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HomeNewsA safe place to rest their weary heads: efforts to provide shelter...

A safe place to rest their weary heads: efforts to provide shelter to fauna as North Head fights to recover

Exhaustive recovery efforts are still underway at North Head Sanctuary following the hazard reduction that went awry in late 2020,  with more than 100 shelters and refuge zones now in place to protect local wildlife, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) reports.

Photo: RFS

The AWC, who played a critical role in the site’s immediate recovery, have now placed a further 38 nest boxes across the headland in addition to the 62 that were already scattered throughout the site, 30 water stations throughout key areas of burnt and unburnt foliage, and 18 refuge tunnels.

These refuges are up to 50m long and provide shelter for injured and endangered wildlife, protection against the threat of predators and access to unburnt areas.

Working closely with NSW National Parks and Wildlife, the AWC also assisted in the deployment of 12 Long-nosed Bandicoot shelters for bandicoots that are too large to fit in the refuge tunnels.

These measures have provided essential shelter for local wildlife including the reintroduced species and the endangered Long-nosed Bandicoots, and will help in the recolonisation of burnt areas and the long-term recovery of local wildlife as the bushland regenerates.

“It is heartening to see the collaboration of organisations across the site resulting in re-emergence of impacted native flora and fauna,” said Wildlife Ecologist, Dr Viyanna Leo from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

An Eastern Pygmy Possum in the capable and caring hands of an Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) member. Photo: Supplied

“This included immediate support from Taronga Zoo and the Sydney Wildlife Rescue Service to provide assistance for injured wildlife”, Dr Viyanna Leo said.

The recovery of North Head Sanctuary is being further guided by the North Head Bushfire Recovery Advisory Group, which is co-chaired by the NPWS and the Harbour Trust. We wrote about this late last year.

Through its partnership with Harbour Trust, the AWC has provided scientific service at North Head Sanctuary since 2009 working to protect and restore habitats and wildlife, and has included the reintroduction of locally-extinct species the Bush Rat, Eastern-pygmy Possum and Brown Antechinus.

Bandicoot Heaven at North Head Sanctuary reopens to the public

The North Head Sanctuary Foundation’s education centre, Bandicoot Heaven, has now reopened to the public. Located at North Head Sanctuary in Manly, the community-run centre is an opportunity for locals, students and other visitors to learn about local flora and fauna.

Open every Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm, Bandicoot Heaven is the heart of the North Head Sanctuary Foundation’s operations.

Judy Lambert, a founder of the North Head Sanctuary Foundation, said the partnership with the Harbour Trust allows the organisation to continue its critical work across the headland.

“Visitors to Bandicoot Heaven can learn about the local bushland including the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, local wildlife, including Echidnas, Long-nosed Bandicoots, and a rich diversity of birds, and discover more of the First Nations heritage of North Head,” Ms Lambert said.

“Being on site and working with the Harbour Trust is important to our efforts to conserve the natural environment right across North Head, which is a special place in many ways,” she said.

North Head Sanctuary Foundation is a volunteer run organisation, staffed by locals and ecological enthusiasts who donate their time to the protection and cultivation of native flora, fauna and threatened species.

Volunteers at North Head’s Bandicoot Heaven.

The foundation runs operations out of the Former School of Artillery at North Head and volunteers manage the foundation’s education centre and nursery. In 2009, a formal partnership was established between the NHSF and Harbour Trust.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Harbour Trust, which was established in 2001 to protect heritage sites in Sydney, share their diverse stories and enable all Australians to access and enjoy the rich experiences of the sites under its management. Celebrations will commence with the Harbour Trust Rediscovery Days in March to commemorate the date the Harbour Trust legislation was first presented to Parliament, and will culminate in September to commemorate the proclamation of the Harbour Trust Act.

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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