My first post as the new Regional Ecologist, WA Rangelands

on 21 Mar 2014 

This is my first post as the new Regional Ecologist, Western Rangelands. 

I have now settled in to my position here in Geraldton and am enjoying every minute. Here are a few things I have been up to:

  • Sand pad monitoring at Charles Darwin Reserve with volunteer Brian Crute in the heat of early January – we spotted fresh Malleefowl tracks!
  • Fire in the Rangelands conference in Perth – particularly useful for my work with the Central Desert Native Title Service in the Birriliburu Indigeneous Protected Area. 
  • Stick-nest Rat trapping at Mount Gibson with the AWC crew.
  • Searching for a Priority-listed plant species, Androcalva bivillosa, with the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Threatened Species Officer, Alanna Chant, along a track at Eurardy Reserve – the species has been nominated to have its conservation status elevated to Threatened in WA.
  • Dinner with volunteers Len and Val Warren at their home in Perth – it was great to hear some stories about Charles Darwin and Eurardy from two dedicated, long-term volunteers. 
  • Getting to know Eurardy with other members of the WA team, Ian Hamilton and Luke Bayley. It is particularly dry at Eurardy this year (shades of burnt red and orange dominate the landscape) but most plants seem to be hanging in there.
  • Meetings with the locals – Rangelands Natural Resource Mangement, Birdlife, the Geraldton herbarium group and orchid society.
  • Bat catching and pitfall trapping with the Conservation Council’s Nic Dunlop and the Citizen Science team at Charles Darwin.
  • Rustling up a team of volunteers to head out to Eurardy later on in the year to survey for threatened orchids along the Bungabandi Creek.

This weekend I head off on my first trip to the Birriliburu. I am going to meet the rangers and visit the Carnarvon Ranges. Can’t wait – two sleeps to go!

I will make sure I report back and share with you what we got up to.

Thanks

Vanessa.