This week, Bangalee Bushcare completed the annual fauna survey in conjunction with Shoalhaven City Council. We were also joined by the Shoalhaven Landcare Coordinator and students from Nowra Christian School.
A total of 60 Elliot and cage traps were set up each night for four nights. The 60 traps were divided across four distinct zones - 15 in good habitat, 15 in habitat that has been regenerating longer than three years, 15 in habitat that has been regenerating for six months, and 15 in habitat that is still dominated by lantana.
Unfortunately, only 13 animals captured (and released!) over the four days. This was very few compared to normal years where we would be expecting to capture around 50 animals over the four days. We were expecting reduced numbers due to the drought and more frequent fox sightings but we not quite expecting it to be that low. Nevertheless, nature is resilient and the numbers will probably spring back as soon as the drought breaks.
The captures were as follows:
2 Brushtail Possums
1 Antechinus (pronounced anti-kline-us)
9 Bush Rats
Most of the captures were in the good habitat but statistical analysis will show whether that was mathematically significant this year.