It’s been almost two years since we launched our 10-year Science Plan – a clear and ambitious statement declaring we would bring the best possible science to bear on our decision-making.
I’m pleased to report we’re making tremendous progress, particularly around managing feral animals.
Not only are we developing our control strategies, we’re also working on new techniques to ensure feral animals are eliminated from our landscapes, or minimised. Among these techniques are the grooming traps, which target feral cats, that were trialled on Pullen Pullen Reserve to help protect the population of endangered Night Parrots there.
Feral animal control is a priority for all conservation organisations, and new methods should be explored and supported.
I think this is a really important and interesting way forward for our efforts to restore our native landscapes.
Looking ahead to 2017, our attention will turn to building on our successes to date. Primarily, we will consolidate new properties and reinforce our partnerships with traditional owners, pastoralists and other land holders.
As we continue our focus on using science-backed research to deliver the best outcomes for our landscapes, we also welcome Dr Rebecca Spindler to Bush Heritage Australia as our new Executive Manager of Science and Conservation.
Dr Rebecca Spindler
Dr Spindler has over 20 years of conservation science experience. During this time she has worked to improve the reproduction of rare and endangered species, managed multi-disciplinary programs in China, Brazil and the United States through the Smithsonian Institution, and spent a decade leading Taronga Zoo’s Conservation Science Department.
Dr Spindler’s evidence-based science approach and passion for collaboration will empower and guide our researchers and land managers as they continue their work protecting Australia’s vulnerable species and habitats.
On a personal note, I’m looking forward to spending time on our Queensland reserves this year, in particular Cravens Peak, Ethabuka and Carnarvon Station. We’ve had incredible rainfall out there, and I'm keen to see the recovery efforts and great work our staff are delivering.
Those rains also extended south across the border, where they transformed the wetlands on Naree Station in north-western NSW.
The story 'Come rain or shine' highlights a post-graduate student’s research into such flooding events, and how they can benefit the waterbirds and small mammals that live there.
Also in this newsletter, we celebrate some of our supporters – a volunteer with a passion for wildlife photography, and a man whose childhood love for the Australian bush ultimately led him to become a Bush Heritage donor and bequest supporter.
As always though, there is more work to be done, and I’m so grateful to the generosity of our supporters for making this possible.
Gerard O’Neill, Chief Executive.