We are enhancing local leadership across regional communities to support Wild Futures!
With the importance of empowering and engaging local leaders at the forefront of our first project, the NSW Government is supporting our new Wild Futures initiative aimed to regenerate the environment in bushfire-affected areas through the development of local leaders.
Why this new direction? CVA sees local leaders and community groups as the backbone of regional communities. They’re the pillars who can bring together others to solve problems from the ground up. The holistic approach for this project will develop a community co-designed program to empower and encourage greater capacity in local leaders, while both restoring fire-affected bushland and identifying processes that community members can implement to protect biodiversity and wildlife for future generations.
We will keep you updated over the coming months on this dynamic new project in regional NSW.
Most of this season completely ruled out with having on ground participation by our generous volunteers in the field. So we decided to take the outdoor conservation experience into homes around the world by using citizen science. We installed 5 infrared wi-fi monitoring cameras to help count our eastern barred bandicoots and all other wildlife native or pest. This was linked to the museum of Australia and living atlas of Australia to record all the sightings. This technique encourages the general public to investigate and help threatened species recovery from there lounge rooms. The data collected and recorded is used to build up information on how our native and threatened species are tracking. When the lockdowns started to happen our volunteers kept asking when can we help again, how can we help. They are a dedicated and persistent great part of our community. So we took it to them!
Here is the latest update from our Bandicoot guru Travis:
Well it was a quite dry summer at woodlands in general but we got the occasional large downpour of rain which kept things buzzing along. The good news it wasn’t An overly Hot summer. So with enough moisture in the ground there were signs of bandicoot diggings throughout the period. It also meant that the grasslands continued to grow and produce large quantities of seed. The wildflowers we planted last spring have also done quite well so we look forward to spring to see the bursts of colours the flowers will deliver.
We are excited to book in our first bandicoot monitoring session for over 18 months. This will be happening in late may. It’s going to be an extremely exciting trapping event due to that large gap of time due to Covid restrictions. Spotlighting bandicoots is becoming more frequent so we look forward to catching them for a health check.
The weed control always continues to improve grassland health. We have been fortunate to utilise the services of a working for Victoria team to help us out. There have been up to 20 people a day over 7 days spraying our serrated tussock. They have been following on from the work we did last year and also hitting new zones. This is really important to go over your previous work as it can take up to 5 years to exhaust the seed stock that’s in the ground. So by spraying it before it gets a chance to seed you effectively win that year. So that’s two years of winning for us. And with the natural competition of the natives thriving we are well on the way to eradicating some problem areas of the weeds.
That's all from us for now! As always, thank you for your continued support to make this project possible.
Once again we will start off with habitat conditions at Woodlands Historic Park. Excellent news again to report. The rainfall has continued to hit woodlands and the grasslands have been thriving. We have also managed to plant our 9000 wildflowers and grasses into our rabbit proof enclosure. They are doing well with the late spring rains but are still quite small. So we can’t wait for them to grow and we can see all the new flowers. We will be able to harvest seeds and cuttings from these plants for future planting projects. This injection of species will also create more lures for invertebrates to return meaning more food for bandicoots so it’s a win win situation. Beauty and environmental impact!
Unfortunately our spring bandicoot monitoring had to be postponed due to the COVID pandemic. However with the damp soil bandicoot diggings were easy to spot all across the enclosure. Spotlighting has become difficult with the exceptional grass growth. But thanks to one of our wild futures corporate supports AON we were able to purchase five permanent monitoring cameras. These cameras are solar panelled and have wifi connection so we receive the images directly to our computers. We will eventually set up a program to encourage the public to get involved in our citizen science project where you can sift through our footage from your own devices and survey the images for us. A great way to get involved from the comforts of home or work and do some great conservation work. The other great news is while we have been setting up the program and trialling the cameras to make sure everything is working we have been getting plenty of images of our bandicoots. So even though we have missed out running our trapping session the cameras are working as a way for us to see the activity on site which is fantastic. So if your interested keep an eye out on our website and join up to check the cameras from time to time.
Weed control continues of our invasive serrated tussock grass and will be ongoing. But with the great return of the native species it is also starting to smother and outcompete the weeds.
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. Most importantly the continued financial commitment from our sponsors through this platform is essential in allowing us to protect and grow the species numbers. THANKYOU again and we look forward to your ongoing support.
Once again we will start off with habitat conditions at Woodlands Historic Park in this update. Woodlands is officially waterlogged! The rain continued well into autumn and has now returned to average monthly rainfall. This is more than enough water and we quite possibly will not need anymore until spring. Although I do not wish to jinx this. The long term forecast is for above average rainfall in this area over the next 6 moths so we are excited about rapid growth once the warmer months arrive. This is the first time in four years we have had this luxury.
The tussock structure of the native grasses has become very dense making nesting for bandicoots possible throughout the entire enclosure. With the ground being so moist, it is now easy to see fresh bandicoot feed diggings everywhere. So with the increased habitat and food source there should be shortage of breeding during this winter period. With the next round of monitoring planned for October we will hopefully catch plenty of young new born and bred bandicoots in healthy body condition.
There has been an aggressive weed control program running whilst the native grasses return. The main target is called serrated tussock. This grass is an introduced species and classified noxious. As is has the ability to take over and monopolies other species. We have been targeting the densest areas within quality native species areas. So far 52 hectares have been sprayed out which is fantastic. Already the natives are growing over the top of the dead weeds.
New wildflower planting plots are ready and the 9000 new plants are being delivered in the next few weeks. It will be very exciting to plant these areas out and diversify the grasslands and see all the new flowers colours this spring and summer.
The most EXCITING reward for all the hard work payed off in June. Woodlands finally was able to receive bandicoots from Zoos Victoria breeding program to help replenish our stocks and diversify the genetic pool. Six were released in total including 3 males and 3 females. These animals are young adults which means they arrive with optimal breeding lifespan ahead of them. We wish them well meeting the existing bandicoots and help the population rise.
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. Most importantly the continued financial commitment from our sponsors through this platform is essential in allowing us to protect and grow the species numbers.
THANK YOU again and we look forward to your ongoing support.
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