It’s been a busy start to the year for the Taking Care of the Elders program. We’ve received some very generous donations over the last few months, which have enabled us to purchase much needed materials for the construction of this large ‘retirement village’ for the Tasmanian Devils. A significant amount of timber rail has been purchased and installed along the perimeter fence. These activities have resulted in a noteworthy 220 square metres out of the 660 square metre perimeter fence now complete. We’re getting there, with your support!
The volunteers assisting with the construction are excited by their progress. Conservation Volunteers Australia Team Leader, Geoff Brown, commented: “The Bonorong project is great for many reasons! It’s a chance for volunteers from all sorts of backgrounds to directly help with the long term survival of the world’s largest marsupial carnivore. Along the way, volunteers learn practical conservation skills and have the chance to be a part of a community project. It is also a chance for many of them (including Tasmanians) to see Australian animals - like the Devils - that they may have never seen before.”
This great program will see many older devils live out their final days in a comfortable, disease free habitat – a great way to reward these animals for their contribution towards the continued future of their unique species. All involved within the program are looking forward to seeing the benefits of their hard work when the Devils can be released into the enclosure.
To complete this Devil ‘retirement village’, the program still requires further financial assistance. Conservation Volunteers Australia is seeking support for the acquisition of additional materials, including mulch to lay within the enclosure and mesh netting and pickets for the perimeter fence to keep the Devils safe. Donations can be made in set amounts for fencing materials or you can pledge your own amount and know that you are furthering the survival of this iconic species.
Our heartfelt thanks to those that have supported and donated to our Tasmanian Devil project so far. Your contribution ensures these important conservation efforts continue and that the Tasmanian Devil will have a Wild Future!
Conservation Volunteers Australia’s Project Officer, Travis Scicchitano, is continuing his work with volunteers from across Australia and around the world on the Eastern Barred Bandicoots project at Woodlands, just outside Melbourne.
Travis says, “We’ve had another busy year at Woodlands Historic Park and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot program has reached news heights! Countless days have been put into preparing the site by enhancing and upgrading the existing fence. Daily patrols around the 7 kilometre fence have been a priority as keeping the foxes out is now vital. Volunteers have achieved approximately 3,000kms of fence patrolling so far - this is the same distance from Melbourne to Cairns! Our volunteers have also removed around 100 hectares of noxious woody weeds, and 9,000 grasslands plants have been planted to create a brand new nest area for the bandicoots.”
Due to all of this hard work, Woodlands now has a total of 42 Eastern Barred Bandicoots calling it home. According to Travis, “The great news is that we have trapped 27 individuals since the first release period and their health is looking good. We’ve seen positive weight gain and retention and no major injuries except for the males who are fighting each other for breeding mates - this is a positive and natural injury! We are also finding evidence of the animals moving throughout the park setting up home, with the most positive sign being they have been very busy breeding! Nearly all females are carrying pouch young so in the next few months we hope to catch our first new animals bred here on site.”
Volunteers on the site have been delighted to see their efforts paying off. Even though we can’t see the bandicoots during the day because they are nocturnal, there is plenty of evidence on the ground. Fresh digs can be seen where they have been busily looking for insects to eat. Over 400 volunteer days have been put into the project in the past year. Travis comments that the volunteers have done an outstanding job so far: “We would like to thank them immensely for their incredible enthusiasm, dedication and hard work. Without their help, we would still be a long way off having bandicoots roaming free in the park – it’s a great result so far to have reached the breeding stage. With only around 400 bandicoots left in existence, things are really looking up as we hope to double the current population.”
We still need your support as ongoing fence upgrades are vital and many other aspects of this program continually present challenges. But together we can make a difference and this animal will continue to re-establish itself back into the wild.
Our sincere thanks to you for supporting and donating to our Eastern Barred Bandicoot project so far. Your contribution ensures these important conservation efforts continue and that the Eastern Barred Bandicoot will have a Wild Future!
There’s been lots of action since the last report on our Taking Care of the Elders project, and fencing remains our main priority to establish the boundary of the 660 square metre Tasmanian Devil enclosure.
Our volunteers have been busy building the free-range enclosure with 80 logs now in place for the perimeter wall. When finished this will be a safe and secure place for the Tasmanian Devils that are retiring from the breeding program at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (pronounced “Bon-a-rong” – Aboriginal meaning “Native Companion”) was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife and is Tasmania’s most popular wildlife park. 25 Devil dens have also been built and installed, with two types of dens designed for this enclosure – one is made from timber, and the other made from fruit juice drums.
We’ve had many volunteers from across Australia and around the world join our teams and all involved have enjoyed the chance to help the aging Devil population ease into a restful retirement. They have found this a worthy and enjoyable program to be a part of and all look forward to the completion of this retirement village for the Tasmanian Devil. Steve Bailey, Conservation Volunteers Australia’s State Manager in Tasmania, commented that the volunteers have done a great job so far: “Volunteers give their time and efforts freely to help with the on-ground works. The Devil enclosure has gained a significant amount of materials now; but more building materials are still needed for upcoming works to be completed – we have many more volunteers who are ready and willing to help!”
Your valuable donation will assist in acquiring these vital materials needed to complete this project. Donations can be made in set amounts for fencing materials, plants and tools – or pledge your own amount and know that you are furthering the survival of this remarkable species.
Our sincere thanks to those that have supported and donated to our Tasmanian Devil project so far. Your contribution ensures these important conservation efforts continue and that the Tasmanian Devil will have a Wild Future!