Edgbaston with the iROOS

With descriptive sampling over, this trip had a different focus.  My mission switched to the unprecedented task of finally constructing a full survey data set of all the snails in every spring on Edgbaston.  We know where all the fish are, and how they have changed through time and whilst some snail samples have been taken since 1984, to date there has not been a full survey of the park.  In unison with my work, Nathan McClough from University of Canberra was also out, continuing his honours research on the way Mosquito fish use springs.  Plus, David Coulston (aka Cujo) of Bush Heritage also needed a hand with some prickly acacia management and fencing.  Thats a lot of work for a 4 day trip.  So, to help with these burdensome tasks, the iROOS came along for this second visit to Edgbaston.

The iROOS are a voluntary organisation of students from The University of Queensland that formed almost a decade ago when a bunch of students on a field trip decided that it seemed unrealistic that outback park rangers and managers were expected to conserve their parks alone – and offered their services free of charge as labourers, surveyors, fencers and teachers.  They’ve worked primarily in western Queensland, surveying plants and animals on Idalia National Park near Blackall (their volunteering home since the groups inception), been pivotal in the annual mark-recapture efforts to monitor the endangered Bridle Nail-tailed Wallaby, helped fence with South-West Natural Resource Management in the Charleville region and now they can add snail counting and fish catching to their list.

It was a great trip, a busy time for Edgbaston with so many people around but we got heaps done and had a great time in the process.  The data I have collected will be pivotal for assessing the current state of endemic snail populations on Edgbaston and help us develop management plans to make sure every single one of them can persist.

Thank you to the iROOS for all their amazing help! Can’t wait to bring you all out next time!

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