Green Army digging trenches for Bon Bon

By Guy Nelson - Green Army Supervisor for Roxby Downs 
on 23 Mar 2017 

I work in the mid-north of South Australia as a supervisor/team leader for a company called Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) with a green army government program. Part of my job is to ensure the youth who participate, gain skills necessary for them to gain further employment, but that isn’t all. It’s also my responsibility to ensure that this team gets a better understanding of conservation and the importance of the work they participate in.

That's why when Bon Bon Station Reserve Field Officer, Kate Taylor and Ecologist, Aaron Fenner approached me about my team helping them with some work we jumped at the opportunity. Not only would we have the chance to gain knowledge and experience from two seasoned individuals, our team would be helping with important work while observing animals they'd never seen before.

We helped at Bon Bon for two weeks, with the aim of determining animal diversity before new predator controls were introduced to the reserve. The first week we set up trapping sites, dug in pit-fall traps and trenches for the netting fences.

We also got to travel around the huge property, taking in the unique landforms and bird life, which included South Australia's only endemic bird – the Chestnut-breasted White Face. The team and I also got the opportunity to observe three fledgling Collared Sparrowhawks take their first flight from the nest.  

The second week turned out to be the highlight. After all our hard work digging and preparing traps the first week we got to reap the fruits of our labour. My team and I observed and handled some creatures that some people will never see. These included Bolam’s mice (Pseudomys bolami), Fat-tailed Dunnarts (Sminthopsis crassicaudata) and the Jan’s Desert Banded Snake (Simoselaps bertholdi) among many other wonderful mammals and reptiles.

Green Army team member, Tyler Stephens said “My experience with the Green Army at Bon Bon was great fun. The first week was hard work but the second week was the best! This was because of all the different animals we found in the traps and we got to participate and handle some of these animals. Learning how to enter data and take measurements was fun and interesting."