‘Range Extension’ will put another WOTCH survey team in the field for a year (and beyond), increasing survey capacity by 50%. It will also provide WOTCH with the security of owning a thermal imaging camera and drone for the first time. The species WOTCH seeks to protect have been subject to significant range contractions since European settlement. Land-clearing, logging, land-use changes and climate change are driving them to extinction. In response, this project will enhance and accelerate threatened species protection from logging to help curb the extinction process. WOTCH began by surveying for Leadbeater’s Possum, a small nocturnal mammal that moves with astonishing speed. To detect this species, and now others, we use state-of-the-art thermal imagery technology loaned from Arthur Rylah Institute. Available thermal imaging cameras is a key constraint for our surveying capacity – their expense makes their purchase largely inaccessible for smaller groups like WOTCH. We use a drone to capture aerial imagery to plan surveys, educate the public and identify logging breaches. Until recently, we had borrowed a drone from another community organisation, but that drone is no longer available. This project will increase available survey kits (thermal camera, video camera, GPS, spotlights and headlamps) from two to three. This will enable us to recruit more volunteers, survey areas more comprehensively and expand geographically. Traditionally most of our surveys have focused on the Central Highlands, but after the 2019–20 bushfires, there is a need to survey and protect fire-affected areas and nearby wildlife refugia from devastating logging.
2021 GRANT APPLICATIONSThe Tucker Foundation will be accepting grant applications from eligible organisations from Monday 21st June to Friday 20th August 2021. The application form will be available on this website during this time.
Applicants will be notified of their outcome in late 2021