The south-east of Australia lost much of its wild places over the (southern) summer of 2019/20. Uncontainable bush fires ran through from August 2019 to early February 2020. People died, houses were lost and forest estates were left with nothing but standing blackened tree trunks. Although fire is an evolved part of our eco-system, long drought followed by months of intense fire is not. Temperate rainforests had dried out and their complex web of life has gone forever.
It is as if our ignorant behaviour has awoken a protective dragon deep in the forest.
Wildlife Stations Bundanoon was formed as a heartfelt response to the loss of habitat, shelter, food and water that our surviving wildlife were facing. We were a small local group, one of hundreds formed in wounded by fire areas wanting to provide essentials back into the reserves.
We began with water stations, using an ingenious design based stormwater pipes and as life saving rain began, moved to providing feed – for our kangaroos, wallabies and wombats as well as smaller arboreals possums and gliders. We installed water and feed stations into a number of areas, including the Morton National Park, using the Extinction Rebellion model of acting autonomously.
The most important and useful activity was to install wildlife surveillance cameras to monitor the stations. As well as giving us wonderful images, they also showed what was working and what was not. If you are doing conservation, please add cameras to your shopping list.
Our group was volunteers and givers. One person allowed us to use her garage, another couple asked that instead of gifts for their 60th birthday, people donated to Wildlife Stations Bundanoon. Others went out to check and replenish the stations. A group of people from a retirement complex built us nesting boxes for microbats and possums.
The greatest beauty is in seeing the wounds heal in our beloved National Park. The black scars will remain but there are fresh green bandages coming up through the scars.
For GEx 2020 we arranged a picnic in the National Park for our volunteers on Saturday 4 July. We provided a vegie sausage BBQ and after thanking all the volunteers, we asked, for those who wanted, to go and collect some totem and bring it back into a circle.
It was very moving to stand around the circle.