Bon Bon Restoration Rescue

Published 06 Mar 2019 

Restoration Rescue at Bon Bon Station Reserve

Our goal at Bon Bon is to restore the landscape back to as close as it can be to pre-European time. So we want all the animals and plants that used to be here thriving in the landscape. The icing on the cake would be to get things like Burrowing Bettongs, that are these medium-sized mammals, back in the landscape.

Transcript:

Ecologist Graeme Finlayson: Our goal at Bon Bon is to restore the landscape back to as close as it can be to pre-European time. So we want all the animals and plants that used to be here thriving in the landscape. The icing on the cake would be to get things like Burrowing Bettongs, that are these medium-sized mammals, back in the landscape.

One of the main reasons that Burrowing Bettongs are missing in our landscape is that they've evolved without predators, such as foxes and cats. So they're quite naive to predation and the risk of those species.

We've really focused on getting those foxes and cat numbers down. In addition we're monitoring the vegetation and also doing small vertebrate trapping to look at how the small native mammals that are still here, respond to this management.

Kate Taylor (Bon Bon Station Reserve Project Officer): On Bon Bon we've been doing pitfall trapping for a number of years and now with the introduction of the feral cat and fox control, we're really looking to see a higher abundance of small mammals and reptiles, but also increased diversity and possibly some new species.

Clint Taylor (Bon Bon Station Reserve Manager): We need to really get a handle on the feral animal population, in particular the predators - the feral cats and foxes.

Kate Taylor: The feral cats are just doing so much damage, and they have done so much damage and they continue to do so much damage to our native species. Unfortunately they do need to be removed from the landscape.

Clint Taylor: As a result of our feral cat and fox management, we've started seeing increases in small mammals across the property and in particular we got we got an image of a Spinifex Hopping Mouse on one of our monitoring cameras, which was a first for the reserve, so that was a really good sign.

The fact that the Burrowing Bettong isn't in the landscape anymore, means if nothing else, a loss in diversity. The loss of any any animals out of the system, including the Burrowing Bettong, means that it's another piece of the puzzle that's missing for a healthy ecosystem.

Kate Taylor: To be able to have a population of Burrowing Bettong bouncing around on Bon Bon would be awesome. It would just mean that, you know, we've done something to help the land and the system and also to help the species.

Graeme Finlayson: At Bush Heritage science is the key to our conservation and management decision-making. We understand a lot now about Burrowing Bettong ecology, and we've got a great opportunity to implement what we already understand about their ecology and try some new things.

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