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.
Our volunteers have been braving windy and wet conditions throughout winter, but they haven’t let it get in the way of planting season! Planting of native trees in riparian areas provides important food, nesting and roosting habitat for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo and a myriad of other species. Winter is an important time in Perth to plant native seedlings across all ecosystems, as it gives them the best chance of survival through our hot summers. With rainfall mainly limited to June, July and August, our volunteers have planted thousands of seedlings on the dunes, along the Swan and Canning rivers and up in the hills.
Sunday the 30th of July was National Tree Day. Over 50 volunteers joined the City of Cockburn at Bibra Lake to plant 3,125 native seedlings. Bibra Lake is part of Beeliar Regional Park and is home to a diverse range of plants and animals including quendas, bandicoots and migratory water birds. This reserve provides a vital food source for the endangered Carnaby's Black Cockatoo. It was an amazing effort by everyone involved!
Volunteers have also been re-vegetating part of Lesmurdie Falls National Park, which provides an important roosting area for the cockatoos. Teams have been planting native seedlings and Regional Coordinator from the waterways. This makes the creek lines more accessible to all native animals and encourages the natural regeneration of the bushland.
We would like to thank our GlobalGiving donors, supporters and our volunteers. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to make a difference to this important cause. If you are able to donate again or share our story with family and friends we would really appreciate it – every effort will help us to continue achieving these great conservation results and give these beautiful birds a better chance at coming back from the brink of extinction. As the rains ease off, our teams will start to manage the massive re-vegetation projects that happened over winter, and we look forward sharing our progress with you in our next report.