October 2005 Earthwatch
Trip to St Bees
Although I had been to St
Bees twice previously it was my first Earthwatch trip and I found it a
wonderful experience. There were 10 international volunteers whose excitement
and enthusiasm were quite infectious – every koala sighted created a great
flurry of photography particularly when they were mothers with back young
involved. With two people on kitchen/cleaning duty each day and everyone
being considerate towards their fellow 'campers' it was a truly excellent
Even though it was still Spring,
the weather was very hot and humid with storms threatening on a couple
of days although there was little rain with the exception of one overnight
storm. The cool ocean (when the tide was in) was a welcome respite after
a hard day in the field and the ritual 'sunset watch' was also a relaxing
wind down for everyone.
We tracked our collared koalas
each day and several nights, with the exception of 'Utopia', (most inappropriately
named for those of you with personal experience – an advanced version
of Marcus for those of us with prior experience) who managed to avoid
being tracked on a daily basis. Alistair, with some volunteer help, surveyed
canopy and ground cover vegetation at three separate locations collecting
data to verify the correlation between the two parameters. Delma’s temperature
recording equipment showed some success but was still experiencing software
'glitches' and she was planning to return to the island in the near future
to rectify those problems.
It was difficult to try and
limit Gail to a more relaxed role on the island and everyone except Gail
was worrying about how difficult and tiring it was for her. We all shared
her sadness as she said goodbye to her beloved island for a while and
we also laughed as she theorized about baby slings that could be used
while climbing steep slopes – although I’m not sure she wasn’t serious
In general, a successful trip
with all targets achieved and on a personal level a great experience with
good friendships renewed and new ones forged across the globe which I
hope will be maintained.
||Report from recent Steering Committee Meeting
There have been four applications for the PhD candidate Scholarship.
Late applications are now being taken from Australian and overseas
Koala Volunteer trips for future
Extended could include Burnett Shire.
Break-up – at 12 noon on Sunday,
11 December in the Kershaw Gardens. Dawn has booked the
rotunda opposite the Knight Street car park. Tables and chairs are
in the rotunda but you may wish to bring a comfortable chair. A
BBQ is available but you may have to bring some wood.
Hoping to see everyone there.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and may all our efforts
help our koala friends have a great new year.
Report from Gail
We need volunteers to
register their interest to be a mentors on the trips. We need one
mentor per trip and the mentor needs to be a member of the volunteer
group and be fit and physically capable of participating in the
field program. Mentors with field experience in koala research
would be preferred, however there is on the job training for those
without prior experience.
Trips dates are
11 - 23rd May 2006
13 - 25th July 2006
05 - 17th October 2006
01 - 13th February 2007
Mentors need to get themselves to Mackay on the day before the trip.
Field trip expenses once in Mackay (including to and from the island)
are covered by the Earthwatch budget. To register an interest in
being a filed mentor or to get more information, contact:
(or 4930 9625) or Alistair
Bernard (USA), Paul (USA), Sean (Brisbane), Siddharth (India),
Gail and Alistair
(Koala Research Centre), YinYin (China), Mériem (France),
Donna (USA), Robin
Chuck (USA), Pornchai (Thailand),
Noela (our Mentor from Townsville),
(UK) and Netta (Finland)
was an interesting article in the latest Nature of Australia, which
caught my attention. Research was done on Rock Wallabies in Wollemi
National Park using only D.N.A. from collected pellets. Researchers
were able to establish the number of wallabies by identifying individual
animals, their health and sex thereby the colony size, relationship
within colonies and the relationship of colony to colony.
method applied to koalas would eliminate the trauma of catching
and collaring koalas. It would be a great plus for those having
to climb and catch the animal. Maybe in the future we will only
have to collect droppings to ascertain the plight of our koalas.
Science is great!
FORGETTER BE FORGOTTEN
My forgetter's getting better,
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke
For when I'm "here" I'm
If I really should be "there"
I haven't got a prayer!
