Projects & Research
The group is active in wide variety of projects, often funded through successful funding applications to the Natural Heritage Trust and other funding sources and undertaken in cooperation with government agencies, other community groups and the local public/landholders.
Part-time project officers are employed by the Group to lead these projects. Other members of the Group actively assist with these projects as volunteers in the form of field work, data entry, mapping, school talks, and administrative jobs.Whether it be watching Yellow-bellied Gliders feed on tree-sap in the moonlight, or folding 9000 tree-kangaroo sighting questionnaires, we ensure healthy doses of fun and socialising are mixed with the tasks at hand. A few examples are listed below.
Research Report – Eucalypt Woodland in Cape York Peninsula as Habitat for Arboreal Marsupials: Responses of the Common Brushtail Possum
Dr John W. Winter (ISBN 978 06464 76889)
This report summarises the findings of Dr Winter's research to assess the eucalypt woodlands of Cape York Peninsula as habitat for arboreal marsupials and to suggest guidelines as to how this woodland habitat can be managed to enhance its capacity to sustain populations of these marsupials.
Particular attention was given to the common brushtail possum due to its wide geographical spread throughout Australia, which means that ecological and management findings for the species in Cape York Peninsula can be applied well beyond the Cape York Peninsula study area. View report.
Barbed Wire Action Plan by by Carol Booth for Queensland Conservation View: Plan (344 kb .pdf)
Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo Community Survey 2000
This collection and documentation of local anecdotal knowledge and distributional information on Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroos was created from a large scale public survey. View: Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo Survey
For screen viewing:
- Wet Tropics Map of reported Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo sightings
- Tableland Map of reported Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo sightings
- Wet Tropics Map of reported dead Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroos
- Tableland Map of reported dead Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroos
For printing out:
- Map1 (Sightings total area)
- Map2 (Sightings Tableland)
- Map3 (Dead TKs total area)
- Map4 (Dead TKs Tableland)
In cooperation with the Department of Main Roads the group successfully established roadsignage in identified areas of high tree-kangaroo mortality (roadkills) across the Atherton Tableland.
Some of the locations are:
- Curtain Fig Rd
- Yungaburra/ Malanda Falls/ Kennedy Highway, between Upper Barron and Mt. Hypipamee NP/ Malanda-Millaa Millaa Rd
- Tarzali area
- and some in the Ravenshoe area
This project aimed to promote sustainable management of remnant vegetation on private property by working with landholders in priority areas. Seven Case-Study properties were selected to identify issues associated with the conservation of remnant vegetation alongside key industries ncluding primary production and nature tourism.
The production of Wildlife Habitat Management Plans (WHMP) has a dual purpose of providing assistance and guidance to the landholder and will be used to promote resultsof the project to other landholders and industry. The tree-kangaroo has been used as a focal species for this project in keeping with the animals focus of TKMGs conservation activities.
The project expanded over several years with continued funding of the Natural Heritage Trust in two stages, overviews of which, an on-screen presentation as well as an exemplary WHMP are available for download:
- TKMG Case Studies - Project outline - Stage 1 Summary (90 kb .pdf)
- TKMG Case Studies - Stage 2 Summary (90 kb. pdf)
- TKMG Case Study - an on-screen presentation showcasing one of the properties (621 kb .pdf)
- Wildlife Habitat Management Plan - Merragallen Park (3.2 MB pdf)
Initiated by the Roger Williams Park Zoo, Rhode Island, USA, a Conservation Education Program started in 1999 involving an art exchange program between PNG and USA schools. In 2004 - facilitated through the TKMG - this was expanded to include Herberton State School.
Given the similarities in local fauna, the connection between tree-kangaroo research of the American Zoo in PNG, TKMG's tree-kangaroo focus, the regional proximity to PNG and the local school presents itself naturally.
TKMG then president Tania Simmons: "Like PNG, the Atherton Tablelands is home to a unique group of animals, the tree-kangaroos. Examining how we manage our landscape and comparing that with other cultures is an important conservation tool for tree-kangaroo management.
Following lobbying and recommendations by the group and researchers from James Cook University the Department of Main Roads and Ergon Energy integrated four road underpasses in the major upgrade of East Evelyn Rd. (Gentle Annie) which runs past the Millaa Millaa lookout.
Scientific monitoring established that already a wide range of rainforest animals have adapted to move through the tunnels, successfully avoiding crossing the high traffic road.
Hypsi Forest is a local endangered rain forest type (type 1b) named after the delightful Musky Rat Kangaroo, otherwise known as Hypsiprymnodon moschatus that makes this forest type its home. Two properties in the Millaa Millaa area, known to be important for Tree-Kangaroos and with remnants of the endangered Hypsi Forest, have been selected.
Each landholder involved with the project receives a detailed report on the flora and fauna on their property along with a professionally developed property wildlife habitat management plan. Planting of 4500 trees has been strategically located to protect and build onto remnant forest and a very successful field day was held to promote the projects program of farm habitat management.
Protecting Spotted-tailed Quolls on the Atherton Tablelands
The project was funded by the Threatened Species Network and World Wildife Fund Australia, with in-kind support from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. The main aim of this project was to raise public awareness about the endangered status of quolls. A special focus concerned the role that landowners can play in their conservation. This was done by production of two publications.
The TKMG obtained funding to provide wire netting to give away to some land-owners to upgrade their existing chook pens to quoll proof status.Chook Wire Summary
The group also conducted a baseline survey for Spotted-tailed Quolls using hair tubes set out in rainforest around the eastern and southern edge of the Atherton Tablelands.
Members of the public participated in this activity - Quoll Monitoring Summary
The group also obtained money to employ a consultant to undertake trials of quoll feeding rates and ability to excavate buried meat baits. The aim of this sub-project was to investigate the potential for Spotted-tailed Quolls to be poisoned by meat baits laid for wild dogs. We did these trials using non-poisoned meats only. - Summary of feeding experiments
This project focused on:
- Mapping glider habitat between Herberton and Ravenshoe
- Prioritising wet sclerophyll fragments as habitat for rehabilitation
- Development of a management strategy
Efforts of TKMG, scientists and other locals led to the federal listing of the rainforest type 5b, otherwise known as Mabi Forest (after the indigenous name of the tree-kangaroo) as an endangered ecosystem. Less than 5% of the original extent of this prime tree-kangaroo habitat is left and now enjoys improved protection.
With considerable money from merchandise sales, membership fees and donations the group was able to get an undamaged tree-kangaroo roadkill mounted by a professional taxidermist.
This enables the local community and visitors to get a rare glimpse of the otherwise elusive canopy dweller. The mount is also used for educational purposes in local schools and environmental displays.
.pdf softwareDownload free Adobe Reader to open .pdf files.