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Conservation students support fauna project

Conservation and Land Management TAFE students have played a role in local fauna conservation getting up close and personal with some rare and endangered local wildlife.

The Bunbury students participated in a conservation research project as part of their fauna handling unit.

They worked with a variety of species including Woylies, Chuditch and Brushtail Possums and Tamar Wallaby as part of the project which aims to develop an understanding of how these species respond to bushfire.

The training was conducted at Perup under the close supervision of lecturer and qualified wildlife handler Dr Shaun Molloy with Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management students.

“Being able to safely, quickly and effectively capture and handle wildlife, record necessary data and release animals, unharmed with a minimum of stress are essential skills for conservation workers and volunteers,” he said.

“The fauna trapping unit introduces students to these tasks, and provides them with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to participate in this type work, under supervision, as member of a fauna trapping team.”

This training was undertaken with the support of Blackwood Basin Group (BBG) and staff from the Donnelly District office of the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

Officers of both organisations also spoke to students on the value of wildlife conservation and research and on professional and volunteer opportunities within their respective organisations.

The data gained through this training will provide a snapshot of a Tamar Wallaby population which has been declining due to the reduction of suitable vegetation. This is believed to be caused by their habitat not being regenerated by burning or bushfire for a very long time.

After a controlled burn, subsequent courses will be able to monitor how the wildlife at this site responds to this type of management action over a longer period.

The findings of this exercise including the number of each species caught, their sex, weight, breeding condition and measurements, will be provided to DBCA and made available to other researchers.

Shaun emphasised that all native fauna is protected and that anybody who captures or interferes with native fauna must have an appropriate licence issued by DBCA.

“The handling of wildlife can be dangerous, representing major risks to both handlers and animals.

“The capture and handling of wildlife should therefore only be undertaken by well-trained handlers, and after all considerations have been properly addressed.”

For more information on studying Conservation and Land Management see the courses page on this website or call our Course Information team on 9780 7070.

 

Page last updated August 21, 2019