A Cousin Next Door

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

After 80 long years, relatives of the Arid Recovery burrowing bettong have moved in next door.  Once plentiful along the eastern seaboard of Australia, the eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) suffered a fast decline due to foxes, cats and land clearing in the late 1800’s.

Since approximately the mid- 1920’s the eastern bettong has not been seen on the mainland and survived only in Tasmania.  With the recent arrival of the fox in Tasmania and an increase in other pressures, a small population of 30 eastern bettongs were relocated to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, ACT. 

The ACT government, CSIRO and Dr Adrian Manning of the Australian National University’s  Fenner School are working collaboratively on a grassy woodland restoration project.  The project is undertaken at Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve and it is hoped that at some stage next year, this small group of eastern bettongs will be released at Mulligans flat.

Eastern bettongs are often referred to as “ecosystem engineers” as they play a pivotal role in digging up the soil which increases the flow of nutrients and water into the soil.  The ecologists working on this reintroduction are hoping to determine the impact this reintroduced species may have on the woodland and if they may be used an ecological restoration tool.

Findings from this type of study can be beneficial not only to other woodlands along the eastern coast but also conservation projects across Australia.  Although it may seem the information these sorts of studies and organisations such as Arid Recovery provide are quite specific to the ecosystems or animals they are dealing with, aspects of it can be applicable to a number of different things.  Look at our unique floppy top fence, it is used in different ecosystems across Australia and even in other countries!  Conservation projects and initiatives such as these share not only their successes but also their failures with others in order to improve the protection of our species for years to come.

National Boodie call starts today!

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Throughout November and December Arid Recovery is teaming up with Australian Geographic for a nationwide boodie call.

 

Before European settlement, the burrowing bettong, or boodie, flourished across Australia. Today it is only found naturally on three small islands off WA. Threatened by feral predators, fire and disease, numbers have fallen to about 5000. Stepping in to help is Arid Recovery, a not-for-profit conservation and research organisation based in SA.

“The burrowing bettong was once abundant, and it’s a great shame that they are no longer found in the wild on the mainland,” says Kylie Piper, from Arid Recovery, an organisation that manages a 12,300ha reserve near Roxby Downs, SA.

The Arid Recovery Reserve, which has been home to reintroduced bettongs since 1999, now has a population of over 1500. The marsupial builds complex warrens and once thrived in arid shrub, such as that found on the reserve.

As more than 6000ha of the property is free of the predators, it’s an ideal location for the species to prosper.

You can answer the boodie call by visiting an Australian Geographic store around Australia or donating or adopting a boodie online via the Arid Recovery website.

 

The Great Bettong Escape

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

For many people, the arid zone during the day looks like a dry, dusty and slightly lifeless area and many wonder where all these animals are that we are talking about.  But as the sun starts to dip below the horizon and the moon begins to rise, you will soon see the Arid Recovery Reserve come to life.  A number of night vision cameras have been erected around the reserve to find exactly what all the wildlife is getting up to.

Photo 1: Those who have had the experience of staying over- night at the reserve or taking one of the nocturnal tours will readily tell you about the abundance of Burrowing Bettongs and their cheeky antics.  This photograph above shows one of the Reserve's more elusive inhabitants, a Stick-nest Rat, investigating around the base of one of our exterior exclusion fences.

Photo 2: This next shot shows a Bettong discovering the large corner posts that we use for the Arid Recovery Fence.  The fence was designed that while animals (such as cats) could still climb up the exterior, they were unable to reach the interior of the reserve due to the floppy top which throws off their balance.  While these mischievous little critters spend most of their time hopping around and are even named for their habit of burrowing underground, they do have the ability to climb, and quite well!

Photo 3:  Quite clearly these ground dwellers aren’t too scared of heights, easily pulling themselves up the inside of the fence in an attempt to discover what lies beyond.  It was for this reason that the main exclosure was electrified not only on the exterior to prevent feral animals from entering, but also on the interior to stop our precious threatened species from climbing out to feral populated areas or other expansions of the reserve.

Photo 4:  Not only do the animals inside the reserve that become active at night, but also those on the outside.  This dingo waits patiently on the exterior of the fence, anticipating dinner to crawl over the fence and land at his feet.

