Feature

A month in the mallee at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary

20 Apr. 2024
Piers Cresp/AWC

It’s not every day that you pack up your life and head inland for a new job – but that’s exactly what Garth Bowen did when he accepted the role of Sanctuary Manager at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in outback New South Wales.

“It’s been just over a month since I tossed all my possessions into a trailer, overloaded the ute and flung my bewildered family into the car to drive across New South Wales to take up the Sanctuary Manager role at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary.”

“We hit the ground running with some scheduled upgrades, including installation of a new generator, added extra batteries to the solar panel system, and tweaked the Starlink Wi-Fi.”

 

Adventures in the great outdoors. Mini sanctuary manager Fred explores the sanctuary with dad Garth Julie Kern/AWC
Adventures in the great outdoors. Mini sanctuary manager Fred explores the sanctuary with dad Garth.

“The month seems to have flown by in a haze of inductions as I get to grips with operational procedures, but work on this year’s Burn Plan, 1080 ground baiting, fence patrols and feral control has given me an excuse to get out of the office and explore the sanctuary.”

“Having never visited this part of Australia, we weren’t sure what to expect, but this quote from The Bulletin in 1902 did make us wonder what we were letting ourselves in for:

Nobody knows who made the mallee, but the Devil is strongly suspected.

“I’m happy to report that first impressions don’t support this opinion.”

Home, sweet home. A stormy sunset over the team office. Piers Cresp/AWC
Home, sweet home. A stormy sunset over the team office.

“While daytime temperatures have been in the 40s, the bush is looking vibrant, and the wealth of new species has meant keeping binoculars and field guides on hand (I’m a self-confessed twitcher).”

“Some spotlighting has produced great views of three of Scotia’s reintroduced mammals – Greater Bilbies, Bridled Nailtail Wallabies and Burrowing Bettongs – and after waiting a month for a Numbat sighting, two came along at once.”

A line of Processionary caterpillars (Ochrogaster lunifer) making their way across the red sand. Piers Cresp/AWC
A line of Processionary caterpillars (Ochrogaster lunifer) making their way across the red sand.

“The next few months promise an explosion of activities including volunteer programs, supporter events, hazard reduction burns, regional team meetings and various upgrades and instalments.”

“I’m excited to be able to contribute to the success of the AWC and look forward to sharing more news as we continue to settle in. In the meantime, a big thank you to Scotia’s dedicated staff team.”

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