Issue 8
Monday, 05 October 2020
Charles Darwin University
Gavin Trewella created an endangered Spectacled Fruit Bat
Gavin Trewella created an endangered Spectacled Fruit Bat

Endangered species on menu at bake off

By Carl Pfeiffer

Endangered species including the Largetooth Sawfish, Spectacled Fruit Bat, New Holland Mouse and Central Rock Rat were on the menu in the form of a delicious desert to celebrate of Threatened Species Day.  

Baked by Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) PhD students, the endangered animal cakes were part of the Threatened Species Bake Off.

Threatened Species Day aims to raise awareness of Australian species at risk of extinction, and it is celebrated on September 7 to mark the anniversary of the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger in 1936. 

PhD student Erin Westerhuis, who is based in Alice Springs, baked a Central Rock Rat cake and said the competition was an ideal way to raise awareness of the importance of protecting endangered species.  

“This native rodent is critically endangered and has the dubious honour of being one of the Australian mammal species most likely to go extinct in the near future,” she said.  

“It used to be widespread across arid parts of the NT and WA but has been lost from more than 95 per cent of its range. 

“Now the Central Rock Rat is found only in a few sites in the West MacDonnell Ranges. The key threats to its survival are predation from feral cats and increased frequency and intensity of wildfires."

Fellow PhD student Amy Kirke baked a Giant Saw Fish, while Gavin Trewella created a Spectacled Fruit Bat, and Cara Penton produced a New Holland Mouse.  

The Threatened Species Bake Off is a national competition and required participants to submit their entries on social media using the hashtag #TSBakeOff.