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Conservation action by the Araucaria team

On the Araucaria property

  • homeConservation of native habitats on the Araucaria property: seasonally-dry rainforest and rainforest regrowth, Eucalyptus tereticornis with understorey of native grass (mostly Themeda), riparian forest of sheoaks, melaleuca and others, and the creek itself
  • Restoration of rainforest - fencing off from horse-grazing, clearing weeds, planting of locally-native trees and other plants
  • Research on animal-plant mutualisms, with relevance to biodiversity conservation (it's not enough to preserve a plant species in a reserve - for long term survival of the species we need to ensure their pollinators and seed dispersers are protected too, and these pollinators and dispersers have their own needs, which may be especially challenging in particular seasons.
  • Monitoring of fauna and flora - a standard bird count in five localities on and adjacent to our property is undertaken quarterly, live traps for mammals and other observations of wildlife plus fruiting and flowering of  plants  more opportunistically. We can thus keep alert for changes over the seasons and years, and attempt to interpret such changes.
  • Use of our Scenic Rim Wildlife Ecology Centre for local group meetings and education


  • corridor planting Fauna surveys, wildlife corridor planting, bioblitz, community education and other conservation projects through the Scenic Rim branch of Wildlife Queensland, of which Ronda is chair and Darren is treasurer - also discussions on the Scenic Rim Wildlife Facebook, and representing the organisation  at various events run by others. Our major project at present is the establishment of wildlife corridors in the Scenic Rim. including surveys to see if wildlife using them and monitor changes over the years.
  • Input into environmental sustainability of wildlife tourism, especially through Wildlife Tourism Australia, of which Ronda is chair and Darren is membership secretary, organising workshops and conferences, regularly contributing to the website and the WTA Facebook page as well as sending newsletters, communicating directly with members, writing submissions to government etc. WTA's mission statement is to promote the sustainable development of a diverse wildlife tourism industry that supports conservation.
  • Ronda and Darren's membership of Protect The Bush Alliance, an alliance of various conservation and natural history organisations aiming to protect fauna and flora from inappropriate development.  Ronda was a founding member, and she and Darren set up   its Facebook site.
  • Active membership of the Lamington Natural History Association (presentations, guiding interpretive walks, input to information echidnacentre) for many years.  Ronda and Darren have both previously been committee members.
  • Ronda's involvement in the Biodiversity Working Group of TAPAS (Tourism And Protected AreaS) within IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
  • Contribution of information on flora and fauna seen on tour to various databases and to other researchers
  • Research on the interdependence of plants and animals - especially fruit-eating animals that disperse the seeds of native trees, shrubs, vines and other plants (as above)
  • Rescue of injured or orphaned native animals and transport to vet or carer (e.g. the echidna on the right, rescued fro the road in the middle of the night with minor injuries).
  • Environmental consultancies, through which we assist with the designation of conservation areas, monitoring and advice on conservation management or minimising of developmental impacts
Also see our

Tourist involvement in conservation

Our guests can get involved in research and conservation during some of our tours, either briefly during regular tours or on special tours, interspersed with walks, wildlife viewing and interpretive activities.

Research activities guests can choose to get involved in include: wompoo
  • surveying for wildlife along the corridor routes (see. above). Guests  won't be expected to identify the animals but can help us find and possible photograph them.
  • helping to find (and where possible photograph) various species elsewhere for various databases, academic researchers and local councils to enhance understanding of their assist development of conservation management plans.
  • helping to record seasonal changes (what do animals eat and where do they need to go in different seasons) and visitors to flowers and fruits (some of which may need the animals for pollination or seed dispersal), which will assist in assessing whether needs are adequately met in protected areas and habitat fragments on private or public lands. Guests can take photos of any interactions of animals and plants to send us with information on time and place, also keep an eye out for specific species to alert our attention to during a tour so we can record their presence and behavviour.
  • helping to collect native seeds and prepare experimental plots for research into the needs of local plants dispersed by birds and other animals
Conservation activities guests can choose to get involved in include:
  • planting of food-plants and shelter for wildlife in damxsaged habitat fragments.
  • weeding around young native plants
  • (for the more energetic on special tours) helping to clear lantana on creek banks where it might impede establishment of platypus burrows and crowd out native plants
  • donating to local conservation organisations