Photo 5:  This kangaroo outside the fence has also come to investigate why this fence is here and what is going on.  If you look closely you can see the small joey head, poking out of its mothers pouch, a sight we were lucky enough to capture on these cameras.

World Animal Day

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Around the globe on October 4 people celebrated World Animal day, recognising their beloved cats, dogs, birds, mice etc. and the roles they play in their lives.  Maybe you donated to a wonderful organisation such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League or gave your cat an extra-long scratch behind the ears.  But this is a far cry from the original World Animal Day.

It took place at a conference of ecologists all the way back in 1931, who were extremely concerned about the number of endangered species around the world.  In attempt to raise awareness of the plight of endangered species far and wide, they named the 4th of October as World Animal Day.  We all know about some of the flagship endangered species from across the globe such as African Elephants, Blue Whales, Giant Pandas and Tigers, but what about some a bit closer to home?

Australia has listed more than 143 species of native animals, including fish, frogs, birds, reptiles and mammals that are listed as endangered.  Although some of these are animals you might be familiar with such as the Wedge- tailed Eagle, Northern Hairy- nosed Wombat and the Tasmanian Devil, there are others you may not recognise by first name.  For instance, the Northern Marsupial Mole who spends most of its time underground digging tunnels that collapse behind it or the Pygmy Blue- tongue Lizard who steals the holes made by spiders for their home are a couple that you may not know much about. 

At Arid Recovery, we wonder why endangered animals should have just one day to be celebrated and supported.  “Our country is filled with wonderfully unique fauna,” quotes Arid Recovery ecologist Helen Crisp, “Why wait for the 4th of October to celebrate them, when you can do it every day of the year at Arid Recovery and support the futures of endangered animals!”

Show your support by adopting an Arid Recovery endangered animal today.


Or vote for your favourite Arid Recovery Big 4 animal on Facebook in October for your chance to win a bilby adoption.

ST. BARB’S SCHOOL VISIT AR

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday the 7th of September was National Threatened Species day, an event first held in 1996 to commemorate the loss of the last Tasmanian Tiger and to help raise awareness of Australia’s threatened species.

To celebrate Threatened Species day this year, St Barbara’s Parish School from Receptions to Year 7 headed out to the Arid Recovery Reserve to learn a little more about the contribution Arid Recovery makes towards conservation.  

The children undertook a range of activities including radio tracking Brenda the Bilby, learning how traps work, how to use tracks and scats to identify animals and wandering the dunes to find out more about the ecosystem our threatened species live in.  The most popular activity with the children was by far the scat making.

“The children are so focused on getting their hands dirty and having so much fun that they probably don’t realise they are learning at the same time,” commented Perri Carter, Arid Recovery Volunteer and Community Assistant.

The highlight of the day for Arid Recovery’s new Volunteer and Community Coordinator, Hannah Spronk, was the excitement on the children’s faces as they grasped these new ideas.  “Their enthusiasm for being out at Arid Recovery was fantastic,” remarked Hannah, “When they realise they have managed to identify their own Bilby track correctly, they are very impressed.”

The children thoroughly enjoyed their day out of the classroom with the school principal Bernadette Lacey exclaiming, “Everyone came back raving about what a great day they had!” Not only did the children enjoy a day out of the classroom, they also came away understanding a little more about some of the precious threatened species that have been re-introduced to the Arid Recovery Reserve.

Read more about Threatened Species Day.

AR OPEN DAY - A FERAL FREE SUCCESS

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A pair of wedged tailed eagles flew over-head and not a feral animal was in sight, as over 150 people went behind the fence of the Arid Recovery Reserve on Sunday August 21, at the Arid Recovery Open Day.

“The sun is shining and it’s a perfect Roxby day to have so many people visit the Reserve.” said Arid Recovery General Manager, Kylie Piper. “It’s also great to see so many new faces visiting Arid Recovery for the first time.”

Nature walks through the dunes, past the homes of the Reserve’s much-loved residents, the bilbies and the bettongs, were popular, as were the talks from plant and animal experts.

