Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Keeper Ali and Lemur

Well team, it’s June, which means the Team Taronga Trek for the Wild Sumatra 2015 is looming! In September, I will be heading over to Sumatra on a 10-day travel adventure with a small group of wildlife enthusiasts in order to explore this amazing Indonesian island. In the lead up to the trek, Team Taronga is raising funds to support Taronga’s vital conservation projects in Sumatra, including Wildlife Protection Units in Bukit Tigapuluh and Way Kambas National Park.

So far, I’ve raised $2,750, which means my fundraising is on track. Each team member has committed to raising $3,500, and together we have raised a massive $14,668.05! My fundraising to date has included holding an animal art auction of paintings by Taronga’s very talented Australian Sea- lion, Malie; Asian Elephants Tukta, Pathi Harn and Gung; and Sun bear, Mr Hobbs. In July I will be running my first ever marathon to help reach the target. If you would like to sponsor me, please visit my fundraising page at https://tarongasumatratrek.everydayhero.com/au/alison-smith-. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

It is always important to know where donated money ends up, so I wanted to share an update from Herpetofauna keeper, Chris Dryburgh, on some of the ongoing projects at Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra. Chris travelled to Sumatra in 2014 to run a workshop on the identification and surveying of the species of Frogs, Toads, Turtles and Tortoises likely to be found in the park. He also participated in a three-day expedition, on which the team identified up to ten frog species, as well as several snakes and lizards. You can check out Chris’ blog posts here: http://taronga.org.au/news/2014-12-01/taronga-keeper-helps-amphibians-sumatra; http://taronga.org.au/news/2014-12-22/taronga-keeper-helps-amphibians-sumatra-update.

Ongoing projects of the park include habitat restoration, surveys of critically endangered White-Winged Wood Ducks, and the management of both a Sumatran Rhino sanctuary and an Elephant Conservation Centre. All these projects are made possible due to the funding that is received for the conservation partnership. This funding also allowed Chris to travel to Sumatra as a representative of Taronga, so that both his knowledge and skills could be shared with park rangers and the local community. Since returning to Sydney, Chris has published an article about the workshop and field trips in the ALeRT ‘Way Kambas National Park’s Conservation Activities Update’ and he has assisted rangers with identification of a variety of Herpetofauna within Way Kambas National Park. He has also put rangers and conservationists in contact with the Turtle Survival Alliance for specialist advice, and to discuss the potential of launching a turtle rehabilitation and breeding program in the area.

 This is just one of the many fantastic ways that Taronga demonstrates the “For the Wild” vision and I think it’s a great insight into where some of the fundraising money will be going. Please remember that it’s not too late to join the trek- there are only limited spots left so please email tarongafoundation@zoo.nsw.gov.au  if you would like any further information. 

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