Aug 12, 2013

Bandicoots bounding into their new home!

Bandicoots love to hide in long grass!
Bandicoots love to hide in long grass!

Dear Eastern Barred Bandicoot supporter,

Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to everyone that has donated to our project so far.  Your donation has helped our project’s continuing success - and today we are delighted to bring you wonderful news about our newest milestone towards saving the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (or EBB for short) from extinction!

Our Eastern Barred Bandicoot Revival Program is moving ahead in bandicoot leaps and bounds!  As part of Conservation Volunteers Australia’s Wild Futures program, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Revival Project has achieved an incredible milestone with the recent release of 32 of these critically endangered bandicoots into the newly protected and restored habitat.

Bandicoots are considered ‘Extinct on the Wild’ in Victoria, only existing through captive breeding programs at wildlife parks, zoos and protected habitats.  However, with breeding program success increasing, there was an urgent need for a larger, predator-proof habitat that bandicoots could breed and flourish in.  This recent release into this new native habitat is a fantastic step (or should we say hop?) forward towards Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery and demonstrates the many hours of work our teams have done to ready the site.

EBB team members and volunteers have worked tirelessly since 2010 to install, repair and maintain 7 kilometres of predator proof fence around the new 300ha habitat, affectionately known as the ‘Back Paddock’ at Woodlands Historic Park near Melbourne, Victoria.  With the fence construction completed in late 2012 and ongoing maintenance and habitat enhancement progressing well, the area was also declared free of foxes and other predators.  It was time for our long-awaited residents to enjoy their new, natural surroundings.

In July we released the first bandicoots back into the site!  Bandicoot individuals were chosen from a variety of wildlife parks throughout Victoria to ensure diverse genetics for our new population.  Prior to release into the large habitat, the bandicoots were gradually adapted to life outdoors, including honing their skills in natural foraging and aerial predator avoidance, to better prepare them for life in the Great Outdoors at Woodlands Historic Park.

Post-release monitoring has shown that the individuals are settling in well and already vying with each other for mates.  This is a fantastic indication of good habitat, natural behaviours and a large natural space that they can roam around in.  Hopefully we will soon hear the pitter-patter of little bandicoot feet…

Our passionate EBB Project Officer, Travis Scicchitano is proud of the project’s newest achievement, “This is such a great example of how people can come together to help save a species.  The project combines volunteers donating their time to carry out these important conservation activities, with wonderful and generous financial support from donors from right across the globe.  No matter where you are in the world, you can help make a real difference to this remarkable species!”

Attention will now turn to maintaining the predator-proof fence and patrolling it daily to ensure that any breaches to the fence from burrowing animals are quickly repaired.  In addition, important habitat enhancement and monitoring work will also take place to provide more food and shelter and assess the health of these new marsupial residents.

Your donation will assist in making this all possible.  Together we can ensure that the Eastern Barred Bandicoot does indeed hop away from the threat of extinction and enjoy a Wild Future!

Volunteers check and maintain the important fence
Volunteers check and maintain the important fence
A final health check before release!
A final health check before release!
Travis releasing our newest bandicoot resident!
Travis releasing our newest bandicoot resident!

Links:

Aug 6, 2013

Taking Care of the Elders project now underway

Getting the all-important fence in place
Getting the all-important fence in place

Works have started on our Taking Care of the Elders project, to build large, free-range enclosures for Tasmanian Devils that are retiring from the breeding program at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.  After successful years of breeding and contributing to the ongoing success of increasing insurance populations, these hardworking Devils are now ready for a well-earned rest!

Many of these Devils were originally from the wild, brought in to help increase population numbers of healthy Devils.  Unable to return to the wild due to risk of exposure to the disease, these large enclosures will ensure they are free to roam, stretch their legs and live in safety and comfort for the rest of their days.

Conservation Volunteers Australia has been busy with initial construction of the 660sq metre enclosure, which will include native habitat, isolation and segregation areas, common sniffing platforms, digging mounds and sleeping facilities.  The enclosure will house up to 25 Devils at a time.  Volunteers have recently braved the cool winter Tassie conditions to start construction, but more building materials are needed for upcoming works to be completed. 

Fencing is our main priority at the moment to establish the boundary of the enclosure and ensure the Devils are safe and sound.  Your valuable donation will assist in procuring vital materials needed to complete this project.  You can choose what you would like to support through set amounts for fencing materials, plants and tools – or pledge your own amount and know that you are contributing to the survival of this wonderful, iconic species.

A huge thank you to those that have supported our Tasmanian Devil project so far – your contribution will ensure that these important conservation efforts continue and that the Tasmanian Devil will have a Wild Future!

Volunteers hard at work in chilly Tasmania
Volunteers hard at work in chilly Tasmania
The enclosure will enable older Devils to relax
The enclosure will enable older Devils to relax

Links:

May 16, 2013

Border Control for Bandicoots

Bright eyed Bandicoot ready for release!
Bright eyed Bandicoot ready for release!

Greetings from the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Revival Team!  Our Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery project is in full swing to help save this amazing species.  One of the most critically endangered marsupials in Victoria, habitat loss, agriculture, urban development, competition from introduced rabbits and the introduction of predator species such as foxes, cats and dogs have taken a huge toll on these bandicoot populations.

In order to save these amazing creatures from extinction, large areas of crucial habitat need to be protected and maintained to release captive animals.  Through the Wild Futures program, Conservation Volunteers is creating a bandicoot haven just 30 mins from Melbourne in Victoria where bandicoots will safely roam and breed, increasing and (hopefully!) doubling the small population size for the species.

Enclosing the Eastern Barred Bandicoot habitat – known affectionately as the ‘back paddock’, the all-important predator proof fence is tall to prevent cats and foxes climbing over.  With the finishing touches on the fence well underway, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot team are now turning their attention to ongoing border patrol and fence maintenance. Regular patrols and maintenance must be carried out on the fence to prevent breaches resulting from animals digging under, vandals from cutting the fence or branches falling onto it.  Patrolling the 7km perimeter takes a lot of time and effort.  In order to effectively monitor the fence, patrol teams use bicycles to get about in the most eco-efficient way.  More bicycles are needed for our patrol teams.

With the wetter weather approaching, important planting activities will also soon commence to provide the bandicoots with a good variety of food and shelter.

Your valuable donation will ensure that these important habitat enhancement and ongoing fence maintenance activities will continue, preparing this site for the upcoming release of bandicoots back into their natural habitat.  You can choose what you would like to support through set amounts for fencing materials, plants and tools or training – or pledge your own amount and know that you are actively assisting in bringing the bandicoot back from the brink of extinction! 

A huge thank you to those that have supported our Eastern Barred Bandicoot project so far – your contribution will ensure that these important conservation efforts continue and that the Eastern Barred Bandicoot will indeed have a Wild Future!

Volunteers maintaining the important fence
Volunteers maintaining the important fence
New habitat for Bandicoots!
New habitat for Bandicoots!

Links:

 
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