26 September 2023

Promontory hosts biggest park monitor ever

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Parks Victoria has announced that the Wilson Promontory has ramped up and enhanced its largest monitoring program of native animals ever.

In a statement, Parks Victoria said a dedicated team of conservationists and specialist rangers had been brought together to form the Prom Sanctuary Invasive Species Team to give vulnerable native species the best chance of thriving at Wilson Promontory.

“For more than a year, the team has been on the ground delivering high-intensity predator control programs across the national park,” Parks said.

“Lots of planning and project management goes into our invasive species control operations and this team does it all – from delivering a range of field-based tasks, procuring highly skilled contractors, to developing tactical and operation plans, mapping and data collection,” it said.

“The team recently deployed a comprehensive network of more than 100 remote cameras in the southern section of the national park to monitor the presence of feral cats and other species.”

Parks said this was the largest camera monitoring program ever undertaken at the Prom.

It said deploying the full set of cameras took the Team more than 530 hours (about 71 days).

“Only staff with a firefighting role who had passed the highest category of medical and fitness tests were permitted to be involved as the remote areas and rugged terrain with little to no reception posed a significant safety risk that needed to be managed and carefully planned for” the Agency said.

“Of course, snakes and leeches also call the Prom home.”

Parks Victoria said in addition to the remote camera deployment, the Team would conduct multiple six-week fox control programs throughout the year, installing, replacing, reviewing and retrieving about 100 fox bait stations at targeted areas of the park.

It said all animal control programs were carried out under strict conditions, compliant with all relevant legislation, Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures, designed to ensure safe, effective, and humane practices were implemented.

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