On the Expedition
Help protect this hidden outback regions native animals.
In this tranquil arid region of Western Australia, 355 kilometres northeast or Perth, lies a hidden outback oasis, the Charles Darwin Reserve, full of rare and endangered species and diverse landscapes. Enjoying a Mediterranean climate, this semi desert area is recognised internationally for its value to the environment and encompasses an even greater diversity of species than Australia’s rainforests. The area is home to frogs, dunnarts, geckos, spiders, plants, moths, skinks and other rare and endangered species.
In recent years, the Reserve has suffered declines in native mammals due to introduced predators, such as the European Red fox, (Vulpes vulpes,) as well as herbivores. Working during the day and at sometimes at night with Dr. Rob Davis (Edith Cowan University, Australia), you’ll help assess the effectiveness of feral management plans and better understand predators and their relationships to prey by conducting biodiversity surveys and installing traps, surveying animals at night with a spotlight, and deploying camera traps to identify and determine the population of animals.
Meals and Accommodations
Accommodations are shared, single-sex bedrooms with twin beds, with all rooms opening onto the shared kitchen and living space. There is a separate shower and toilet block nearby with hot water and flushing toilets. The accommodation is not air-conditioned but there are some fans available.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. A cook will be on staff to prepare a cooked evening meal. However, participants and staff will be responsible each morning for making their own continental breakfasts and a packed lunch with food provided.
About the Research Area
Charles Darwin Reserve in southern Western Australia is a 68,000 hectare former sheep station that lies within the Southwest Botanical Province, on the edge of the Avon Wheat belt. The Reserve lies within a global biodiversity hotspot that is one of only 25 areas worldwide that contain around 50 percent of the planet’s biodiversity on land--yet cover just 2 percent of the planet's land area.
In the past 200 years, pressures from pastoralism, introduced predators, altered fire regimes and diseases have combined to reduce or eliminate populations of many of Australia’s unique, medium-sized mammals. Early Australian explorers commented on the visibility, abundance and even the annoying traits of Australia’s medium sized mammal fauna. However, most people today have never seen or even heard of many of these creatures.