Field station a new era in conservation

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
The Michael Tichbon Field Station in the Great Southern.
Camera IconThe Michael Tichbon Field Station in the Great Southern. Credit: Picture: William Marwick

A new Bush Heritage Australia field station near Gairdner in the Great Southern marks a new era for conservation science in WA.

The $1.1 million Michael Tichbon Field Station officially opens tomorrow in the Red Moort Reserve, 130km north-east of Albany between the Stirling Range and the Fitzgerald River National Parks on Noongar country.

The biodiversity hotspot was selected as the home for the world-class research hub and is the first purpose-designed and built field station in Bush Heritage’s 27-year history.

Bush Heritage Australia chief executive Gerard O’Neill said the station was a tangible symbol of Bush Heritage’s promise of a healthy country, protected forever.

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“The Michael Tichbon Field Station will focus our resources on protecting this vulnerable landscape and working with our neighbours to achieve good ecological outcomes,” he said. “We are in Great Southern for the long term.”

There are 15 threatened species that are protected in the reserve, including the malleefowl, tammar and black-gloved wallabies and the mallet eucalypt Eucalyptus melanophitra.

The station will allow scientists, ecologists, field staff and volunteers to spend more time on the ground monitoring the Great Southern’s flora and fauna.

Bush Heritage owns or manages about 10,000 hectares of former farmland across the region.

Local companies H+H Architects and KBuilt Construction brought the off-the-grid station to life and it features a solar power system with battery storage, a rainwater collection and reticulation system and composting toilets.

More than 100 people are expected to attend tomorrow’s opening.

The honey possum is one of the animals in the reserve.
Camera IconThe honey possum is one of the animals in the reserve. Credit: William Marwick

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