As we moved into spring this quarter, we thought there might be some reprise from the rain. But it was not to be as the last couple of months have been quite wet in Perth. This has been great news for our wetland and river sites where we have still been able to plant native seedlings to provide habitat and improve water quality. Over the last three months, we have planted more than 1,500 native seedlings and removed over 4 hectares of invasive weeds! A truly fantastic effort by all our teams.
Our volunteers had the opportunity to visit a couple of new sites over spring and were rewarded with some wonderful wildflower displays. Wildflower Reserve and Clementi Reserve in the City of Kwinana, have been particularly spectacular and have provided our volunteers with a beautiful backdrop to the day’s activities. Likewise, Baigup Wetlands and Maylands Samphires within the City of Bayswater, offered some great animal sightings. It’s the season where our reptiles start to wake up and we have seen dugites and bob tails sunning themselves on warm pathways. Waterbirds have also been in abundant display along the river. Seeing so many different species tells us that these sites are in healthy condition, which is great news for the Carnabys.
Recently, our team leader captured a great time-lapse video at one of our regular sites, Birdwood Parade Reserve, where our volunteers removed a whole box trailer full of weeds! Birdwood Parade Reserve in the City of Nedlands is adjacent to the Swan River and is part of the green corridor from Bold Park to Kings Park. Carnabys and other birds use the reserves between these two super roosts to forage for food, rest in trees and source drinking water. At this time of year, weeds can become a little overwhelming, so it’s important to remove the weeds early and provide the native plants room to breathe and grow again.
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to our generous GlobalGiving donors and dedicated volunteers. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to make a difference to this important cause. If you can donate again, or share our story with family and friends, we would really appreciate it – every effort helps us to continue achieving these great conservation results and give these beautiful birds a better chance at a Wild Future.
Conservation Volunteers Australia together with the community has been managing Brookfield Conservation Park in partnership with the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources since 2008. Our work has included a strong focus on supporting conservation and research of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.
We’re proud of the conservation and community outcomes achieved at the park over the past 8 years. We have welcomed more than 500 community members to engage in hands on conservation activities through the management of Brookfield. We’d like to thank you for your generosity, which has enabled regular wombat monitoring and research to be undertaken, pest plants and animals to be controlled, partnerships with adjacent land managers established and numerous schools and students educated about the values of Brookfield Conservation Park. Brookfield will now return to full-time management by the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources.
Our focus now will shift to wombat programs in Tasmania, where we have already started on projects to help address the issues caused by wombat mange. An outbreak of mange in 2006 following a severe drought has resulted in a substantial reduction in wombat numbers in some areas.
In early 2017, we formed a partnership with the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE) to tackle the issue of mange in Tasmania’s wombat population. We are undertaking wombat surveys twice a year, at 7 key locations across the state, to help get a better understanding of mange prevalence at a population level. Surveys are carried out over 3 days and are done pre dusk and are repeated in the dark. Volunteers are also collecting samples of scats, which will be analysed to see if DNA has any impact on a wombat's susceptibility to contracting mange. The information obtained as part of this project will help determine best practice mange management across the state.
While we’re out monitoring, UTAS researches are carrying out safety trials on a new treatment method that is hoped to provide effective treatment for mange, for up to 3 months with a single dose. When the safety trials are complete, we will be getting teams of volunteers out on the ground to help treat mange affected wombats.
Thank you again for caring for Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, and for helping us to achieve excellent results – we’re leaving Brookfield in safe care, and we hope you will join us on our next stage of wombat recovery with the charming Common Wombats (Vombatus ursinus tasmanicus) of Tasmania!
Wild Tasmanian Devils can only be found in Tasmania, the island State of Australia. Although devils live in zoos and wildlife parks around the world, the wild population is precious and must be preserved. We’re playing our part in the complex network of researchers, scientists and wildlife experts to try and ensure that happens – our role at Conservation Volunteers Australia is to carry out on-ground activities, with our committed volunteers, and provide as much practical help as we can. Your support is vital – it means we can deploy well-managed and equipped teams of volunteers to do what is needed.
Tasmanian Devils are marsupials, with the distinctive marsupial characteristic of carrying their young in a pouch. The devil is carnivorous – a meat eater – and is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world. It took this spot after the sad extinction of the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger. Threatened Species Day was declared in Australia 1996 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo on 7th September 1936. Threatened Species Day is a time to reflect on what happened in the past and how similar fates to the thylacine could await other native animals and plants unless appropriate action is taken.
Early settlers hunted Tasmanian Devils because they thought devils would kill their farm animals. In 1941, devils were protected by law and their population numbers rose, but in recent years, the Devil Facial Tumour Disease has had a devastating effect on wild populations. Action is important, now more than ever, to play our part and ensure we don’t lose another species.
As we move into spring weather, our future plans include helping to dismantle some soft release enclosures in the north so they can be moved to the south of Tasmania. This process will help secure healthy wild populations of Tasmanian Devils for the future. We look forward to sharing news on progress in our next report, and thank you again for your generous support of the devils.