Field sta­tion a new era in con­ser­va­tion

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Shan­non Smith

A new Bush Her­itage Aus­tralia field sta­tion near Gaird­ner in the Great South­ern marks a new era for con­ser­va­tion science in WA.

The $1.1 mil­lion Michael Tich­bon Field Sta­tion of­fi­cially opens to­mor­row in the Red Moort Re­serve, 130km north-east of Al­bany be­tween the Stir­ling Range and the Fitzger­ald River Na­tional Parks on Noon­gar coun­try.

The bio­di­ver­sity hotspot was se­lected as the home for the world­class re­search hub and is the first pur­pose-de­signed and built field sta­tion in Bush Her­itage’s 27-year his­tory.

Bush Her­itage Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Ger­ard O’Neill said the sta­tion was a tan­gi­ble sym­bol of Bush Her­itage’s prom­ise of a healthy coun­try, pro­tected for­ever.

“The Michael Tich­bon Field Sta­tion will fo­cus our re­sources on pro­tect­ing this vul­ner­a­ble land­scape and work­ing with our neigh­bours to achieve good eco­log­i­cal out­comes,” he said. “We are in Great South­ern for the long term.”

There are 15 threat­ened species that are pro­tected in the re­serve, in­clud­ing the malleefowl, tam­mar and black-gloved wal­la­bies and the mal­let eu­ca­lypt Eu­ca­lyp­tus melanophi­tra.

The sta­tion will al­low sci­en­tists, ecol­o­gists, field staff and vol­un­teers to spend more time on the ground mon­i­tor­ing the Great South­ern’s flora and fauna.

Bush Her­itage owns or man­ages about 10,000 hectares of for­mer farm­land across the re­gion.

Lo­cal com­pa­nies H+H Ar­chi­tects and KBuilt Con­struc­tion brought the off-the-grid sta­tion to life and it fea­tures a so­lar power sys­tem with bat­tery stor­age, a rain­wa­ter col­lec­tion and retic­u­la­tion sys­tem and com­post­ing toi­lets.

More than 100 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend to­mor­row’s open­ing.

Pic­tures: William Mar­wick

The honey pos­sum is one of the an­i­mals on the re­serve.

The Michael Tich­bon Field Sta­tion.

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