Feb 22, 2017

Restoring Cockatoo Habitat

The first quarter of 2017 has seen our volunteers start on some exciting new projects at Whiteman Park at Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre that will assist Carnabys Black Cockatoo habitat within the Swan Coastal Plain.

Whiteman Park has partnered with Conservation Volunteers Australia since mid-2009, supporting our Habitat and Catchment Restoration Programs in the Swan region. The most recent program of activities through January - February 2017 have seen our teams aid Environment Officer Andrew in a number of weed control, litter collection and track maintenance activities.

Volunteers contributed 189 hours to these projects, volunteering in all conditions including one of the hottest days in January and one of the wettest in February.  The team volunteered at four different sites within the park; weeding along both the Red Walk Trail and the rail line to Mussel Pool, pruning throughout the Children’s Forest to maintain tracks and collecting litter along the creek bed and surrounding bush and park land along Bennett Brook.  Whiteman Park provides large areas of habitat for the black cockatoos

Hannah, Team Leader for Conservation Volunteers Australia said, “The team had a fantastic time at Whiteman Park, managing to catch sight of an array of wildlife while putting in a massive conservation effort. Even though they were faced with some challenging weather with an entire day of drizzle at Bennett Brook and a couple of very hot days, the volunteers did an amazing job. Andrew was a pleasure to work with and had great knowledge of the park.”

Conservation Volunteers Australia has been partnered with Kaarakin since 2009 and our focus in 2017 will be for Conservation Volunteers Australia to manage The Orchard.  The Orchard is a parcel of land adjacent to the centre that has seen several years of successful planting efforts by volunteers.  We are now helping to control the invasive weeds that have returned to the area and are choking the creek line through the site.  Volunteers have set up photo monitoring points throughout the area and have started to remove some of the weed species.

We would like to thank our Global Giving donors, supporters and volunteers.  Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to make a difference to this important cause.  If you are able to donate again we would really appreciate it – every donation 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.

Conservation Heroes!
Conservation Heroes!
Volunteering is fun!
Volunteering is fun!
A Gould
A Gould's Monitor found on site
Track maintenance!
Track maintenance!
Feb 21, 2017

Rewilding the Desert: the BioBlitz has begun!

Beautiful Silky Mouse
Beautiful Silky Mouse

Australian wildlife is facing an extinction crisis, with 31% of mammals extinct or threatened. Rewilding the Desert is aiming to bring back from the brink our threatened desert wildlife, with community volunteers and expert researchers joining together. An initial BioBlitz will enable us to establish monitoring and research programs to better understand the ecological benefits and impacts of rewilding.  

In spring (September - November in our hemisphere!) the first step of our in-depth BioBlitz has begun! We commenced our fauna monitoring program at the Little Desert Nature Lodge site and the results were excellent:

  • We dug in 240 buckets and erected 1,200 metres of drift fences for the pitfall trap lines.
  • We spent 4 weeks catching and releasing animals in pitfall, funnel and cage traps.
  • During those four weeks 567 animals were captured and released.
  • 24 different species were captured, including the delightful Silky mouse and the tenacious Eastern Striped Skink (pictured).
  • Detailed habitat assessments were conducted at 24 sites.
  • Volunteers have contributed 1,425 hours

Conservation Volunteers Australia Rewilding Program Manager, Ben Holmes reports: ‘We are extremely grateful to everyone who braved the early mornings, late evenings and friendly Wimmera flies to collect this data. This information is vital to helping us better understand the ecosystem before we can progress to the next stage of the project.

Before we can get to the good part: rewilding (or reintroduce) locally extinct native wildlife, we need to conduct more surveys and collect more data. We also need to establish monitoring sites at our other property, the Malleefowl Sanctuary. So we still need your help to spread the word and support our efforts.

A big thank you to all the generous souls who have donated, without your support we cannot continue this critical program and help conserve Australia’s weird, wonderful and highly threatened native wildlife.

Dr Watson with a tenacious Eastern Striped Skink
Dr Watson with a tenacious Eastern Striped Skink
Tiny Striped Worm Lizard
Tiny Striped Worm Lizard
Volunteers installing pitfall traps
Volunteers installing pitfall traps
Volunteers checking traps
Volunteers checking traps
Feb 21, 2017

A Family Affair

This year marks 20 years since the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) was detected, affecting Tasmanian Devils in their natural habitat. DFTD is a fatal disease, and extremely unusual as it is a transmissible cancer that passes from devil to devil – the impact on wild populations of this species has been huge. Significant reductions in the population of a top predator like the devil has significant implications for the rest of the ecosystem too. Thankfully researchers and other passionate individuals and groups are working hard towards a solution for a healthy and reliable future for the Tasmanian Devil.

To help strengthen the devil population, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary have undertaken a partnership to protect and support the future of Tasmanian Devils through a breeding program for healthy devils.  This breeding program is showing success with our female devil, Nymeria, giving birth late last year to two babies, Luca and Kalina. Conservation Volunteers Australia’s Regional Manager in Hobart, Amy, reports “These babies have been doing so well and getting bigger by the day! The family have now been moved to a separate ‘family’ enclosure and are currently on display with their mum in Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. A highly successful breeding program, an important family - on display for people to witness.

Bonorong now has another female devil in that enclosure ready for the breeding season, and we look forward to keeping you up-to-date on their progress in the next report. A sincere thanks to all our donors who continue to support us in our fight to give the Tasmanian Devil a Wild Future.

 

*Photos courtesy of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Baby Luca
Baby Luca
Devil enclosure at Bonorong
Devil enclosure at Bonorong
Nymeria and baby Kalina
Nymeria and baby Kalina
 
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