Some of the more adventurous took on the tag-along 4WD trip to the northern sections of the Reserve, driving over the dunes and past the old dog-fence, learning about some of the history and research of Arid Recovery along the way.

The highlight for many of the younger audience was the kids club, with colouring competitions and an opportunity to make poo!

“It sounds disgusting but the kids love it!”, remarked Perri Carter, Arid Recovery’s Volunteer and Community Assistant and the organiser of the event, “It’s also a chance for us to teach them about what different kinds of animals eat.”

By far the favourite activity of the day was the Macca tracker. With both kids and adults running through the dunes in search of the Arid Recovery mascot, Macca the Giant Bilby. Although adept at hiding Macca was eventually found behind a native pine and took time out of his busy schedule to get photos and hugs with some of his biggest fans.

Click here to see our images on Facebook. 

The Arid Recovery Open Day is a National Science Week event supported by the Government of South Australia.

 

Feral Facts: A resource for land owners

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Feral Facts: A resource for land owners created by Arid Recovery distributes information about feral species to the wider public and is made accessible to anyone that may need to understand how to manage feral species such as rabbits, cats and foxes. These species are hugely damaging to the Australian ecosystem therefore the more we understand about them the better we are equipped to manage their detrimental impacts.

“We worked with landholders across the region to understand what information was most relevant for them.” said Helen Crisp, Arid Recovery ecologist.

This 15-page booklet brings science and on-ground management together by sharing a decade’s worth of research outcomes gathered at Arid Recovery in a user-friendly format.  Feral facts, primarily focusses on feral animals of the arid zone, their impacts on native flora, fauna and ecosystems, best-practice methods to control them and the benefits of controlling them.  The booklet has been made possible through funding received from the SA Government and we encourage everyone to have a read.

Please contact Arid Recovery, 8671 8282 or info@aridrecovery.org.au if you would like a copy of Feral facts, or check out our website www.aridrecovery.org.au for more information.


http://www.aridrecovery.org.au/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=97563

Happy Easter - From the Team at Arid Recovery

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Easter is just around the corner!
Forget the Easter Bunny...What about the Easter Bilby!

Since rabbits are on everyone’s mind over Easter it’s a great time to think about the Australian environment and how rabbits have impacted the land as a feral animal.

While not a predator to our native wildlife, the rabbit still has a catastrophic influence on native plants and animals. The rabbit eats grass, herbs and tree seedlings, competing with our native animals for food.  It digs into the soil and eats a plant right down to the root system.  This means that there is little regeneration (new growth of the plant) and this means less food for native animals.  Rabbits have been known to climb into trees to reach food and ringbark trees. (which ends up killing the tree)  With less vegetation the land dries out and the topsoil blows away.  Rabbits are implicated in more than half of the medium sized mammal extinctions in Australia.


At AR we think Easter is about new beginnings so instead of waiting for the Easter Bunny why not adopt an Easter Bilby—or one of their friends and help our wonderful native species!

 

 

Tour Guide Training May 11th 2011

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Tour Guide Training & Information Night!!
Wednesday May 11th 2011

Arid Recovery, through the dedication of the volunteer tour guides, is able to open its arid lands ecosystem restoration project to guided tag-a-long interpretive sunset tours where members of the public can experience how vibrant and widely inhabited Australia’s outback was before European settlement

You are invited to attend Arid Recovery’s information & training nights for its Sunset Tours!

Tours are an integral part of Arid recovery’s Educational conservation goals and they wouldn't be possible without our volunteers

If you would like to become a Arid Recovery Tour Guide or to find out more information please ring Kim on 0459 161 038

All are welcome!!

Western Barred Bandicoot Supplementry Feeding Training!

Developer 2 (MM) - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We are Seeking Local Volunteers to assist with Supplementary feeding and night observing of our translocated WESTERN BARRED BANDICOOTS

This is a great opportunity to get involved in a one in a life time opportunity in Arid Zone Recovery!

We are conducting WBB Training this Thursday evening the 31st March 2011 from 5pm - 8pm

You will recieve full certificate recognition and go onto our roster system and be part of a unique conservation project crew!

Call Kim on 0459 161 038 to find out more and too book a place in this training





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Arid recovery is a conservation initiative supported by:
bhp
adelaide university