The University of Queensland’s environmental volunteer group, the iROOS, enjoyed an amazing week at Carnarvon Station Reserve helping the resident ecologist, Bek Diete, with fauna surveys. It was well worth the long journey and has left us all glowing with gratitude for everyone who made it possible.
We gained valuable experience in constructing and monitoring pitfall traps across the reserve’s diverse landscapes. From this we were able to learn how to catch, handle, and identify small mammals, reptiles, frogs, and invertebrates.
We also spent time monitoring the reserve’s native and exotic large mammals using sand pads, which record footprints of animals traversing roads. These practical skills augment our theoretical studies at uni and will help us gain employment as environmental scientists after graduation. We all valued the opportunity to work independently and really appreciate the amount of responsibility and trust we were awarded throughout the trip.
The staff and other volunteers were outstandingly welcoming. Stories and laughter were shared by the campfire with Bek and the Healthy Landscape Manager Chris Wilson. Our knowledge of Australian flora and fauna was improved with the guidance of volunteers Dan and Wendy. It felt like being on an Australian safari as we saw wild Emus with chicks, kangaroos, bearded dragons and a range of birds from Tawny Frogmouths to Bustards, and so much more during the day and at night while spotlighting.
We enjoyed the quiet and peaceful nights spent by the campfire, the beaming stars, and full moon. Bek took the time to show us some of the most scenic parts of the reserve like White Stallion Lookout. She pointed us toward the breath-taking ochre cliffs called Paint Pots and the magically ancient fig tree and Callistemon spring. Exploring the reserve in our spare time and while working made for some unforgettable experiences.
It was so wonderful to be able to have a week gaining valuable experience and to be amongst nature while contributing to the conservation of Australia’s biodiversity. We would like to thank Bush Heritage and everyone who made this trip possible as well as everyone we worked with on the reserve, especially Bek.
-Kira, Jenna, Alex, and Tom