Oft times I walk into a room,
Say "what am I here for?"
I wrack my brain, but all in vain!
A zero is my score.
At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!
When shopping I may see someone,
Say "Hi" and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, "Who was that?"
Yes, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it's driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke.
Mériem with baby Bingo
Paul and Chuck heading off night tracking
Queensland Koala Volunteers
CQ Koala Volunteers
seek the conservation of the koala and other tree living mammals in Central
+Supporting research into koalas, other arboreal mammals and their habitat
through (a) providing volunteer support to research projects, and (b)
assisting in the raising of funds for research and the volunteer teams;
+ Developing public awareness of the needs of koalas, tree living mammals
and their habitat requirements generally;
+ Fostering community support for koalas and tree living mammals generally;
+ Encouraging and assisting with the development of habitat rehabilitation
projects where necessary through the region;
+Supporting the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured or displaced
koalas and tree living mammals.
Central Queensland Koala Volunteers are not about stopping development.
They seek to encourage planned development, which allows for the co-existence
of koalas and other tree living mammals with human activity.
are used to buy equipment for the researchers, to fund volunteer field
teams and provide limited support for animal carers. Donations may also
be made to the Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland and are tax
Carmen Drake, signatory, CKQV representtative on Koala Research Centre
Shirley Hopkins, signatory, Treasurer
Gail Tucker, Minute Secretary
Doreen Lovett, Editor
Nick Quigley, web designer
Central Queensland Koala Volunteers Email
PO Box 1489
or call Denise on 0749309944 and leave a message
Download Brochure PDF
||ARTS IN THE PARK
For Arts in
the Park this year we had our usual spot under the Banyan trees
in the Botanical Gardens. We were all set up and ready to go by
8.30 am, thanks to Carmen and Gloria, who helped carry the merchandise
from the vehicle to our space under the trees.
We had a 'special'
on the Volunteers T-shirts and they sold well. I took along some
singlets I had silk-screened some years ago and they all sold. The
Orphan Koalas sold steadily as did the Cat’s Whiskers, our native
plant supplied by Shirley and potted and nurtured by Doreen. Unfortunately
due to a depletion of sizes, colours and styles the University shirts
did not sell.
to Mary (and little helper) for coming along and giving some of
you to Doreen, Shirley and Kevin for coming along and serving out
120+ sausages, bread and onions at Harvey Normans on Saturday, 5th
started the day with me cooking, Doreen stuffing sausages onto bread
(Sometimes the sausage went on the serviette! I hope
I’ll be better next time) and Shirley taking care of the money.
At 10.45 am Kevin arrived and the assembly line moved along with
Kevin cooking, me stuffing sausages onto bread (remembering to put
the bread on the serviette before you put the sausage on
got a bit hard sometimes). Shirley kept up the good work of keeping
the money in order.
Norman's store was busy so we had a steady flow of customers all
morning. The sausages, bread and onions lasted till 12.00 midday.
paying for onions, ice, gloves and serviettes we had a clear profit
October trip ran between 14th and 26th October.
Our Principal Investigator on the trip was Alistair Melzer (he and
Bill Ellis take turns for each of the trips). Alistair had the
help of Gail Tucker and, for the first week, Sean Fitzgibbon. We
also had an intern from France, Mériem Kadiri and post-graduate
student Delma Clifton. This Earthwatch team was one of our most
culturally diverse, with volunteers from six different nationalities
(not including our French intern).
volunteers became very competent with the radio tracking, and were
tracking all the koalas successfully with several teams also tracking
during the nights. The team also caught five koalas that were fitted
with temperature and movement recording collars and several more
koalas were caught for general collar changes.
of the female koalas had pouch young or back young, two of which
were caught adding 'Bingo' and 'Casper' to our list of island koalas.
We heard a lot of male koalas calling at all hours of the day and
night as well as noting a lot of moving around by the males, many
of which became quite difficult to track down on a daily basis.
This was most likely a consequence of breeding activity, which happens
at this time of year for koalas.