This month, our Biodiversity Team grew by one! To introduce our new team member she is featured here as this month’s #PeopleOfNRM. Please welcome Kahree Garnaut to the Northern Agricultural Region.
Kahree hails from Mandurah where she spent much of her childhood enjoying all the south has to offer. From crabbing and boating in the Peel-Harvey Estuary, to running along the Serpentine River, hiking in Dwellingup, and riding horses in Pinjarra.
In 2018 Kahree moved to Albany to begin university. Her time in Albany allowed many adventures including wildlife fieldwork on the rugged rocky coastline and the incredibly biodiverse kwongan heaths. Kahree relocated to Perth in 2019 to complete her studies in Environmental Science and Conservation Biology at UWA. Durign this time she took every opportunity to head back south.
“I would work on farms, explore the forests, and find rivers,” Kahree said.
“And now here I am in Geraldton, a place of incredible beaches and landscapes, where I am hoping to create a home for the next chapter!”
When it comes to nurturing our environment, Kahree says her parents set the strong example for her. Growing up with pets, gardens and wildlife all around instilled Kahree’s sense of care and respect for all forms of life.
“I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been interested in caring for our biodiversity and landscapes, and I’m all ears to learn more about regenerative management,” says Kahree who, as a horse rider is conscious of the impact of different landuses on the environment.
“There’s so many emerging and old ways of regenerating and sustaining soils and landscapes that can be tried for different areas which is why the idea of helping heal the landscapes here in WA and connecting people to their local environment really excites me”
Over the years, Kahree’s highlight has been meeting like-minded people at university. During her time studying she joined and helped establish the student-led group, UWA Students 4 Environmental Action. The group was active in identifying climate action solutions that the university could pursue and supporting the implementation of these with the support of the university.
“Another highlight is the places you get to see – places off the beaten track that you’d unlikely see unless you were going there to get data on a critically endangered species with a confidential location”
Kahree will be working on NACC NRM’s biodiversity projects ‘Gnow or Never’ and ‘Protecting WA Black Cockatoo’, focusing on the conservation of Malleefowl and Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. Her work will involve engaging the community and landholders to collectively contribute with on-ground recovery actions such as revegetation, fencing off habitat and known nesting trees, weed & feral animal control, and provision of artificial nesting hollows. Other aspects of the role include conducting Land for Wildlife assessments for landholders, running events, and protecting additional threatened species, such as the highly endemic and critically endangered Footes grevillea (Grevillea calliantha).
Something Kahree would love to see change in the biodiversity sphere is a return of native ecosystems to the heavily-cleared expanse of the Wheatbelt through increased revegetation, reduction of feral animals, and support for landholders to implement wildlife-friendly farming practices. In addition to this vision, Kahree would love to see more management of country opportunities for Aboriginal peoples.