Earthwatch Australia: Bandicoots on the Brink
Volunteers are needed to help protect Manly’s native bandicoots from attack by predators.
Earthwatch Australia 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 2012 and to continue to bring families into the mix so that children can experience what real field science is all about with their parents”, Dr Neil Hamilton, CEO Earthwatch.
Teams of volunteers, led by Wildlife Ecologist Cameron Radford, use scent 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, surprisingly, that 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,” Cameron Radford, 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 the Earthwatch website.
Your money will go towards this valuable conservation research to ensure this important conservation continues in the future.
•Thursday 9 August
•Thursday 16 August
•Saturday 27 October (open to children aged 10+ when accompanied with parent)
•Thursday 1 November
Price: $49 per person
To register: Call Earthwatch 03 9682 6828, email or sign up online.
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