The successful Wild Otways Initiative project ran for the past 3 years. Part of the project the study of fauna on a property in the Painkalac Creek valley just outside Aireys Inlet.
After a very successful reconnoitre to Painkalac Creek on Monday 27th November, we are excitedly getting ready for the trapping survey this coming weekend.
The reconnoitre detected Swamp Antechinus in some traps that had been set out overnight to show us how the ealier surveys were conducted.
Barbara Wilson & Mark Garkaklis (deakin Uni) have been organising regular trapping of the area over the past 3 years, in conjunction with Angair and local property owner- Michael Loughnan.
The surveys showed that the estuary zone of the Painkalac Valley had significant numbers of Swamp Antechinus, a species declared vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
These small carnivorous mammals are very cute and fairly easy to handle.
We will weigh and check sex of each individual and also check for small ear punctures that show if animals have previously been captured and genetic sampling of ear tissue has occurred.
Other species of antechinus or rats may also be found.
Our five motion detection cameras have been set up in the valley and will be retrieved this weekend.
We plan to set 20 Elliot traps near the Great Ocean Road bridge.
A further 20 traps will be set at Michael Loughnan's block where extensive revegetation during the past 5 years is luring back a range of invertebrates, birds, reptiles and mammals.
Friday 8th December:
1:00PM - meet at the carpark past the bridge for a briefing prior to setting 20 traps.
2:30PM - Meet at Michael Loughnan's block, 101 Bambra Road, to set another 20 traps and do a bird walk.
Sat 9th, Sun 10th, Mon 11th December:
7:30AM - Meet at the carpark past the bridge for a briefing and checking of the traps. (Note the early start as sunrise is early at this time of year).
The trap sites may be slightly muddy, there may be snakes present and there are many flies and mosquitoes.
Please wear solid boots or gumboots, long pants & long sleeved shirts, a hat and a small backpack.
Carry water, snacks, insect repellent for the flies. A camera is handy to record any observations.
Alison & Phil Watson have generously allowed us to camp (small caravans, tents) on their 1.5 acre property in Aireys Inlet. BYO everything!