27 May B Corp Adventures with Conservation Volunteers Australia
One of the great things about being a B Corp is the activities you undertake as part of your ethos to contribute to the community. This year as part of our annual volunteer day, we elected to volunteer for Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA).
CVA provide the framework for people to care for nature by arranging volunteering in one of their many conservation projects across the country. Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and no prior skills or experience are required. The projects range from looking after threatened species to tree planting. It’s also as simple as joining the program online, and the team arranging a time for you to participate. They provide buses from the city to the onsite locations, which are free so it’s a simple process.
On this day we were assigned to build habitats for bandicoots, but an urgent project arose to locate a rogue rock wallaby who had escaped a repopulation program. Rock wallabies are only found in Australia and are now an endangered species, as their numbers have continued to dwindle due to farming practices in rural Australia and the threat of introduced predators such as foxes and cats. Sadly up to 31% of Australian mammals are now extinct or threatened.
The CVA program at Mount Rothwell, has undertaken a mixed gene pool breeding program to ensure that in-breeding does not wipe out the population. It is a very carefully managed program. For the “rogue” wallaby not to join his tribe would mean potential death or an unsuccessful breeding cycle, so it was critical we locate the rogue alpha male, we aptly named “Rogue”.
With a team of 10 volunteers, we searched for extended periods using the “emu bob” system where all volunteers comb segments of the enclosure in line formation. Apart from two volunteers going missing for a short period, our search for “Rogue” the rock wallaby was intensely thorough. In the end we did not find Rogue. Rock wallabies are known for their ability to hide in the shadows, but sadly we did locate a carcass and remains of what could be a rock wallaby, which was incredibly helpful to the conservation team.
All in all this was a brilliant exercise for team building, morale and connecting to nature through conservation, a practice we often forget to do in our busy city lives. We also committed to returning for another volunteer day, and highly recommend this program to other companies seeking to make a contribution to community and the environment.
For more information contact Conservation Volunteers Australia who have programs across the whole of Australia.
If you would like to support the organisation who do a wonderful job of looking after our environment and animals you can also make a donation. In 2015 their activities included:
- Over 6,000 volunteers
- 210,000 trees planted
- 2,860 environmental surveys conducted
- 156 tonnes of rubbish cleaned up