Conservation work a focus for Nullaki peninsula as volunteers hope for future sanctuary

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Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee project officer Matt Doble, executive officer Shaun Ossinger and Nullaki Conservation Initiative volunteer David Barr at the fence, which is being replaced.
Camera IconWilson Inlet Catchment Committee project officer Matt Doble, executive officer Shaun Ossinger and Nullaki Conservation Initiative volunteer David Barr at the fence, which is being replaced. Credit: Supplied

Landholders and volunteers are helping to protect the Nullaki peninsula in the hope it will some day be home to a sanctuary for endangered and threatened species.

Bordered by the Southern Ocean and Wilson Inlet, the Nullaki is separated from the mainland by a seasonal sandbar at Ocean Beach and a feral-deterring fence on its eastern edge.

The fence has fallen into disrepair in recent years, but it is being improved by the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee.

The WICC and Nullaki Conservation Initiative volunteers hope their conservation work will lead to vulnerable species being translocated to a fenced area on the peninsula.

WICC executive officer Shaun Ossinger said changes to the fence structure and design would help keep foxes and feral cats out.

According to South Coast Natural Resource Management, almost half of the 8km long fence has been replaced with a new floppy top being added to stop feral animals climbing over.

A new section of fence was installed in 2019 with another 500m of fence posts also replaced.

The fence’s new floppy top.
Camera IconThe fence’s new floppy top. Credit: Supplied.

“If you could see it two years ago, it was lying down in sections and there were holes in it,” Mr Ossinger said.

“The kangaroos would come and box each other through the fence.”

Mr Ossinger said involvement of landholders had been crucial to the success of the project, which was on track to be finished by winter.

“Having a relationship with the landholders is essential. It is all private property so everything we do, we have to get permission from a bunch of people and, depending on what the intention is, they may be more or less amenable to it,” he said.

NCI volunteer David Barr has been watching native fauna, installing cameras, and setting traps and baits to prepare the area for a potential sanctuary.

Four feral cats were trapped inside the fence over the Easter holidays.

Living on his Nullaki bush block with his wife and WICC chairwoman Joann Gren, Mr Barr has seen many species including mardos, honey possums, black cockatoos and evidence of brush-tailed phascogales.

“I think for the most part, most people are conservation-minded when they buy out here,” Mr Barr said.

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