Office of Environment and Heritage media release: 15 May 2013
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) have had great success in getting local landholders involved in protecting threatened species.
More than 30 landholders that surround the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and Budderoo National Park have joined the NPWS 1080 fox baiting program to protect the Long-nosed Potoroo found in and around these reserves.
Local NPWS Project Officer Melinda Norton said NPWS had been able to expand pest control onto private properties in this region thanks to a Caring for our Country grant secured by the NSW Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage supports this program which empowers the community to care for its own environment.
“Long-nosed potoroos weigh up to a kilogram and make a great meal for a fox. While they live in areas with dense ground cover, they need open patches to dig up fungi and this leaves them regularly exposed to fox predation,” Ms Norton said.
“We have had a great deal of interest from local landholders and so have been able to provide training to 32 landholders so far with another 14 waiting for training.
“Many landholders are now working together to coordinate their fox baiting efforts and it so encouraging to see the community get involved in long-nosed potoroo conservation,” Ms Norton said..
A further 36 landholders have joined the NPA’s Citizen Science program, using remote infra-red cameras from NPA ecologist Dr Gráinne Cleary to survey threatened and feral species on their properties surrounding Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and Budderoo National Park.
“While we haven’t had any potoroos turn up on cameras yet, we have many more participants than cameras so many are still waiting for their turn,” Dr Cleary said.
“An interesting result we have found so far is the high number of foxes present and the lack of small native mammals, which was a surprise.
“Following fox control, cameras will be set again to monitor whether or not small native mammals, including the long-nosed potoroo, have returned to the area.
“The remote cameras have been a great tool to give us a better idea of which native and feral species persist on the lands surrounding these National Parks and how they respond to predator control in the area,” Dr Cleary said.
Photos for news media: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nswnationalparks/sets/72157633492005966/