Good kinds of records

In complete contrast to last trip - where we had record-breaking temperatures of 40+ degree days for 10 consecutive days - this trip we had perfect weather and hit a record of 5 fences built in 3.5 days! This is in large part due to the smiling happy team pictured above - volunteers Hailey, Ash and Nick and the delightful Green Army team based at Arid Recovery. Hailey, Ash, Nick and I spent the week just passed at Arid Recovery finishing up the fences for my exclusion experiment. These fences will keep out rabbits and hopping mice, and hopefully one day they will reveal the differences that these animals have on vegetation.

This trip we managed to fit in some fun activities to celebrate our work. We spent a morning participating in the trapping of "smart" bettongs for the Prey Naivete project and were lucky enough to get up close to bilbies, bettongs, spinifex hopping mice and plains mice. After finishing the fences we spent an afternoon noodling in public (fossicking for opals) in Andamooka, a nearby opal mining town, and marvelled at the way the opal mining has changed the landscape and provided for an entire town. When in the desert there are always opportunities to stop and admire the locals like the resident teenage emus of Arid Recovery who were spotted wandering around most days.

Now it's time to enter the data and plan for future trips. Next stop - Strzelecki Regional Reserve in June!

Shrub Encroachment as a Legacy of Native Mammal Decline
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