March 1, 2015 Latest News No Comments
Bridled nailtail wallaby, Onychogalea frae - Photo ©  Steve Parish

Bridled nailtail wallaby, Onychogalea frae – Photo © Steve Parish

WPSQ has received several enquiries about how to become a member of Friends of Taunton. Following discussions and agreement between Wildlife Queensland and the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, the answer is simple: all you have to do is contact Leanne Henry, NRM Ranger for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).

Friends of Taunton

One of the positive outcomes of the Newman government occurred in August 2013 when, after considerable negotiation, Wildlife Queensland entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the then Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. This action, strongly supported by the Society’s Upper Dawson Branch, concerned the management of the then Taunton National Park (Scientific) home to the endangered bridled nailtail wallaby. The purpose of the MoU was to:

  • Increase community participation in the management of Taunton National Park (Scientific) and the conservation of the endangered bridled nailtail wallaby through the establishment of a formal Friends of Parks partnership between Wildlife Queensland and QPWS
  • Foster a positive relationship and partnership between Wildlife Queensland and QPWS
  • Define the respective roles and responsibilities of each organisation in relation to the Friends of Parks program
  • Provide a framework for facilitating Wildlife Queensland’s voluntary involvement in management and activities at Taunton National Park
  • Formalise communication protocols.

The voluntary assistance provided by Wildlife Queensland will enhance QPWS capacity to undertake park management activities including those pertaining to the conservation of the bridled nailtail wallaby. Wildlife Queensland will endeavour to donate funds as determined by the Society or facilitate grants to further enhance research and related activities for the protection and conservation of Taunton National Park (Scientific) and its biodiversity, particularly in relation to the bridled nailtail wallaby.

Volunteer programs may include activities such as:

  • Assisting QPWS with the implementation of bridled nailtail wallaby research and any monitoring programs
  • Assisting QPWS with projects examining options for the control of buffel grass and the restoration\maintenance of bridled nailtail wallaby habitat
  • Flora and fauna surveys and monitoring
  • Weed and pest animal management, mapping and monitoring
  • Revegetation and tree planting
  • Undertaking general park maintenance
  • Assisting QPWS with community field days and study tours.

More recently the following project activities have been provided by the Department as specific annual activities requiring volunteers:

Activity Date
Wildlife monitoring

  • Retrieve BNT occupancy cameras from across Taunton NP
  • Go through images and fill in camera activity sheets
  • Survey birds in specific locations in Taunton
Last week of August
BNT trapping

  • Set-up and check cage traps and record data from cage trapped BNTs
  • Late night/early morning work (5 days)
September school holidays
Vegetation monitoring

  • Monitoring of established vegetation plots (3-4 days)
April
Activity index monitoring

  • Check and record animal tracks on the sand pads across Taunton (3 days)
March, May, September, December

The Department has also made available a guide for visitors, researchers and contractors.

Following discussions with the department it was resolved that it would be most efficient if there were a register of enthusiastic volunteers the Department could approach as required. A number of volunteers, including members of the WPSQ Upper Dawson Branch, have answered the call and given freely of their time. Wildlife Queensland would encourage anyone so inclined to register with the Department; those who have volunteered at Taunton are believed to have enjoyed the experience.

The MoU is due for review in the near future. Based on results to date, Wildlife Queensland sees no reason why it should not be extended into the future, and why the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing would not share that view.

Written by Wildlifeqld