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Hello possums!

Angela Sanders (Ecologist)
Published 12 Jun 2018 by Angela Sanders (Ecologist)

Our restoration on Monjebup North Reserve is bursting with life. This 450 hectares of former farmland sitting in the Gondwana Link pathway on the south coast of WA was revegetated over 3 years from 2012 to 2014 and we're now seeing some measurable benefits for wildlife.

We reported on our Pygmy Possum nest boxes in a blog in October 2017 and can now say they're a huge success. After checking the 60 boxes recently, an amazing 30 Pygmy Possums were found to be using them.

There were up to 4 possums in a single box and some were in boxes without any nesting material. Those that did contain nests were all made using fine eucalyptus leaves that filled up to half of the box.

A big surprise was finding a Western Spiny-tailed Gecko that had taken up residence in one of the boxes! This is the first record of this species in our restoration area.

Another success story is that a pair of Malleefowl have taken up residence in the area revegetated 6 years ago and are working away at a large nesting mound that appeared a few months ago.

This is great news for this threatened bird – it's returned to the restored habitat much sooner that anticipated. We think it's a young male bird trying out his nest-building skills, as research tells us that he should be resting at this time of year.

He hasn't read the research though and a 25-metre-long trail of litter has just been piled up in the mound, complete with a depression in the centre (see image).

We've just set up a remote camera to capture his efforts at mound-building and to see if and when the female starts to lay her eggs.

During November we'll be carrying out further fauna surveys on the reserve, and who knows what further surprises await?

Young Pygmy Possum in restored vegetation. Photo: Rosie Hohnen Young Pygmy Possum in restored vegetation. Photo: Rosie Hohnen
New mallefowl mound in Monjebup restoration. New mallefowl mound in Monjebup restoration.
Hello possums! Hello possums!
Western Spiny-tailed Gecko (Photo Greg Harold). Western Spiny-tailed Gecko (Photo Greg Harold).
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