Mitchell's Short-tailed Snake
As we have reported in the past a key component of the Rewilding the Desert Program is to better understand the current state of the local ecosystem and the fauna species that reside in the region via the Rewilding the Desert Monitoring Project. To date our fauna survey program has centred around Conservation Volunteers Australia’s two predator-proof sanctuaries, the Little Desert Nature Lodge and the Malleefowl Sanctuary with 36 sites both on and adjoining these properties.
This year however, working with our local partners Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the Department) we survey 72 sites across the Little Desert Landscape (see map). The Parks Victoria project was aiming to assess the impact of invasive predators (the Red fox and feral cat) on native fauna, and; the Departments project was investigating the impact of fire on native fauna, Although, these projects had different purposes we implemented the same methodology as the Rewilding the Desert Monitoring Project. This means that the we can share our data across the various project giving, everyone more data and information to help us better understand the status of the local ecosystem and its fauna and the influence key ecological drivers, like fire and predation, have on the ecosystem.
Across the projects:
- 72 sites were trapped
- 9120 traps were checked
- 30 different species of animals were captured
- 1335 individual animals were captured, and
- Engaged over 50 volunteers!
In 2019, the Rewilding the Desert Monitoring Program will move to an annual fauna survey, instead of biannually. We will also work with Park Victoria and the Department to repeat the 2018 surveys and continue building our understanding of the Little Desert ecosystem.
As always, I would like to say thank you to our amazing supporters and donors. Without your support we cannot continue this critical project and help conserve Australia’s weird, wonderful and highly threatened native wildlife.
Volunteers last project supper
Map of Surveyed areas
Western Pygmy Possum held by Ellie