On behalf of the Albury Conservation Company Board to bring to your attention an exciting new project we began in February in Wodonga.
The project is called Safeguarding endangered species in Wodonga's urban growth areas. It will run over three years and will involve the following key elements:
- Endangered species monitoring at 60 sites across the Leneva/Baranduda urban growth corridor of Wodonga. Species to be targeted initially are Squirrel Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale and Spotted-tailed Quoll.
- Introduction of the NatureMapr citizen science platform to Wodonga.
The project is being made possible by a grant from the Ross Trust ($120,000 over 3 years), a $5,000 donation from the Festival of Folk Rhythm & Life (FRL), and a partnership with Wodonga Council.
The project commenced in February this year with preparations in full swing to ensure monitoring kicks off in late Autumn. This includes identifying target species, suitable sites and organising permits and approvals required to access land and conduct wildlife research. We are working closely with Wodonga Council, and we will also be liaising with key stakeholders and the broader community to invite input and participation in the project.
The project will establish a strategic landscape-scale monitoring program to collect baseline data for endangered species in Wodonga over three years. The data will be useful for informing council’s decision-making process for urban planning and management of bushland reserves. Ultimately, the aim of the project is to help ensure that viable local populations of endangered species are maintained to avoid local extinctions from occurring.
Significantly, this is an expansion of the monitoring program that Albury Conservation Company has been implementing since 2018 in Albury's major urban growth area of Thurgoona/Wirlinga. Expansion into a cross-border program also strongly aligns with the Regional Natural Environment Strategy currently being developed by Albury and Wodonga councils.
Accordingly, as a matter of priority Albury Conservation Company will soon undergo a process of securing representation from the Wodonga community on a revised Board.
The project will capture three years of baseline data for key endangered species in Wodonga and lead to:
- Enhanced community awareness of local endangered species and stronger understanding of how local populations are responding to rapid urbanisation.
- Improved capacity of key stakeholders to conserve endangered species through access to endangered species data during the decision-making process for urban planning and other land management activities.
- Increased participation, coordination and learning of local citizen scientists through introducing NatureMapr to Albury/Wodonga.