Another year has flown past and as is tradition, NACC NRM’s Biodiversity team are recapping the happenings of the past year; new collaborations and projects, highlights, and challenges.
To start the year, the Biodiversity team welcomed Project Officer Samantha Comito to take the lead on ‘In the Wake of the Storm’, NACC NRM’s TC Seroja resilient revegetation project. Biodiversity Trainee Paige Kirby continued workplace experience training, getting hands-on with wildlife and flora surveys within the Northern Agricultural Region.
NACC NRM’s ‘Safeguarding Midwest Flora’ project kept the team busy, collaborating with WA Parks and Wildlife Service and working to conserve three threatened endemic flora.
Projects ‘Gnow or Never’, ‘Protecting WA’s Black Cockatoos’, and ‘Securing the future of regionally extinct mammals in the NAR’ provided amazing opportunities for the community to connect with threatened fauna conservation. These projects alone restored over 800ha of key habitat, fenced for conservation over 2750ha of remnant vegetation, installed 24 artificial hollows, and monitored more Malleefowl mounds and Cockatoo hollows than can be counted.
Amid the highs of the year, April saw the NACC NRM team and broader community endure a devastating loss in the sudden passing of Tom Maina, NACC NRM’s long-serving Corporate Services Manager. Tom was a friend to so many around the Northern Agricultural Region and beyond, known for his kind smile and huge heart. He is sorely missed by all, and our hearts are always with Tom’s family.
In remembrance of Tom, and with many thanks to staff at Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC)’s Mt Gibson Sanctuary, one very special quoll was named after Tom, who was a passionate advocate for nature. Known affectionately as ‘Tom the Quoll’, this special fella has since been spotted during routine monitoring thriving in his new home. AWC’s reports on Tom the Quoll have been glimpses of joy welcomed during a challenging time.
Biodiversity Project Officer Sam said an ultimate highlight for the year was witnessing the introduction of western quolls back to Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Mt Gibson Sanctuary.
“Watching the quolls sheepishly emerge from their bags to explore their new homes, and knowing they have the potential to re-establish the quoll population in that area brought me so much joy and hope,” said Sam.
Biodiversity Trainee Paige said being able to explore the region while undertaking fieldwork was always a highlight.
“I enjoyed getting out to the Murchison for Carnaby surveying,” said Paige.
“I also felt very lucky to hear cultural stories from Gloria, a local Elder and AWC Badimia Ranger.”
Last but not least, Biodiversity Program Coordinator Jarna said that survey season is always a highlight on the calendar, and this year was no exception.
“Last year we installed the first ever artificial cockatoo hollows on Murchison House Station, and to see a the first healthy (and very grumpy) Carnaby chick in our hollow was an absolute thrill!” Jarna said.
With new projects on the horizon and more opportunities to conserve the unique environment of the NAR, 2024 is set to be a busy and exciting year. Keep a close eye on our socials and stay up to date on our NACC Notes newsletter to see what the team gets up to in the new year!
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season.