Awards and Grants
2010 ZAA (ARAZPA) Research Award
The Short-Eared Rock-wallaby is one of the least understood of the 16 species of rock-wallabies. It lives in Northern Australia, and faces numerous environmental pressures including changes in fire regimes, mining and climate change. The magnitude of these impacts is already evident with many species being restricted in range and requiring revisions of their conservation status.
This project looked into the population dynamics of the short-eared rock-wallaby, to provide a framework for understanding the ecology of the monsoon tropics in a restricted dispersal species. This study helps work out the evolution of biogeographical processes in this region and provides valuable information on speciation and evolutionary significant units within these species. This information is necessary in order to optimize future management and conservation initiatives.
Beach Energy Grant
Beach Energy are supporting Conservation Ark with funding for three years. This money is specifically targetted towards conservation programs in South Australia, and is being used to employ Conservation Officers, as well as helping fund new bens for the captive breeding population of Warru at Monarto Zoo.
2009 ARAZPA Research Award
Southern hairy-nosed wombats are a charismatic native species that have been the focus of a research program by Conservation Ark staff for more than 15 years. The project aims to address the significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding of wombat ecology, reproduction, assisted breeding and genetics. These results have provided information which can be useful for conservation efforts for the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat. With attention now focused on climate change, recent studies are examining long term season breeding patterns, the use of antioxidants as indicators of environmental stress and modelling changes in population distribution and their effects.
2008 ARAZPA Research Award
Red-tailed phascogales can be difficult to maintain as a long-term, viable captive population. The reproductive failure of males at the end of the first breeding season means they must breed every year to prevent population collapse, but their large litters and extended survivorship in captivity can lead to the population rapidly growing beyond capacity. Phascogales have been successfully bred at Alice Springs Desert Park since 2001 and a collaborative research project commenced in 2004 to learn more about the species biology, and how best to utilise that knowledge in population management.
2008 ARAZPA Conservation Award
Conservation Ark has recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of the release of yellow-footed rock wallabies at Aroona Sanctuary, in the northern Flinders Ranges. The current population of ~40 individuals descend from an original ten wallabies reintroduced by Zoos SA in 1996. Recently, the 60th individual (a third generation wild born animal) for this site was recorded.
The success of this project can be largely attributed to the many successful partnerships established with the local community and pastoralists, alongside government, industry and conservation organisations. Feral animal control has played an integral part, and the zoo has implemented a multi-pronged attack throughout the ten year period.