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Jan 9, 2020

Summer 2020 Update - Eastern Barred Bandicoot

Mid summer updates for Eastern Barred Bandicoots at Woodlands Historic Park.

We have had two extremes in weather since our last spring report.  Both have provided positive and negative outcomes.  Mother Nature has the power to do this in the environmental field and sometimes you just have to adapt.

On a positive note woodlands continued to receive average winter and spring rainfall.  And with the weather warming up in spring the grasslands exploded with growth. This is what we were hoping for but it's never guaranteed of course.  The invertebrate insects returned as well as a great number of our seasonal grasshoppers to provide plenty of surface food for the bandicoots once the ground hardens up and digging for food becomes less common.  Also there was a better response then expected to some wildflower species coming back after three years of non growth.  Chocolate, flax, yellow and bulbine lillies popped up.  The early Nancy, which gets its name from being one of the first seasonally to arrive bloomed in dense numbers.  Milk maids also decided to show there heads once again.  It's only the start but it's fantastic as there was less diversity lost during that extreme dry period. 

Helping this come along has been our pest grazing program.  This has been focusing on reducing the number of rabbits which are a introduced noxious pest animal to Australia.  They eat grass and do so extremely aggressively.  At least half the parks major rabbit warren systems have been destroyed and work is continuing on this front over the next six months.  

There will be no official bandicoot monitoring until April this year.  The end of spring this year became to hot and unpredictable in weather and we don't take any risk in running these events if animal welfare is compromised.  So spotlighting will get us through until then.  So far we are seeing regular bandicoots scattered in all areas of the reserve.

Sadly on the negative front as many of you will be aware the last few months has seen unprecedented amounts of bushfires burning across nearly all parts of Australia.  Summer so far has been difficult and rainfall has disappeared again.  At woodlands only 5mm of rain fell compared to an average of 55mm.   There were two fires close by, one only around 10km away in a straight line.  This is very close for us.  But thanks to the amazing work of our emergency services these were extinguished.  Parks Victoria fire fighters have done a brilliant job in not only fighting these fires but creating extensive plans to mitigate any chance of fire arriving at the reserve. Creating fire breaks, continuously patrolling the park and having staff ready to deploy if needed.  

We would like to thank them for what they are currently battling and more so thanking them into the future as there is no sight in end for these fires at the moment.  

Once again great work everyone involved from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Parks Victoria, volunteers and all members of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team who have assisted with making this possible.

Nov 20, 2019

Volunteers Hard at Work

Volunteers hard at work protecting and restoring the native habitat of a much loved icon


 The gregarious Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos was once widespread across the West Australian Wheatbelt. It is now recognised as an endangered species. This wonderful icon has suffered huge reductions in population size - falling by over 50% in just 45 years.

 The Beeliar Regional Park is an ecologically significant reserve in the Perth Metropolitan area providing a vast diversity of native habitat for Carnaby Black Cockatoo’s living within the urban landscape.

 Volunteers again rallied to help Conservation Volunteers Australia further assist the City of Cockburn. Their much valued work made it possible to plant 600 native seedlings in the bush reserve surrounding Bibra Lake. This will significantly contribute to the ongoing expansion of Carnaby Cockatoo habitat within the Beeliar Regional Park.

 Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos face many major challenges, some of these include; the clearance of their feeding and nesting habitat, destruction of nesting hollows and significant rivalry with other species for nesting sites, along with the serious issue of plundering.

 Since European settlement, 56% of its habitat has been cleared, mainly for agriculture. Conservation Volunteers Australia has a long standing and ongoing partnership with the City of Cockburn to revegetate large areas of cleared land surrounding Bibra Lake with the purpose of increasing habitat connectivity within the reserve for our native wildlife.

 The Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos have a particularly low rate of breeding and the young birds have an especially long period of relying on the parent birds leaving them vulnerable to sudden changes to their environment.


Without the support of our wonderful volunteers and kind supporters, CVA would not have been able to achieve the important milestones we have to date.

 And with everyone’s ongoing assistance, we can continue to make a difference to our most vulnerable native species.


Thank you again for all your amazing support.


Tristan Duke

State Manager, Western Australia

Nov 20, 2019

Western Pygmy Possum Updates

CVA’s Western Pygmy Possums project is making good progress.


As our understanding of their distribution throughout the Adelaide Mount Lofty Rangers specifically the Fleurieu Peninsula grows, so too, does our appreciation of this tiny marsupial and its very endearing traits.


With the wonderful assistance from our local community, we have been able to install further nesting boxes in 5 new locations which has particularly important with the unseasonable cooler weather during October. Thanks to the support of local landowners and organisations, nesting boxes have been situated in three private properties and two national parks, this brings the new nesting box installation sites to eight. 


An important part of our work is checking that the nesting boxes remain in good condition and monitoring of these little creatures will continue throughout November and December. This is a very beautiful time of year in this area with the flowering plants all in full bloom. It is also a favourite time for the possums as they particularly enjoy feeding nectar and pollen.


It is also the season when possums are in full activity including migration into new territories for breeding. 


Some Interesting facts about the very cute Western Pygmy Possum


  • Pygmy possums are a threatened species



  • Only 97 recorded sightings have occurred on the Fleurieu Peninsula between 1910 and 2017



  • They use small hollows for shelter and breeding



  • As many as twelve embryos have been recorded in a pouch



  • The young leave the pouch at around 25 days but remain in a nest as they are semi naked and dependent on the mother



  • They enter a state of dormancy particularly during cold weather or rain




Thank you for all your wonderful support. Your donations really do make a difference and I look forward to my next report and sharing more interesting information about these incredible furry creatures.


Till then, all the best from everyone here at Conservation Volunteers Australia


Darren Kennedy, State Manager, South Australia

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