The amazingly cute pygmy possum may be living in that scrubby patch of bush at the end of your street, next to your playing field or in a park around the corner. For more than 3 years we have been running a citizen science program to study and help conserve these vulnerable marsupials.
Starting in mid-2013 we first deployed nest boxes in the Lane Cove Valley, explored for more pygmy possum habitat in Ku-ring-gai containing the their favoured food plant, the orange-flowered Heath-leaved Banksia, and used our wildlife cameras, purchased from a small grant we applied for, to monitor both nest boxes and the Banksia habitat with the kind assistance of WildThings staff. We used our newly created WildThings NSW Facebook group to raise field events, present our activities and post our project's results. Extending our habitat search to the Cowan catchment in the north, we found our first pygmy possums there in October 2014 using our cameras and nest boxes at 2 sites at either end of the catchment. One of these sites was the Ku-rung-gai Wildflower Garden where we had the kind assistance of the staff there. We first presented our project's achievements at the WildThings NSW 2014 AGM attracting further interest and involvement from the community.
In July 2015, our project's further achievements were presented at our WildThings NSW first Talkfest forum, which attracted valuable new field volunteers and supporters. This, and our Facebook group attracted the interest of a journalist with the Hornsby Advocate, who published an article outlining our activities and the issues facing conservation of pygmy possums. We were grateful for the further hollow-log type pygmy possum nest boxes made by a local resident for the program.
BENEFITS FOR YOU
Learn the scientific techniques used in wildlife research. Become a citizen scientist. Learn how to produce wildlife movie footage. Become a wildlife photographer.