Saving an endangered Australian bird species is a tough task but 38 Taronga Staff and Volunteers, including, over 20 Youth at The Zoo (YATZ) members joined forces with over 100 community volunteers from the Capertee Valley area to do just that over two days in May.
May 6th was about engaging the students with the birds and the tree species they need to survive. Around 30 students from Capertee Public, Glen Alice Public and Cullen Bullen Public came together with Taronga Education and Keepers, local landowners and horticulturalists to start the massive mission! After a brief introduction to the Regent Honeyeaters’ range and habitat from Dean of Birds Australia, the students were taught how to plant a eucalypt seedling for it to survive in the dry, hot farm paddock, previously stripped of trees and trampled by years of cattle farming. The little bodies had big enthusiasm and planted over 250 trees! Not a bad effort for three tiny schools!
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The next day was a great turn out by the local community and Taronga added to the crowd with an entire bus load of tree planters, keen to make a difference! Over the course of the day, around 3000 more seedlings made it into the ground and YATZ members, Taronga staff, and volunteers left feeling tired, dirty and very satisfied that they had helped change the future of the site forever and hopefully have given the Regent Honeyeater a helping hand!
Birds Australia, Taronga Zoo and the Department of Sustainability and Environment are working with project partners Parks Victoria, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW), NSW State Forest, LaTrobe University, University of New England, and community volunteer and conservation groups, as part of the Regent Honeyeater recovery program.
Education Officer, Kerry