Volunteers and families needed for bandicoot watch at North Head in 2011
10 March 2011
Conservation group Earthwatch Australia (www.earthwatch.org.au) is calling on residents and families to join the bandicoot watch to help protect long-nosed bandicoots at North Head, Manly from extinction.
The Bandicoots on the Brink conservation project was established in 2010, with over 50 good samaritans volunteering to become a Scientist for a Day to protect the endangered bandicoot from introduced predators.
“The teams were so successful last year we have decided to run more teams in 2011 and to bring families into the mix so that children can experience what real field science is all about with their parents”, Richard Gilmore, Executive Director, Earthwatch.
Bandicoot research teams commence on Saturday 2 April and run through until Thursday 2 June. There’s also a family weekend for children aged 10 and over on 15-17 April, 2011.
Teams of volunteers, led by Wildlife Ecologist Nelika Hughes, use sent lures to attract and then film bandicoot predators on hidden cameras throughout North Head Sanctuary. GPS is also used to locate and collect cameras, record habitats and analyse footage captured.
Last year volunteers discovered a range of predators (rats, cats and dogs) as well as blue-tongue lizards, brushtail and ringtail possums, eastern water dragons and a total of 15 long-nosed bandicoots. An echidna was also spotted; a surprise given there has only been one sighting on the headlands before.
“So far the research has shown that surprisingly black rats are active during the day as well as at night, bandicoots and brushtail possums only during hours of darkness and cats and dogs only during the day,” Nelika Hughes, Wildlife Ecologist, Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
Bandicoots were abundant throughout Sydney until the 1960's. Since then, however, their numbers have declined dramatically because of habitat loss due to urban development and the effects of cars and introduced predators. It’s estimated that there are only 80 long-nosed bandicoots remaining in the area.
The bandicoots’ research is designed to deepen the understanding of how feral predators affect threatened native animals living within urban landscapes. The findings will enable conservation managers to develop predator control strategies and community education programs, to ensure the long-term survival of the bandicoot.
Join a ‘Bandicoots on the Brink’ team for just $49 and spend a fulfilling day learning about conservation and contributing to your local community. Call Earthwatch on 03 9682 6828 or visit www.earthwatch.org.au
Your money will go towards this valuable conservation research to ensure this important conservation continues in the future.
• Project name: Bandicoots on the Brink
• Duration: One day project teams
• Time: 8.30am to 5pm
• Dates for 2011
o Saturday 2nd April
o Friday 15 April to Sunday 17 April (Family weekend, children aged 10 and over)
o Saturday 7th May
o Thursday 12th May
o Saturday 21st May
o Thursday 26th May
o Thursday 2nd June
• Duration - 1 day
• Location - North Head, Sydney, NSW
• Cost: $49 per person. Funds donated cover the costs on the day with the remaining funds go towards the research.
• Who can attend: Anyone who would like to make a difference and donate their time and money to conservation.
• To register: Call Earthwatch 03 9682 6828
Ph: 03 9682 6828