful breeding project
Tasmanian Devil successful breeding project
 
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