Biodiversity conservation combine with science and education activities

A new kind of biodiversity management used by the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary

 

Today, I would like to introduce the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary to you (Picture 1).img_6071

Picture 1: a scenery picture of the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary (Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, 2016)

A “safe haven” for box-gum to thrive and ‘wildness’ dominate

Eucalyptus woodland was once wildness dominated in South Australia. But now, only about 5% of them remains, because since the European settlement, woodlands were cut down for wheat and sheep production, which significantly changed the local habitats.  And together with the disturbance of invasive species such as foxes, cats and rabbits, many species of small mammals and birds were locally extinct.

For conserving and restoring endangered woodlands the ACT Government has established several nature reserves to protect box-gum woodlands around Canberra. The Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve is one of them, which was established in north-eastern Gunghalin (Picture 2) in 1995.map

Picture 2: location of the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary (Whereis, 2016)

The aim of the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is to sustain a representative diversity of woodland plants and animals. In addition, it tends to inspire respect for and understanding of the nature, species and biodiversity conservation of Australia’s woodlands.

What did they do to achieved this aim?

Then, how they made this aim come true? Through a long-term exploration, they found out a new kind of biodiversity conservation management method. That is to combine biodiversity conservation with education activities. In other words, the reserve park managers take science research, children education and community participation into consideration when they make a plan for this area.

Science Research

To support and explain research into the ecology of woodlands, they cooperate with the Australian National University (ANU), the ACT Government and CSIRO. For examples, in 2006, the ACT Government announced to build a rabbit, cat and fox proof fence in Sanctuary at Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve. After that, they began to remove feral animals and bring back the lost native species. In addition, they ran experiments with ANU and CSIRO aims to explore ways of improving box-gum grassy woodland for biodiversity. Since 2004 they have collaborated on a major research project (The Mulligans Flat-Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment) designed to develop a full knowledge base for understanding and managing temperate woodlands for improved biodiversity conservation.

Children Education

The sanctuary also provides an opportunity to school children to get familiar with Australia’s native species by offer them educational and eco-visitor experiences during their school holidays. And through these education and tourism activities, they can change children’s attitudes and values towards natural environments, especially woodlands (Picture 3).educational-tour

Picture 3: educational and eco-visitor opportunities for school children (Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, 2016)

Community Participation

In order to make more people involved, the sanctuary arrange a series of activities for the community to participate in. There are some guided walking tours that start about a half hour before sunset and last 2-2.5 hours. People can rotate through four walking tour options of similar length (about 2.5 kilometers) and learn about some endangered woodlands and nocturnal animals, in the meanwhile enjoy peaceful nature at night (Picture 4).spotlight-tour

Picture 4: a spotlight tour in the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary (Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, 2016)

Learn and have fun in the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is open to the public and is only closed during periods of extreme fire danger and when special management activities are required. Recently, the first wild Eastern Quolls were born in this area. And these quolls were caught on camera by the ANU team during their rigorous monitoring of the critters (Picture 5). So let us start a “Adventure” in the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary right now!

Quoll isolated on white

Picture 5: a picture of Eastern Quoll (Sanctuary, 2016)

 

Thank you for reading.

 

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References

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, 2016. Facebook of Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. [Online]
Available at: https://www.facebook.com/MulligansFlat/photos/a.550760204961342.1073741828.544802062223823/1081528598551164/?type=1&theater
[Accessed 9 10 2016].

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, 2016. gallery. [Online]
Available at: https://mulligansflat.org.au/gallery/
[Accessed 6 10 2016].

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, 2016. Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary – restoring our nature, transforming our thinking and inspiring action for conservation.. [Online]
Available at: https://mulligansflat.org.au/
[Accessed 6 10 2016].

Sanctuary, M. F. W., 2016. Home page of Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. [Online]
Available at: https://mulligansflat.org.au/
[Accessed 9 10 2016].

Whereis, 2016. Mulligans Flat Woodland. [Online]
Available at: http://www.whereis.com/
[Accessed 6 10 2016].

 

 

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About Biodiversity Conservation Blog

I am an Associate Professor at The Australian National University and convene a (very awesome) course called Biodiversity Conservation. Myself and students in the course contribute to this blog.
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One Response to Biodiversity conservation combine with science and education activities

  1. Thanks for sharing your description about some of the programs at Mulligans Flat. Phil

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