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Bandicoots at Balijup !

Bandicoots, Birds and Eco-restoration program at Balijup farm near Cranbrook 16-2- Jan 2020

This Green Skills camp involved four days of Bandicoot and fauna trapping and other environmental monitoring on Balijup, a special property forming part of the Gondwana Link conservation program.

14 participants worked with wildlife biologist Andy McCreery, Alisia Lampropoulos, & Basil Schur of Green Skills and others on a range of citizen science monitoring activities at and near Balijup farm including bandicoot re-trapping,bird surveying ( with Andrew Dickinson), woodland cockatoo hollow survey & Sanctuary fence maintenance. Thanks to Aunty Carol Petterson, Noongar elder, for participating and for the enthusiastic support of the Balijup owners, Alan Hordacre, Anne Vanderbyl and Richard Hordacre.

The 111ha Sanctuary was launched in May 2015 with Bandicoots ( Quenda), re introduced into the enclosure from whiich foxes and cats are excluded.A

This project was supported by the WA Government’s State NRM program and the Koorabup Trust. It also formed part of the Festival of Birds and Biodiversity 2020, supported by Lotterywest, Great Southern Development Commission, BirdLife WA and Green Skills

A Quenda ( Southern Brown Bandicoot) about to be released after capture, tagging and measuring.


100 cage traps were set out in the 111 ha fenced Sanctuary enclosure


Capturing and carefully handling the fauna caught


Group processing and measuring animals before release

University students getting experience handling native fauna

Releasing a Quenda


A Brush tailed Possum about to be released after capture


Brush tailed phascogale – first one caught and photographed at the Balijup Sanctuary. Very exciting !


Sarah and Andrew doing a standard bird survey


Anne Vandberbyl ( one of the Co owners of Balijup) brought out scones, cream and home made jam for the hungry team!

Participants on the Cockatoo nesting hollow survey of the wandoo and Jarrah trees


Setting up a wildlife detecting camera in the Sanctuary


Sanctuary Fence maintenance work


Eco-restoration visit to Green Skills and Greening Australian revegetation sites on the Sandiland farm near Kendenup


Visit to the Green Skills bird hideA fam at Lake Matilda, near Kendenup


Aunty Carol Pettersen, Noongar elder, sharing her knowledge, including about sandalwood nuts as valuable bushtucker food


Spotlighting excercise near Lake Nunijup during the event


Ecorestoration visit to the Martagallup Pony Club lake wetland restoration site and constructed islands.


Group enjoying watermelon brought up by Alan Hordacre and partner Kylie.


The group in the Sanctuary about to embark on a Cockatoo nesting hollow survey of the wandoo and Jarrah treas

Balijup Sanctuary Citizen Science Event Focusses on Elusive Native Fauna

For two days in mid-October, Green Skills held a Citizen Science  environmental monitoring event at the Balijup Sanctuary near Tenterden. 19 people participated in the activities, including  Conservation lecturer from TAFE South, Sylvia Leighton and 10 of her Cert III students.  Projects completed including monitoring of 24 Phascogale nesting boxes (some showing use), Wildlife camera monitoring,  a tree hollow survey of the wandoo/Jarrah woodland, Sanctuary fence maintenance, weedy wattle road verge removal, night spotlighting, and a survey of rabbit warrens. Balijup co-owners Anne Vanderbyl and Alan Hordacre were on hand  and provided valuable assistance to the activities.

Despite lots of indirect evidence of our elusive native marsupials, none were directly spotted during the two days.

The event was supported by the WA State Government’s State NRM program, the Koorabup Trust, Gillamii Centre,  Janicke Environmental Consultants,  enthusiastic volunteers  and the owners of Balijup Farm.

A four day Bandicoot and fauna survey project is planned  from Thursday  15th January 2020 to Monday 20 January 2020. Volunteer participants welcome to join in that event.

For further info on the Balijup Fauna project, contact Basil Schur, Green Skills  Project Manager on 0429481019 or [email protected],au


Volunteer team checking Phascogale nesting boxes at Balijup Fauna Sanctuary, October 2019


Inside a Phascogale nesting box with scats visible. Balijup October 2019


Wandoo and Jarrah woodland tree hollow survey at Balijup

Fence check and upkeep at Balijup Fauns Sanctuary by Conservation TAFE students

Annie Vanderbyl, one of the co owners of Balijup farm,  with a photo acknowledging her parents, near entrance of the Balijup Sanctuary.


