Earthwatch congratulates Future Leaders Environmental Award winners
We would like to congratulate Declan Clause and Laura Leighton, who have each been awarded an Earthwatch 'Animals of the Outback' expedition as part of the 2011 Future Leaders Environmental Awards.
The Future Leader Environmental Awards recognises year 12 students for their strong environmental leadership and initiatives. Declan and Laura will join teams of Earthwatch volunteers at Charles Darwin Reserve in Western Australia working with Dr Rob Davis, of the Edith Cowan University as he gathers key data to help bridge a much-needed knowledge gap on the relationship between introduced and native 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. In this tranquil arid region of Western Australia, 355 kilometres northeast of Perth, the Charles Darwin Reserve is full of rare and endangered species and diverse landscapes. The 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. The purpose of this research is to help protect the region’s native animals by assessing the effectiveness of feral animal management plans.
Declan and Laura, along with other volunteers will help conduct biodiversity surveys by using spotlights to survey animals at night, and deploying camera traps to identify and determine the population of animals.
Earthwatch has worked with Future Leaders since 2002 providing a fully funded expedition as a prize for Award recipients. The expeditions provide the opportunity for hands-on participation in environmental research as well as improved environmental and cultural understanding. This program seeks to spread greater awareness of environmental issues throughout the community.
Declan Clause at Blackbutt Reserve in Newcastle
Note: photos were not taken on Earthwatch expeditions