Group spreads fauna mes­sage

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times | News - Karen Hunt

BLACK­WOOD Basin Group mem­bers trav­elled to Darkan to mark Threat­ened Species Day and raise aware­ness about the phasco­gale, which is na­tive to the Wheat­belt and South West.

West Arthur Land­care of­fi­cer Kar­rie Wil­liamson said the group was keen to ex­tend its work in War­ren-Black­wood and would like to hear of any phasco­gale sight­ings in the area.

“If peo­ple have sighted them on their prop­er­ties and would like to in­stall nest boxes we would be more than happy for them to con­tact us,” she said.

“The more peo­ple we know that want to in­stall them, the more chances we’ve got of cre­at­ing a project and look­ing for fund­ing.”

The Darkan work­shops gave res­i­dents a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the small mar­su­pial, which was vul­ner­a­ble be­cause of land clear­ing and preyed on by foxes and feral cats.

A town hall meet­ing on Au­gust 31 dis­cussed the sta­tus of the rarer en­dan­gered red-tailed phasco­gale, found in the wheat­belt, and its threat­ened south­ern cousin the brush­tail.

Land­care’s phasco­gale mas­cot vis­ited Darkan Pri­mary School the next day when chil­dren also built nest­ing tubes to be in­stalled in a re­serve, then joined a night stalk to spot na­tive fauna.

While the Darkan work­shops re­ceived gov­ern­ment fund­ing, there was as yet no fund­ing avail­able for sim­i­lar work­shops fo­cus­ing on the brush-tail in the south­ern forests.

“It’s some­thing we’d re­ally like to do and we might pos­si­bly be able to if peo­ple want to in­stall nest­ing boxes in their own time us­ing their own funds,” Ms Wil­liamson said.

“But we can’t do any funded work at the mo­ment.”

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