The Citizen Science Group on the edge of one of the 13 lakes and wetlands on Balijup Farm. October 2019

Record planting Day for Yellagonga Regional Park

Record planting Day for Yellagonga Regional Park

Perth Ecojobs plants record-breaking number of seedlings in Yellagonga Regional Park, 30 minutes north of the CBD.

Reserve maintenance is always busy in Winter with planting jobs. But the one at Beenyup Swamp (Yellagonga Regional Park) saw a whopping 11,000 seedlings planted!

“It’s our biggest 1-day job to date, and we were all done by 1pm!” said Ecojobs Supervisor Ben Atkinson.  

With Beenyup Swamp being the main source of nutrients entering Lake Joondalup, the newly planted sedges will strip nutrients and improve overall water quality.

This planting event is part of a 2 year DBCA (Dept of Biodiveristy Conservation and Attractions) project to rehabilitate the wetlands of Yellagonga –  Lake Joondalup, Lake Goollelal, Beenyup Swamps and Walluburnup Swamp.

Linking Students to Landcare

Cranbrook School Tree Planting Outing to Tom South Lake – Tuesday 30th July 2019

Cranbrook Primary School Tree Planting Event Links Students to Landcare

The Cranbrook School Tree planting day held on Tuesday 30th July at Tom South Lake went well. Green Skills coordinated the provision of local native plants grown in the Katanning Landcare nursery, and guidance for the students on the day

The Gillamii Centre and the Shire of Cranbrook provided assistance in terms of planning and site preparation.

Forty or so students accompanied by several teachers and supporting adults from the Cranbrook Primary School participated in planting and watering around 1100 local shrubs and trees around the fenced off edge of the lake foreshore. Thanks also to the Jones and Williamson farming families for providing permission and support for the plantings. . This landcare project has been supported by the Koorabup Trust, Green Skills, Gillamii Centre, Shire of Cranbrook and the Cranbrook Primary School.

For a number of years bird enthusiasts including Steve Elson from Ongerup and others from BirdLife Australia have been surveying the birdlife of Tom South Lake, noting that it is an important haven for shorebirds including the threatened Hooded Plover, In 2018 Green Skills and the Gillamii Centre organised support for a 3.7km fence to be built protecting the foreshores of this lake from sheep grazing.

Last summer, it was noted that Hooded Plovers were breeding on the edge of the lake, the first time in years. The proximity of this lake adjacent to the main road between Cranbrook and Katanning makes it an ideal demonstration site to promote lake conservation to the broader Great Southern farming community.


Cranbrook School tree Planting Outing to Tom South Lake – Tuesday 30th July 201



Katannning Art Exhibition Opening and Eco Restoration Forum

On Monday 21 January, Green Skills, in  conjunction with the Shire of Katanning’s Art Gallery held a Gondwana Connections art exhibition  opening and eco restoration event at which 34 people attended.This event forms part of the South Coast Festival of Birds & Biodiversity.

This exhibition opening included a Welcome to  Country by a Katanning Noongar Elder, Gabrielle Hansen as well as  presentations by Aunty Carol Pettersen,  and Basil Schur of Green Skills. Gallery manager James Wood was MC for the event. A short film featuring Balijup and its eco-restoration and art programs was shown.

The exhibition looks stunning and well worth a visit !  It is up until mid March 2019

The principal artists represented in the exhibition include Joey Williams, Audrey and Errol Eades,The Women’s Group facilitated by Carol Pettersen, Lynne and Ken Tinley, Nikki Green, Janine McCrum, Robyn Lees, Helmie van Melle, Christine Harrison, Rosemary Turle, Jacqui Gale and Karlee Bertola. Nikki Green and Janine McCrum set up the exhibition. Key support has come from Poornarti Aboriginal Tours, Eugene Eades and the Eades family, Friends of Nowanup, the City of Albany’s Vancouver Art Centre, and Community Arts Network WA, the Denmark CRC.

This project has been supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program, supported by Royalties for Regions. In addition this event has been supported by the Shire of Katanning, Lotterywest, The Koorabup Trust, and Gondwana Link. This event also forms part of the 2019 South Coast Festival of Birds and Biodiversity. Thjis Festival is supported by Lotterywest, BirdLife Australia, Green Skills, UWA Albany and many other groups and individuals.


Katanning Gallery Manager James Wood setting up the Gondwana Connections Exhibition


Gondwana Connections Exhibition

Minang Elder Carol Pettersen speaking at the event


Green Skills’s Basil Schur presenting at the event