Winners are grinners

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

Some of you may remember the national Boodie call we ran last November and December with the assistance of Australian Geographic. The appeal raised a huge amount of money, over $46,000.00, to help support out Burrowing Bettongs, or Boodies as you may call them.

Australian Geographic recently held their annual conference, celebrating all aspects of their business, including a section for best fundraiser of the year. As a small way of saying thank you, Arid Recovery offered up the prize of a position for one lucky person to take part in our annual trapping program in February 2013. Volunteer positions for this busy week are often quickly snapped up, everyone jumping at the chance to take part in the longest running trapping event of its kind, getting up close and personal with the small native mammals and reptiles of the arid zone.

The Australian Geographic Southland store, Victoria was the winner, raising the most amount of money for the Boodie call of all Australian Geographic stores across the nation. The lucky person from the Southland store to be selected for the trip was Tanya. She said the endangered Burrowing Bettong was a creature a lot of Australians had never heard of. “The customers were very interested to hear about the Burrowing Bettong, most of them had never heard of him, and the reason why we were raising money for this little guy.”

Tanya is excited to fly up to Roxby Downs and take part in the week of trapping. She is pictured below with Ian Connellan, editor of Australian Geographic magazine and trustee of the Australian Geographic Society. The flag they are holding will come to Arid Recovery with Tanya for the first time, and will be taken on scientific trips around the world.

 

Prize winner Tanya from the Australian Geographic Southland store, and Ian Connellan, editor of the Australian Geographic magazine and trustee for the Australian Geographic Society.

Happy Birthday Arid Recovery!

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

Sunday 19th of August saw the Arid Recovery gates thrown open with young and old coming to help the Arid Recovery staff and volunteers celebrate 15 successful years of Arid Recovery.

Visitors were able to take part in a range of activities, including a 4x4 tour of the Reserve which was quite popular. Participants were able to see sections of the Reserve not accessed by the general public, with commentary about the history and unique flora, fauna and landscapes of the arid zone. “The 4x4 tours were a success, a lot of local Roxby families enjoy getting out and exploring their surrounding environment. Having knowledgeable people to answer questions and point out things that most people would often miss makes it great for the whole family,” said Education and Community Officer Hannah Spronk.

Local volunteers who have been around since the inception of Arid Recovery also came out to lend a hand for the day, taking guided nature trails, sharing their stories and experiences over the last 15 years. “Without our volunteers we would not have had such a successful Open Day celebration, or have such a successful Reserve. There has been thousands upon thousands of volunteer hours put in to Arid Recovery, be they feral control, fence building, educational presentations to school groups or assisting with trapping programs. We appreciate each and every person who has contributed to the project, we wouldn’t be where we are today without them!” said Hannah Spronk, Education and Community Officer.

A big hit on the day was Macca tracker, with children assisting in radio tracking Macca the giant bilby around the Reserve. After searching high and low in piles of wood and in each and every burrow, the children eventually found him hiding out at the field station. There they helped to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles on 15 years of Arid Recovery.

Hannah would like to say thank you to all who took part in the day. “A big thank you to all our volunteers that helped out on the day, we couldn’t have done it without you. We hope everyone who came out enjoyed the day, and learnt a little bit more about Arid Recovery. Here is to another 15 years of protecting the arid zone!”

 

For more photos from the day check out our Facebook page

www.facebook.com/AridRecovery

The un- crashed Bandicoots

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

It was a chilly morning Saturday 23rd June, and before the sun was up, the distinct twang of postie bikes was ringing out around Roxby Downs.  It was the start of the Roxby Downs Community Postie Bash and the bikes were lining up for scrutineering at 6:30am.  With brake lights flashing and horns beeping and a few final adjustments the bikes were given the all clear to ride.  A last minute challenge of carrying a spaghetti tin and egg to William Creek and back was proposed, and teams rushed to provide their egg with the most comfortable and cushioned of rides, rather than face the prospect of a $5 fine and loss of points.

With a wave of the chequered flag the bikes were off with a convoy of cars following.  Our hearts fell as a call came over the radio stating the Crash Bandicoots bike had stopped- we hadn’t even made it past the Reserve yet!  In a panic about what had happened mechanically to the bike, it was soon figured out that the fuel had run out.  With a $20 fine paid and a tank full of fuel we were off again.

