Alycat's Walkabout bio picture

The Woodlands

Welcome to the Woodlands Historic Park. This beautiful park, located north of Melbourne, has become the focus of a joint effort between Conservation Volunteers of Australia, Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability & Environment Communities for Nature to reintroduce the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot was once commonly found, but the significant lost of natural grasslands and the introduction of foxes and dogs has pushed the species to the brink. It is now one of Australia’s more endangered.

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Lost Reefs Rediscovered

Welcome to Port Philip Bay, Melbourne. Port Philip Bay is home to the largest shipping port in Australia. It has also become the focus of a massive joint operation between The Nature Conservancy of Australia, The Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. The goal of this partnership is to reestablish the ‘lost’ shellfish reefs that once thrived in Port Philip Bay.

Why are these shellfish reefs so important that they warrant this type of effort to restore them? It’s a great question, and it’s one I discussed at length with the scientist we were working with. For several reasons, including overfishing, the shellfish population, and therefore the reefs, dropped drastically in Port Philip Bay and the surrounding areas. The loss of these reefs has put incredible strain on the environment. The life that was once supported by these reefs is gone, leaving many animals on the brink of extinction. Faced with a massive loss of marine and wildlife as well as the impact it would have the local economy, it was decided that immediate action needed to be taken to restore these lost reefs and return the bay to the thriving ecosystem it once was.

We were asked by The Nature Conservancy to help document the work being done as well as potential sites for the reef restoration.

The process of restoring shellfish reefs is quite amazing. It is a two part process that takes us from government run oyster farm in Queenscliff to the sand bottom of Port Philip Bay. We started this two day project in Queenscliff where the Department of Environment and Primary Industries has set up an oyster hatchery. Here, they grow thousands of oysters that will be introduced back into Port Philip Bay.

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The Island

One of the first projects I worked on while in Australia was at the W. James Whyte Island Reserve. What a beautiful place! The Island is located just west of Melbourne, running between the Werribee River and Myrniong Creek. As the two bodies of water come together, the land forms an island-like area, which has given the spot its nickname.

The park is named after W. James Whyte, who donated the land to Conservation Volunteers of Australia in 2006. The land had been used for cow grazing for many years. So the land was bare. Since the area connects to Werribee Gorge State Park, a plan was developed to reintroduce the land back to the natural environment. CVA has worked tirelessly over the year to accomplish this by improving biodiversity and habitat values.

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Let’s Play Outside!

As a kid growing up, was there anything better than running around outside, jumping in puddles or climbing trees? It’s what kept my friends and me busy for hours each day. I loved it! Today, however, outside time has been replaced with computers and video games. People, especially kids, are not outside nearly as much as they used to be.

While in Melbourne, I partnered with The Nature Conservancy of Australia to photograph people enjoying the outdoors for a campaign they are calling “Nature Needs People”. My thought was that if people are outside enjoying these spaces, they will build a connection to that place and fight to protect it, make improvements and ensure that it will be around for generations.

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Brookfield Conservation Park

Welcome to Brookfield Conservation Park! Brookfield is located in South Australia, a little over an hour outside of Adelaide. It is a government owned park that is managed by Conservation Volunteers of Australia. When CVA and I began planning which sites were priorities to cover, Brookfield came up pretty quickly due to its significant location in the South Australian Murray Darling Basin. Brookfield is home to a large variety of flora and fauna species.

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