WA tour a success
I must start with a big thank you to all the great WA people who made me so very welcome.
I met a lot of people on the trip including many dedicated volunteers who take part in the annual round of Malleefowl monitoring. This was very important to me because if anything, the main message I wanted to get across was that all of your volunteer efforts are highly regarded by the National Recovery Team and this work is being used to better understand the threats to Malleefowl. Ultimately this will lead to improved guidelines that ensure the most efficient and cost effective management possible.
I handed out a lot of copies of the two fact sheets that talk about the Monitoring Database and the Adaptive Management Project in more detail but if you didn’t get one please contact me (details below) and I’ll send a copy by email or post.
I was also pleased to meet a number of land managers who showed a high level of interest in being involved in some of the experiments that will test our Adaptive Management model. This mostly revolves around fox control at this stage but will expand to other threats in time. I have to stress that all of this will take time but we have now made a start and have a definite plan forward.
Now for a quick roundup of where we went; after picking up our camper van in Perth we headed straight for the MPG training weekend at Babakin for a wonderful introduction to monitoring WA style. It was so encouraging to see over 50 attendees including a strong contingent of school and Uni students, our monitors of the future! Then it was down to Ongerup to meet Vicki at Yongernow Malleefowl Centre. What an excellent resource, I recommend any one travelling down that way to drop in for a high standard exhibition. We spent 2 nights enjoying Dennings hospitality (great cooking Alan) meeting MPG staff and a tour of Malleefowl sites and habitat restoration work including meeting ‘Jesus’ the famous Malleefowl that resides near the Dennings homestead.
We then made our way up to Kalgoorlie, gave a presentation to Goldfields Environment Management Group and then on to the Cliffs Natural Resources, Mt Jackson mine at Koolyanobbing.
Then to Dalwallinu as guests for a lovely Sunday roast at the ‘Dally’ Hotel followed by a day touring NCMPG sites with Sally & Wally Cail, Gordon & Glenda McNeil and Peter Waterhouse and other NCMPG members. Followed with a good turnout at the AGM. We even had time to visit some historic sites and some of the stunning displays of wildflowers in the region. Then spent another day meeting staff and visiting sites at Mt Gibson Sanctuary (AWC) and White Wells (Charles Darwin Reserve, Bush Heritage). Both sites have excellent potential to be involved in the Adaptive Management projects.
It was then time to return the van to Perth and start a round of meetings with many city based people involved in Malleefowl works. This included several mining companies, WA based National Recovery Team members and BirdLife staff.
While the schedule was a bit hectic, it was never dull. The enthusiasm of Western Australians to help Malleefowl was an inspiration. I am hoping that this trip will be the start of a far stronger relationship between the National Recovery Team and WA Malleefowl people. Anyone wanting to contact me about how this relationship can be strengthened, or for any other information I might be able to supply, please use email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 5581220
Tim Burnard is the National Malleefowl Recovery Program Coordinator.
Tim at the MPG Babakin presentation