Major supporters of Tasmania Island Ark had the opportunity to witness first-hand what their valuable contributions are helping to achieve during a celebratory field trip in March.
Greening Australia is working with farmers and conservation partners in the Tasmanian midlands to create a stronghold for Australia’s critically endangered animals including Tasmanian Devils, Eastern Bettongs, Eastern Quolls and Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
To celebrate and acknowledge the valuable contribution of key donors, Greening Australia and local landholders Julian and Annabel von Bibra, hosted a visit to key project sites in the Ross region on 23 March. Guests included governors from the Ian Potter Foundation, Charles Goode AC, (Chairman), Professor Thomas Healy AO and Lady Potter AC; Rob Pennicott of Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and trustees of The John Roberts Charitable Trust.
“Without the generous funding from our major donors and the contribution of landholders like Julian and Annabel, Tasmania Island Ark would not be achievable. With their support we have been able to take significant steps towards reversing the decline of biodiversity and reconnecting people and nature in this globally significant landscape,” says Sebastian Burgess, Tasmanian Director of Conservation.
CEO of Greening Australia, Brendan Foran with Governors from the The Ian Potter Foundation, Charles Goode AC, (Chairman), Professor Thomas Healy AO and Lady Potter AC
The John Roberts Charitable Trust took the opportunity to announce their continued support of Greening Australia’s Bushranger Education project, which provides school students with opportunities to work alongside researchers on practical restoration and research projects in the midlands. The Trust has committed to fund the Bushranger project for an additional five years.
On the day, our team showcased examples of successful restoration of cleared paddocks alongside rivers and grassy woodlands within highly productive agricultural areas. To date Greening Australia has restored over 1,100 hectares of critical habitat in the Tasmanian midlands.
One of the highlights of the day was a visit to a grassy woodland on the von Bibras’ Chiswick property, where Dr Neil Davidson, one of our restoration ecologists, gave an overview of research projects embedded in the program, including investigations into eucalyptus genetics, direct seeding methodologies, seed provenance trials, animal population distributions and their habitat needs.
The visitors also heard from Riana Gardiner and Rowena Hamer, two PhD students from the University of Tasmania who are collecting critical data to help inform priority areas for habitat restoration work. The students are using GPS trackers to monitor the movement of feral cats and native mammals in agricultural areas of Tasmania to help build a picture of the animals’ patterns of movement. Their research will reveal vital information about where the animals go, what they avoid (such as feral cats) and what their habitat needs are.
The research is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania, Greening Australia, Bush Heritage Australia, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Burgess said “The support for Tasmania Island Ark to date has been fantastic but we have only just got started. To restore the 6,000 hectares of vital habitat needed to create a refuge for Tasmania’s unique species, additional funding is critical. Many of these species are now virtually extinct on the mainland. This is your opportunity to make sure they don’t disappear completely.”
Click here to donate to Tasmania Island Ark.