Cross-border endangered species monitoring program in Albury/Wodonga becomes a reality

 

Albury Conservation Company is jumping for joy to announce that we are expanding our urban wildlife monitoring program into Wodonga, Victoria.

What we started in early 2018 as a Squirrel Glider Monitoring Program in Albury (NSW) will now become a cross-border program centred around arboreal mammals in the city’s major urban growth areas – Thurgoona / Wirlinga (Albury) and Leneva / Baranduda (Wodonga).  

Squirrel Glider launching off a dead Eucalyptus tree (Alex Bonazzi, 2009)

Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) is one of the threatened and endangered wildlife species that will be stratgically monitored across City of Wodonga (Photo credit: Alex Bonazzi, 2009)

Project Name: SAFEGUARDING ENDANGERED SPECIES IN WODONGA’S RAPIDLY EXPANDING URBAN GROWTH AREAS. 

This project will run over three years and will involve the following key elements:

  1. ENDANGERED SPECIES MONITORING at 60+ sites across the Leneva/Baranduda urban growth corridor of Wodonga. Species to be targeted initially are Squirrel Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale and Spotted-tailed Quoll.
  2. Introduction of the NATUREMAPR citizen science platform to Wodonga.

The project has been made possible through a recent grant awarded to us by the Ross Trust of $120,000 over 3 years. We will also be investing a $5,000 donation from the Festival of Folk Rhythm & Life (FRL) towards delivery of the project.

Our primary project partner is Wodonga Council, who are supporting the project in a number of ways including assisting us with project design through access to monitoring sites and sharing of mapping and other biodiversity related information.

The project commenced in February this year with preparations in full swing to ensure monitoring kicks off in mid to late Autumn 2020. This includes identifying target species, suitable sites and organising permits and approvals required to access land and conduct wildlife research. We are working closely Wodonga Council, and we will also be liaising with key stakeholders and the broader community to invite input and participation in the project.

This project will address the scarcity of baseline data for endangered species in Wodonga Council’s major urban growth areas, for the purpose of empowering the community to maintain viable populations of endangered species. The project will establish a strategic landscape-scale monitoring program to secure baseline data for endangered species in Wodonga over three years.

Importantly, this will be an expansion of the monitoring program that Albury Conservation Company has been implementing since 2018 in Albury’s major urban growth area. Expansion into a cross-border program strongly aligns with the Regional Natural Environment Strategy currently being developed by Albury and Wodonga councils.

Accordingly, as a matter of priority Albury Conservation Company will soon undergo a process of securing representation from the Wodonga community on a revised Board.

The project will capture three years of baseline data for key endangered species in Wodonga and lead to:

  • Enhanced community awareness of local endangered species and stronger understanding of how local populations are responding to rapid urbanisation.
  • Improved capacity of key stakeholders to conserve endangered species through access to endangered species data during the decision-making process for urban planning and other land management activities.
  • Increased participation, coordination and learning of local citizen scientists through introducing NatureMapr to Albury/Wodonga.

Key Contact:

SAM NIEDRA (Executive Officer) – 0447 183 747, [email protected]

DYLAN McWHINNEY will be rolling out the endangered species monitoring program. The Albury Conservation Company Board has established a working group to oversee the project. This includes DR DAMIAN MICHAEL who is providing expert scientific guidance on the design of the monitoring program, and DR MICHAEL MULVANEY who is assisting with establishment of NatureMapr.

Stay informed:

If you would like regular project updates like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/alburyconservationco) and sign up to our quarterly enewsletters. A monitoring report will also be produced annually with the first anticipated at the end of 2020.

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