Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
In our fourth and final podcast in this series, journalist Cameron Wilson discovers that a shared interest in conservation and environment can be a potent driver of social cohesion. We discover how botanical art has been an unlikely catalyst for an environmental project in outback Queensland and discuss the reasons why these projects break down isolation.
Speaking with botanical artist Jenny Mace and FRRR and AEGN Board member Annie Grindrod, we learn the value of people getting involved in projects that take into consideration the wider environment, and how this can be something that relieves the pressure of land owners during tough times.
It’s all about stealth when it comes to surveying native fauna and birds in the township of Mukinbudin, a town of 800 people some 296 kilometres north-east of Perth, in Western Australia. The town is situated in the Wheat Belt, and over the past few seasons has experienced severe drought conditions which has affected wildlife populations.
With the help of a $1,290 Small Grant from FRRR, the Mukinbudin Conservation Group was able to purchase three sensor cameras. These special cameras are triggered by wildlife moving and unobtrusively photograph the animal, recording the date, time and temperature.
Since 1986, the members of the Mukinbudin Conservation Group have been raising awareness about bushland, native plants and native animals. The Group, which consists entirely of volunteers, promotes the study and protection of Australian native plants and animals.
The group conducted a workshop to educate members in the local and surrounding communities on how to use the cameras to survey the native fauna in the area. Some of the footage from the cameras will screen at the towns annual Spring Festival in September.
Honourable Secretary for the Group, Joan Hobbs, said, “This is a great low labour, non-invasive way for the community to find out about the activities of the native animals. We will also be able to use the cameras in the Great Night Stalk which will allow the rural country youth to get involved in what’s happening in the surrounding bushland.”
As these photos show the cameras are working well and capturing the wildlife. It’s also creating an interest and passion within the community for the ongoing protection of the environment and means the community can continue surveying the wildlife well into the future.