Reptiles rock and all things #wildoz

Reptiles were the focus of attention at a recent fauna monitoring activity at Eurardy Reserve – a Bush Heritage Australia owned property tucked-away on the northern edge of the Southwest Australia Botanical Province.

The Reserve forms a critical habitat link between the Kalbarri National Park (to the west) and Toolonga Nature Reserve (to the north).

A large amount of baseline data about local plant and animal species is being collected by ecologists and volunteers at the Reserve, and one of these data sets is centred upon on the abundance and diversity of small mammals and reptile species.

NACC staff recently visited Eurardy Reserve to help Bush Heritage representatives undertake their seasonal small mammal and reptile species surveys run by ecologist Ben Parkhurst. The survey team braved some very warm days and encroaching electrical storms, while enjoying a full-on week of native fauna trapping and monitoring.

The first days of the project involved setting-up trap sites, digging new pit-fall traps, and laying netting fences. The eager volunteers also got to see a lot of the Reserve, taking-in the unique landforms, native vegetation and bird life, which included searching for Malleefowl mounds.

NACC Biodiversity Program Coordinator Jessica Stingemore said that the highlight of the fauna survey activity was the diversity of reptiles observed and recorded, and the chance to see (and photograph) them in their natural habitat.

“This is my second Spring fauna trapping with Bush Heritage Australia at Eurardy Reserve, and once again I am most impressed with the array of different reptiles we recorded,” she said. “I don’t normally have a favourite animal but during this trip the Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko really stole my heart. Their patterns and colours perfectly reflect the Australian Outback, and they have such a wonderful ‘punk’ attitude. “I was fortunate that Ben from Bush Heritage was also very willing to share his photography skills, and help me get some great shots of them and the other animals we trapped.”

If you want to find out more about how you can get involved in NRM in the NACC Region, please visit https://www.narvis.com.au/get-involved/

Some people may think that reptiles are just scaly, cold blooded critters, but here at NACC we adore them. Reptiles play important roles in the ecosystem in many ways, such as being integral parts of food chains, bio-monitors for controlling many pests, and being excellent ecological indicators due to their high degree of sensitivity to even a minor change in the environment.

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