Here I am, back again for my second year in a row. Even the forecast forty degree heat wasn’t a deterrent for this eager trapping enthusiast. I even managed to inspire fellow student, Scott, to join me this year with my Arid Recovery trapping stories. Scott, having just returned from Borneo looked like something a feral cat had dragged in when I met him off the bus in Pt Augusta (he prefers ruggedly handsome). However, he was still full of enthusiasm despite his obvious sleep deprivation. An Adelaide Uni honours student Tristan and English backpacker Brendan completed our volunteer posse. We felt set for adventure as we rolled into town with Thin Lizzy belting out Whiskey in the Jar over the local radio.
Two days into Annual Trapping, plus forty degree temperatures and lack of sleep have yet to dampen spirits. We beat the heat by working in the early morning and late evenings. During the hottest part of the day we have a siesta and seek solace at the local pool. Whilst on trapping duties teams tend pitfall and Elliott trap lines inside and outside the Reserve. So far, our team with all bar one outside trap line, has yet to bag a mammal despite abundant mammal tracks around our trap lines. Our Team Leader Craig’s theory is that the mammals outside the reserve are ‘smarter’ as living alongside predators possibly gives them an edge.
Annual Trapping Volunteers Barb and Scott admire a Central Knob-tailed Gecko Nephrurus levis
Still, there is three days to go and the other teams have had plenty of mammals in their traps making us hopeful. Consistent catches of a variety of reptiles: geckos, skinks, laristas and predominately dragons keep us and on our toes and filled with anticipation for the week ahead.