Broken up into five legs, the trip to William Creek and back was shared by riders of all skills and ages, the team making up there without a crash or broken bone.  Egg and spoon races, tent building, riding through puddles and jaffa spitting (and eating out of the dirt) were all some of the challenges issues along the way to earn points for your team. 

 

By the final leg home Tim (the postie bike) was a little worn out, travelling a little slower than usual.  All teams made it back to Roxby safely, with the winners being the Teachers Pets team.  Nearly $50, 000.00 was raised by all teams, all of which is going back in to the local community.  We would like to thank everyone who supported us, and any of the other teams, it made for a great weekend.

For more photos of the event please check out our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/aridrecovery

Camp out with the Bettongs!

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

Looking for something different to do these school holidays than camping in the backyard or local caravan park?  Why not spend a night camping out at the Arid Recovery Reserve, with the chance of getting up close and personal to our bettongs while you are at it!

Arid Recovery is holding a two week trapping event from the 1st- 12th of July and welcome tourists to stay a night at the Reserve and play a hands-on role in the conservation of a threatened species.  Visitors will be able to assist with every step of the trapping process, from bait making, and trap setting through to processing and the release of the animals.

A regular day would see visitors arrive mid-afternoon to the Arid Recovery Reserve for an introduction to the project and to set up camp.  Then it is off to set traps with a special mix of peanut butter and oats, a smell that bettongs cannot resist!  Before the sun rises everyone bundles into their vehicles to check the traps and remove any captured animals.  Back at base camp animals are processed and visitors are encouraged to take part, learning exactly what we are doing and getting up close and personal to these cute creatures.  A quick stop for coffee and then it is off to release the bettongs into their new burrows within the Reserve.

“There aren’t too many places like this that offer the chance or people to play a hands-on role in conservation,” says Volunteer and Community Coordinator Hannah Spronk.  “If we can give people the opportunity to be involved in our project, we can help to increase awareness about the threats our native wildlife are facing.”

Prices for visitors start from just $70 per night for a family, with powered camping and basic bunk accommodation available.  All visitors will receive a complimentary one year Arid Recovery membership.  Places are limited so get in quick to book your spot. 

Please call (08) 8671 2402 or email volunteer@aridrecovery.org.au

How to become a scientist

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

The Arid Recovery Reserve is buzzing with the launch of a new bettong behavioural study- and you can be involved!  There is a scientist within us all and we would like to give all our volunteers, members, tourists and school children a chance to be involved in the science we undertake.

Anyone lucky enough to have been out to the reserve and had the chance to see our threatened Burrowing Bettong will know they are quite social creatures.  We at Arid Recovery want to find out more about the interactions between Burrowing Bettongs and what it all means and this is where you come in. 

As part of the project a number of individuals will be marked with coloured ear tags so that tourists and others visiting the reserve in the late evening will be able to identify individuals and how they interact with one another.  Burrowing Bettongs will also be radio collared, offering educational groups to the reserve the unique opportunity to radio track a real animal, finding out where they hide during the day and who they are living with.

“This project is going to provide everyone, particularly the local community, with a fantastic opportunity to be involved in science.  Hopefully it might get people asking a few more questions about the world around them and increase their involvement,” quotes Hannah Spronk, Volunteer and Community Coordinator.

The project has been kick started with some generous funding through the Optus Regional Community Grants.  “Thanks to the Optus Regional Community Grants we will be able to start this project off on the right foot,” agrees Hannah.

For more information on the Burrowing Bettong Behavioural Project or to find out how you can be involved contact the office on (08) 8671 8282 or email volunteer@aridrecovery.org.au

AR bilby mascot name announced

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

The winner of the 'Name the AR Bilby Mascot' sponsored by Haighs Chocolates is Bec Gardner from Roxby Downs who nominated ' MACCA' as her choice.

The Friends of Arid Recovery committee judged the winner from over 50 entries and took 3 days to make their final decision from some excellent nominations.  The committee raised the funds and had the mascot made for Arid Recovery to assist our promotions and to raise awareness for threatened native animal species.

'Macca' has a special meaning as it helps to promote the scientific name of the Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and it has an 'Aussie' twang, promoting that bilbies are native to Australia.

We thank Bec, the committee and Friends, and all of the entrants, as well as Haighs Chocolates for providing the prize of a voucher and an Easter Bilby soft toy complete with chocolate baby bilbies in its pouch.

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