KINDNESS | We chat with Tim from Australian Wildlife Conservancy about our Hello Possum campaign
May 05, 2021
Our HELLO POSSUM campaign has launched and we’re so excited to have partnered with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) who we will be donating $45 to towards assisting in native wildlife and land conservation.
Let us tell you a little more about AWC....
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is the largest not for profit owner and manager of land for conservation in Australia and are responsible for the effective preservation of all native animal species across 6,500,000 hectares in Australia. This is achieved through several land and pest management projects, including the biggest network of feral cat and fox-free land on mainland Australia. Which has helped countless endangered species be successfully reintroduced to their former habitats.
The scale of the organisations land management activities are unprecedented in Australia. AWC conduct the biggest non-government fire management program in the country in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia.
Through their network of large-scale wildlife sanctuaries in remote and iconic regions across Australia, they protect some of the nation’s most iconic and endangered wildlife including 72% of native mammal species, 88% of native bird species, 55% of reptile species and 54% of amphibian species.
“Australia is one of the most important nations on Earth for biodiversity. In fact, it is one of only 17 ‘megadiverse’ nations and is home to more species than any other developed country. Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, making its conservation even more important – 87% of our mammal species, 93% of reptiles, 94% of frogs and 45% of our bird species are found only in Australia.”
I spoke with Tim to learn a little more about Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the work they do….
How will the money Boom Shankar raises help the AWC?
It’s fantastic! Thanks Dui and all the Boom Shankar team, it’s a really generous contribution to our work as a not for profit organization. Importantly the donations will assist in our mission to protect all Australian native animals and habitats in which they live.
What’s your role with the AWC?
I’m the regional operations manager for AWC in what we call the Northeast, which is essentially QLD and the northern end of the Northern Territory. We’ve got five properties in QLD and two properties in the NT, as well as a partnership arrangement with a large grazing operation in the far northwest of the NT. My role is to support the managers on those properties in conducting land management operations and working closely with our organisations ecologists and other external stakeholders in that research and monitoring world, which essentially informs our land management activities and that’s a key part to our model.
What land management practices do you implement here at the Curramore Sanctuary?
This is one of our really important properties on the doorstep of the southeast population base. It’s quite small in the scale of some of our other properties in our region but it packs an absolute punch in terms of its diversity and its relevance to our model being right on that doorstep. The key activity really, to put it simply, is to be maintaining the habit and improving the habitat of this area. It’s very important koala habitat, it’s very important in terms of these big lovely trees that we can see and the system which is often impacted by weeds like lantana and things like that. So by managing the weeds and implementing a really rigorous fire regime through this area we can restore this habitat which is important to a whole range of systems, but also specific threatened animals.
Could you please tell us a little bit about some of the mammals facing extinction in this area?
There are some specific gliders and bats that are really under threat in this area, and the key threatening process, like I said before, is really that loss of habitat.
Asides from habitat loss, what is another key threat to our native wildlife?
Right across Australia feral cats are numbering now in their millions, and in terms of an actual threatening process, it’s right up there with the top ones, in terms of habitat loss or fire regimes and things like that. Feral cats and the predation nightly equals millions and millions of native animals everyday. I personally have removed feral cats in Cape York and I've counted 52 small frogs in the stomach, the throat and the mouth of a normal domestic sized cat.
What can be done to lessen the threat of feral cats?
The problem can seem insurmountable but like our model that we have implemented right across Australia with implementing feral proof fenced areas to reintroduce threatened or locally extinct mammals, we’re sort of taking the approach that something has to be done.
What processes are you implementing to ensure that future bush fires aren’t so severe?
Our organisational view would be that the extent and the impact from large scale fire events that we saw such as 2019, can be absolutely and directly mitigated by ongoing fire management throughout the landscape. By managing fuel that’s available for those large extent and sometimes ill timed fires, we’ve found that we can absolutely reduce the incidence and the extent of the impact from some of those fires.
To be working with, an associated with Boom Shankar, is really exciting in terms of getting our message across and who we are, and the opportunity for some Boom Shankar customers to even research a little bit about AWC when they buy the Hello Possum jumpers.