10 Jan GREENING UP THE MONGO VALLEY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Aussie Ark is excited to confirm 2,000 native trees have been planted in just one day at the Mongo Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
Project coordinator and Aussie Ark wildlife ranger Rory Francis said this is a huge step towards realising the dream of planting 100,000 trees across Aussie Ark’s sanctuaries.
“Stage one of the Mongo projects is 15,000 trees, so to plant 2,000 trees in just one day is hugely encouraging,” Mr Francis said. “We have planted species that provide all-year round food and shelter for our endangered animals. For example, two species we planted today are the coastal red banksia and the weeping red bottlebrush. The banksia flowers in winter, and the bottle brush flowers in autumn and spring.”
Aussie Ark plans to protect a huge variety of arboreal species – or tree-dwelling animals – which include the endangered koala, gliders, brush-tailed phascogales, and pygmy possums.
“All these species will become abundant once we get these food trees in the ground,” Mr Francis said. “And tree by tree we are creating a long-term sustainable ecosystem in our sanctuary which will continue to attract and foster our endangered animals into the future.”
The 1,500 hectare Mongo Valley Wildlife Sanctuary property was jointly purchased two years ago by conservation organisations WildArk, Re:Wild, the Australian Reptile Park and Aussie Ark, and this season’s tree planting efforts were great assisted by volunteers from WildArk including founder Sophie Hutchinson.
“The partnership between Aussie Ark and WildArk is one of the most heartfelt partnerships I can imagine,” Ms Hutchinson said. “We have two amazing teams who are coming together with one like focus; which is to give back to this beautiful country that we live in. We want to bring children here in years to come and show them the benefit of the work that is being done to provide the environment for our threatened species that need to live here…and are coming.”
Australia’s famous ice creamery Connoisseur is another project partner, and Connoisseur reps worked alongside WildArk and Aussie Ark in the ambitious greening-up activities.
“All of our Connoisseur ice creams are Australian made so we’re very passionate about doing anything for Australia,” Connoisseur senior brand manager Tara Cook said. “It’s really exciting to come here today and get our hands dirty, help plant the trees, and really be a part of it physically with the WildArk and Aussie Ark team.”
Aussie Ark is famous worldwide for the breeding and re-wilding of endangered Australian species. Aussie Ark wildlife ranger Rory Francis said transforming landscape is integral to this vision.
“Mongo Valley Wildlife Sanctuary used to be an old cattle farm,” Mr Francis said. “So it was heavily logged and grazed, choked in noxious weeds, and has lost much of its native flora. We are so excited to return this beautiful piece of country back to its natural state and create a home for so many iconic species.”
Aussie Ark is reliant on donations to continue its tree planting efforts. To help Aussie Ark with its target of 100,000 trees, donate and plant a tree today!