THE FUTURE OF THE KANGAROO VALLEY ROCK WALLABY HANGS IN THE BALANCE

This year the award-winning Friends celebrate 21 years, our success in saving our local Rock-wallabies from extinction and the completion of a 3 year NSW Environmental Trust Grant - ‘The Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby: Growing resilience in our local community.’

Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies were once common throughout Eastern Australia.
Now they are Endangered. Only approximately 20 individuals remain in the wild in Victoria and not many more in Kangaroo Valley, the southern extent of their range in NSW. The Friends are working to pull these iconic Kangaroo Valley rock-wallabies back from the edge of extinction. But we need your help now.

Your generous donation or Rock-wallaby ‘adoption’ will help us ensure a safer environment for our local Rock-wallabies to reach a sustainable population.

Did you know: the biggest threat to Rock-wallaby joey survival is foxes.
Combining fox control with the captive breeding program and monitoring is the only way to re-build our local Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby population.

Your online tax-deductible gift of:
$1000 will pay for a week of fox and cat trapping
$500 will pay for a new radio-tracking receiver
$100 will pay for a month’s supply of fox baits
$50 will pay for a bag of feed for our captive breeding stock

A fun and educational way to support our Rock-wallabies is an online symbolic adoption of a Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby. We will send you, or your gift recipient, a gift pack and quarterly rock-wallaby updates.

The Friends have always excelled at community education.
In 2014 we designed and implemented a new Environmental Trust-funded curriculum-based, interactive school education component.

Over the last 3 years 740 primary students from 15 schools and 380 secondary students from 4 schools investigated the importance of biodiversity conservation and examined the BTRW recovery project as a local case study highlighting the crucial roles of science, technology and community in threatened species management. Our school education resources are freely available.

Since December 2014, over 1000 children have been nurtured as ambassadors to help secure the future of the endangered Kangaroo Valley Rock-wallaby colonies. The Friends BTRW have pledged $2000 per year to continue the school education program as all schools visited have valued the experience. Here is what the Principal of Kangaroo Valley Public School, Andrew Smee, said of the Friends program:

“The students of Kangaroo Valley Public School have been positively engaged with the environmental presentations Juliet has delivered over the past few years. Juliet’s commitment to help the students understand the true meaning of biodiversity and how it relates to her conservation work with the local population of threatened rock wallabies, has provided the students with an understanding that they can all make a difference and be champions for their local and greater environments. The students’ creation of puppet plays, rock wallaby displays for this year’s Kangaroo Valley Show, threatened species dioramas and a video has embedded a deep understanding of the need for environmental awareness, conservation and continued environmental education.”

The Environmental Trust Grant also funded a Pest and Weed community information and training day, the printing of new brochures and advertising posters as well as the production and distribution of our highly acclaimed documentary ‘On the Edge’.

The sharing of this film at our popular Kangaroo Valley launch and 21st birthday events, to over 15 local clubs and community groups, at Bowral Cinema and the Fitzroy Falls NPWS Visitors Centre, online and via Facebook and the sale of 300 DVDs has significantly raised public awareness of the collaborative effort to halt the rapid decline of NSW most southerly remnant Rock wallaby population.

Results of the Friends online Questionnaire in February 2017 clearly demonstrated this increased community awareness of the plight of the Rock wallabies, invasive species problems and the important work of the Friends BTRW relative to a comparable 2010 postal survey conducted by NPWS.

The grant has helped grow the Friends membership and donor base, however much more work is required to reach our goal of a self-sustaining Shoalhaven Rock wallaby population. We recommend attending a Waterfall Springs working party one month to fall in love with these shy and agile creatures, as they are near impossible to spot in the wild.

The Friends BTRW are currently partnering with Local Land Services Feral Fighters and Save our Species community engagement experts to expand the community fox, wild dog and cat control program. Please contact us if you are interested.

The gates of our Shoalhaven soft-release enclosure are soon to be opened. Become a member of the Friends or ‘adopt’ a Rock wallaby to receive regular updates on these 4 new captive breed animals from Waterfall Springs Sanctuary. Several High School students and University graduates have been directly involved in the monitoring of these translocated individuals, thanks to the Friends. In a few months joeys should be emerging and you can view video clips on our You Tube channel or Instagram account – Befriendrockwallaby. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook.

ON THE EDGE
In the 1900s half a million rock-wallabies were hunted in Australia for the fur trade and bounties. Introduced foxes, dogs and cats have since savaged remaining populations, more-so at the southern end of their range.

Small remnant southern populations like Kangaroo Valley are trapped in an extinction vortex where the few adults only produce a handful of young, which are easily lost to predation.

WHAT’S OUR GOAL?
Twenty-one years ago the Friends partnered with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and local landholders to save the last Kangaroo Valley rock-wallabies. Together we have developed an integrated predator control program, primarily targeting foxes, their number one predator.

Having halted the decline of rock-wallabies in this remnant southern NSW population, the Friends and NPWS now have their sights set on reaching the ultimate goal of a self-sustaining Shoalhaven population. The Friends have a strong focus on gaining of support through ongoing community education about the species, its predators and the predator control works required. The Friends also promote a responsible pet ownership program to ensure that pets don’t become rock-wallaby predators or enter 1080 baited areas.

WHY IS KANGAROO VALLEY A PRIORITY SITE FOR BTRW CONSERVATION?
Being an isolated population at the southern extent of their range in NSW the Kangaroo Valley rock-wallabies are genetically distinct. Conserving genetic diversity is crucial to overall species security, bolstering species’ resilience to predation, disease, competition, habitat fragmentation, drought and fire.


KANGAROO VALLEY ROCK-WALLABIES – A SOUND INVESTMENT AND A WONDERFUL LEGACY
Help us to continue our work to protect this enigmatic and iconic species in the Shoalhaven. Peruse our website to see how you can help by becoming a member, symbolically adopting a rock-wallaby, purchasing some of our merchandise or making a tax-deductible donation.