2016's adventures begin!

Last Tuesday I set off from Sydney for a five week adventure in the red sand at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary and Arid Recovery Reserve. This is likely to be the biggest field trip of my PhD, during which I’m finishing up one project and setting up a new one, with 10 people coming in to help with it all. When we arrived at Scotia the weather was reasonably hot – normally it’s considered dull to talk about the weather but out here it’s vital. I checked the forecast to discover that there would be no relief from 40+ degree weather for over a week! To cope with the hot hot days we wake up extra early and have a break during the hottest part of the day, otherwise it can get a bit too much. The experiment I’m running out here looks at seed predation by mammals versus ants. Now is a great time to be sampling because the ants are very active (although they can’t cope with the midday heat either!) and I’m very excited to see how my results turn out. I’m looking forward to being in bilby country over Easter – I love the way these marsupials hop, it’s both graceful and hopeless at the same time. It’s always very special to be in sanctuaries like Scotia and Arid Recovery, and the work these groups do for native animal conservation is astounding. Hopefully one day we can see these fascinating animals increasing in number outside the predator-proof fences.

I’ll check in again soon.

Charlotte

 

PS. I advertise volunteer opportunities through the BEES volunteer Facebook page and mailing list 

Project: 
Shrub Encroachment as a Legacy of Native Mammal Decline
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