GENETIC FINGERPRINTING OF MALA (LAGORCHESTES HIRSUTUS) FROM FAECAL DNA TO ESTIMATE POPULATION DENSITY (2019 $10K)
- The project focused on developing a survey technique for the Rufous hare-wallaby or Mala (Lagorchestes hirsutus). Mala are a small macropod, listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). They were once widely dispersed throughout the eastern Goldfields, but are now only found on islands or in fenced enclosures such as the predator-proof enclosure on the Matuwa Indigenous Protected Area (ex-Lorna Glen conservation reserve) in the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) Goldfields Region in central Western Australia. Mala are very elusive and very difficult to trap or monitor. The project will attempt to develop a low-contact survey technique for the elusive mala, using state-of-the-art genetic fingerprinting techniques, which does not rely on trapping animals. Mala are an excellent model species to demonstrate the use of this low-contact survey technique that is widely applicable for other animals that are elusive and exist in low densities. It can provide industry with another method of monitoring wildlife to meet it’s Environmental Impact Assessment obligations with more accuracy and less field effort than conventional approaches. Previous studies have concluded that scats are able to provide a viable DNA source to identify individuals and census populations. For example, this technique has successfully been used for estimating the abundance of bilbies. The advantages of using such methods are that they are non-invasive and there is no need to directly capture or observe individuals. Sampling periods only need to be from a few days to tens of days long, achieving abundance estimates in a relatively short amount of time.
- The funding for the project allowed Shannon Treloar from Edith Cown University to trial the use of this new survey technique to estimate the density of the Mala population within the Matuwa enclosure, which was then used to infer abundance. This project aimed to test if this new technique is effective for Mala population surveys, and therefore can be used for future mala population surveys at Matuwa as well as for other threatened and elusive species across the Goldfields region and more widely in Australia. The project also provided the first reliable estimate of the abundance of the Mala population in the Matuwa enclosure. This abundance estimate and the continuation of estimating the abundance is essential for the success of management decisions and conservation efforts of Mala.
KAMBALDA HERBARIUM PRESERVATION (2020 $2K)
- The Kambalda Arts Centre proposed to develop a botanical exhibition with some of the local species on display matching street names in the community. The plan was to digitise the specimens and display on a large screen with a catalogue for reference. The project was considered a potential tourist attraction and promotion of the Great Western Woodlands that Kambalda is a part of. The Kambalda Arts Centre is registered with “Our Gems WA” networking for the Art and Cultural Trail. The improved awareness of the herbarium helps to benefit the Kambalda Arts Centre and community by attracting more visitors through the door who may also view the art and history slide shows already on display. This project was the beginning of much greater community projects such as street naming and providing the ability to research botanical information, i.e. an educational point for schools and visitors. The herbarium offers a point of interest for those attending workshops at the premise and its value fits into the overall displays of culture, art and history. The Herbarium consists of approximately 1,100 specimens collected from the Kambalda area between 1980 and 2000. The specimens have been identified and many verified by the WA Herbarium. The preservation project successfully catalogued these specimens. The herbarium is considered a valuable resource for visiting botanists to the region who would need to check and verify their own specimens. The project engaged volunteers from the Wildflower Society who handled and catalogued the specimens. The funding covered fuel and accommodation for up to three volunteers who travelled from Perth to Kambalda to undertake the project over 5 days in September/October 2020.
GOLDFIELDS WASTE DATA & PRIORITIES STUDY (2015)
- The Goldfields Waste Data & Priorities Study is funded by GEMG and supported by the Waste Authority, Goldfields Esperance Voluntary Region of Councils (GVROC), Talis Consultants, Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum, Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CMEWA), Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KBCCI) and Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission.
The Study (facilitated by Talis Consultants) will gather comprehensive waste data on each of the three key streams – municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial and construction and demolition waste. This consolidated data will then be published and released in a usable format. The data will provide a greater understanding of waste streams and volumes generated across the region. It will also identify key strategic priorities that are important to regional stakeholders and assist in future planning and investment on waste management systems and infrastructure in the Goldfields. This Study is similar to the Pilbara and Broome Waste Data Study, for which a report was published in 2013.Download the GOLDFIELDS WASTE DATA STUDY
LORNA GLEN WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE RESEARCH (2015 $23K)
- One man’s quest to fulfil a boyhood dream… and a world first Wedge-tailed Eagle satellite tracking study. Funding of this project enabled Simon Cherriman (iNSiGHT Ornithology) to continue his research on Wedge-tailed Eagle ecology at Matuwa/Lorna Glen using sophisticated satellite tracking technology. Commencing in 2011, the project’s aim was to collect diet and breeding productivity data for the species, which provides new and unique information regarding the birds’ behavior, habitat use and dispersal. It is important scientific work, providing a unique opportunity to further our detailed understanding of this iconic, apex predator.
iNSiGHT ORNiTHOLOGY | DVD TRAILER | CONTACT SIMON CHERRIMAN | GEMG CONFERENCE 2021 PRESENTATION OF RESULTS
KAMBALDA STREET NAMES (HERBARIUM) PLANT IDENTIFICATION (2015 $500)
- To assit the Kambalda Cultural and Arts Group (KCAAG) with their research project which involved preserving and identifying flora species housed in a local herbarium relating to the local street names of the town. The GEMG also provided the KCAAG with copies of our plant identification books.
A FIELD GUIDE TO THE EREMOPHILAS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (2011 $30K)
- The GEMG fully funded the publishing of this book complied by Andrew Brown and Beven Buirchell. This excellent guide contains photographs and maps, with accompanying text explaining etymology, flowering period, description, distribution and habitat, and notes.
NATIVE PLANT NURSERY (2014 $20k)
- The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group (KBULG) cultivate a significant number of native plants for use in their annual tree planting day, for local sale and for mine site rehabilitation. The GEMG provided funds to upgrade the watering system which was predominately done by hand.
MALLEEFOWL PROGRAM COORDINATOR (2013-2015 $30K)
- The Malleefowl is listed nationally as Vulnerable and for every threatened species in Australia there is a Recovery Plan. The GEMG provided funding for a Program Coordinator (Tim Burnard) to assist in implementing actions from the National Malleefowl Recovery Plan. The Recovery Plan sets out all of the actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of Malleefowl and aims to maximise the long term survival in the wild of the species.
WEBSITE | NATIONAL RECOVERY PLAN | 2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | CONTACT TIM BURNARD
CREDO RESEARCH CENTRE (2012 $30K)
- The $220,000 research centre, part of the Australian Supersite Network, is located at the Credo former pastoral station and has been established by a partnership between the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the CSIRO and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, with support from the Goldfields Environmental Management Group. The research centre is currently being used by scientists involved in research projects aimed at providing a better understanding of the ecology of the unique Great Western Woodlands and the potential impacts of climate change.
READ ARTICLE | ABOUT CREDO STATION
CLIMATE ADAPTATION IN REGIONAL MINING VALUE CHAINS (2012 $15K)