Students help manage wildlife park enclosure

27-May-2014

CDU Conservation and Land Management student Comfort Ncube holds a northern brushtail possum at the Territory Wildlife Park. CDU VET lecturer Thalie Partridge (left) records data. Photographer: Damien Stannioch

CDU Conservation and Land Management student Comfort Ncube holds a northern brushtail possum at the Territory Wildlife Park. CDU VET lecturer Thalie Partridge (left) records data. Photographer: Damien Stannioch


Important data about native animals and plants at the Territory Wildlife Park has been collected by Charles Darwin University students.

Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management students collected data on 54 animals, such as black-footed tree-rats, grassland melomys and northern brown bandicoots.

Park staff will use the data to help them make decisions about managing the park’s Woodland Walk enclosure, where the students were based during the three-day monitoring program.

Vocational Education and Training lecturer Samantha Saynor said students collected more data this year than in any year since the program began in 2011.

“This program is a fantastic opportunity for our students and is not offered in many universities,” Ms Saynor said.

“This data will help improve management of the enclosure, which will make it nicer for members of the community to visit.”

Ms Saynor said the program offered practical career pathways to students, by allowing them to experience tasks involved in land management.

Students learned how to trap and handle the mammals, take basic measurements and conduct health checks. They also monitored feral cats and cane toads in the protected area, and conducted vegetation and bird surveys.

The students used state-of-the-art cyber-tracker conservation software to capture their data, along with camera traps.

They also benefited from the extensive knowledge and experience of Territory Wildlife Park staff.

Watch this footage of a northern brushtail possum and its back-riding young eat peanut butter and rolled-oats at a bait station: http://makeagif.com/i/Yt5BcP

The image was captured by a camera trap, courtesy of CDU’s Conservation and Land Management team.

The Woodland Walk occupies about 5.4 hectares of the park and is home to vulnerable animals and plants, with some trees in the area more than 200 years old.

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