MV Blog

DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: wilsons promontory (5)

Collecting mammal specimens

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
27 March 2012
Comments
Comments (0)

In their previous video, Dr Karen Rowe and Dr Karen Roberts reported the results of their mammal surveys of Wilsons Prom. They joined other MV scientists and Parks Victoria staff for the the rapid biodiversity survey, Prom Bioscan, of October 2011.

In this video, Karen and Karen talk about their work with the Mammology Collection at Museum Victoria and why the museum collects mammal specimens.

 

Watch this video with a transcript

Links:

View all Prom Bioscan blog posts

MV Animal Ethics Procedures

Mammalogy Collection

Small mammals at Wilsons Prom

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
16 January 2012
Comments
Comments (0)

In October 2011, 50 scientists and volunteers performed a rapid biodiversity survey of Wilsons Promontory in partnership with Parks Victoria. In this video, Dr Karen Rowe and Dr Karen Roberts talk about the mammals of Wilsons Prom, particularly the small mammals: native rats and antechinus.

 

Watch this video with a transcript

Links:

Prom Bioscan

Paradise Valley

Historian at the Prom

Hunting for herpetiles

Crayfish climbing trees

Hunting for herpetiles

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
11 November 2011
Comments
Comments (0)

During the recent Prom Bioscan biodiversity survey of Wilsons Promontory, Dr Joanna Sumner led the herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) group. She and her troops - Katie Smith, Claire Keely, Susi Maldonado, Maggie Haines and Parks Victoria's Steve Wright – used a combination of trapping and active searching to find nine skink species, three elapid snake species and five frog species over several survey sites.

  Claire and Susi doing fieldwork Claire and Susi checking funnel traps opposite Lilly Pilly Gully carpark.
Image: Jo Sumner
Source: Museum Victoria

Reported Jo,

We captured, tissue sampled and released 59 individual reptiles and amphibians. Tissue samples will be put in our frozen tissue collection and used in research on species identification of some these groups. The overall diversity of reptile species in the Prom is very low compared to other areas in Australia. We sighted all three snakes previously recorded, 50% of known frog species and 75% of skinks known to the area. We did not record any of threatened species previously recorded on the Prom however, such as Litoria raniformis and Egernia coventryi.

 

If you're ever wondered what herpetology fieldwork looks like, here's a video from Wilsons Prom where Jo explains how she traps skinks and takes tissue samples.

 

Watch this video with a transcript

Paradise Valley

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
21 October 2011
Comments
Comments (5)

On Wednesday a small team - five scientists and two rangers - were allowed into into the protected heart of Wilsons Prom as part of the Prom Bioscan project. The Vereker Creek Reference Area, colloquially known as Paradise Valley, is largely untouched by recent human activity. It is afforded the highest level of conservation protection and access is strictly limited to infrequent scientific research. The purpose of keeping areas such as Paradise Valley closed is to maintain a pristine reference point against which the impacts of human activity can be measured.

The area contains a stand of Antarctic Southern Beech trees (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and thus the possibility of Gondwanan wildlife. Rare and endangered mammals might still persist there. It's a very exciting opportunity for the specialist team but the first obstacle is getting there. There are no tracks to Paradise Valley, just a long hike through swordgrass taller than their heads after being dropped by helicopter on Five Mile Beach.

Two men standing by water tank Wayne and Richard in their helicopter suits waiting for their turn in the chopper.
Image: Melanie Mackenzie
Source: Museum Victoria
 

I didn't make the cut for the team going in to Paradise Valley, but there was enough room in the helicopter for a couple of us to tag along for the drop-off, which was an adventure in itself. Seeing the Prom from the air was simply amazing.

Five Mile Beach from the helicopter The beautiful Five Mile Beach seen from above.
Image: Melanie Mackenzie
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Helicopter pilots Jim Whelan of Parks Victoria and our pilot Ed in the helicopter.
Image: Melanie Mackenzie
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Helicopter transporting field gear Helicopter taking off for Five Mile Beach carrying field gear and three days' food in a sling beneath it.
Image: Melanie Mackenzie
Source: Museum Victoria

Tomorrow I'm heading to Sealers Cove with about half of the MV scientists for more survey work. We'll be back in the middle of next week with much more to report on the Prom Bioscan.

Looking out over Sealers Cove Lantern slide, about 1920, looking out over Sealers Cove (BA 2950)
Image: A.G. Campbell
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Prom Bioscan

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
19 October 2011
Comments
Comments (1)

Museum Victoria has partnered with Parks Victoria for a two-week intensive biodiversity survey of Wilsons Promontory National Park. The Prom Bioscan project, from 16 to 28 October, is targeting terrestrial, freshwater and marine wildlife and visiting some remote and rarely-visited sites. This rapid census will help Parks Victoria assess the environmental impacts of recent extreme weather events: the 2005 and 2009 fires and the floods in early 2011. On 23 September the southern part of the Prom reopened to visitors after six months of flood repair. Many riparian zones (near creeks and rivers) have changed proundly since the flood, their vegetation and beds scoured away the 370mm of rain that fell in one day in February.

Wilson's Prom is one of Victoria's oldest National Parks. It was first designated a National Park in 1898 due to its unique wilderness, stunning natural beauty and its ease of isolation from the mainland. Its habitats - heathlands, swamps, grasslands, forests and more - house numerous species of plants and animals.

skink A skink from Wilsons Promontory.
Image: David Paul
Source: Museum Victoria
 

lacewing A lacewing caught at Wilsons Promontory.
Image: David Paul
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Researchers have worked here for decades to document the life and environment of the Prom. The Prom Bioscan is a special case: it's rare to have so many experts working simultaneously across the park. Over 40 Museum Victoria staff and volunteers and 15 Parks Victoria staff are participating.

three biologists checking mammal traps Karen, Lara and Karen checking mammal traps.
Image: Michela Mitchell
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In the first few days, the scientists have observed 69 species of birds, two types of rats, Gondwanan snails, numerous skinks and much more. Some specimens will become part of the Museum Victoria collections whereas others are released after a small tissue sample is taken for genetic research. The days in the field are long, especially for those who follow animals that are active at dawn and dusk, but the stunning surroundings more than make up for it.

Granite boulders, wildflowers and blue sea at Wilsons Promontory Granite boulders, wildflowers and blue sea at Wilsons Promontory.
Image: Mark Norman
Source: Museum Victoria
 

You can follow #PromBioscan on Twitter. Tweet your questions for MV scientists about the project to @museumvictoria. 

Links:

Parks Victoria: Wilsons Promontory National Park 

 

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

Categories