Local Threatened Species
Local Threatened species session - our presenters
Ross Crates completed his undergraduate degree at the University of East Anglia with first class honours in Ecology. After graduating, Ross worked for 3.5 years as a research assistant at the Edward Grey Institute of Ornithology, Oxford University. Here, he was involved in a large-scale research project examining the social ecology of wild songbirds. Since 2015, Ross has been part of the Difficult Bird Research Group, ANU, where the team work to improve understanding of the ecology of the critically endangered regent honeyeater (estimated wild population of 350-500 birds). This work involves the development and implementation of a novel monitoring strategy for this rare and highly mobile species. The results of the monitoring provide evidence to devise and inform novel conservation measures to try to save the remaining wild population from extinction.
Dr Deborah Ashworth
Deborah Ashworth completed her BSc (Zoology) at the University of NSW with her honours thesis focusing on the responses of invertebrate fauna to fire. In 1996 she received her doctorate where she investigated the behavioural ecology of a population of kangaroos through drought in semi-arid NSW. For the last 25 years she has been working in the field of conservation biology. She currently coordinates the NSW recovery program for the endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby as well as programs for a range of other threatened entities including five frogs, the Blue Mountains Water Skink, the Giant Dragonfly, approximately 30 plants and two threatened ecological communities. In 2003 she established the NSW captive breeding program for the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and has coordinated the release of over 80 captive-bred animals. She also founded the NSW Declining Frogs Working Group, and is the independent scientific member on the NSW DPI Forestry Animal Ethics Committee.
Trent Forge completed his BEnvSc (Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology) at Deakin University with his honours research focusing on the distribution of critical weight-range mammals in the Grampians National Park. After graduating, Trent worked for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) where he was involved in the management of flying-foxes, crocodiles and fauna and flora impacted by Coal Seam Gas (CSG) development. After several years he returned to NSW and the world of academia to carry out his PhD at the University of New England on the spotted-tailed quoll. This research was part of a broader project funded by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC), and over four years he was lucky enough to trap and GPS-track quolls, dingoes, foxes, feral cats, rock-wallabies and possums. At the end of 2016 Trent moved to the Blue Mountains, joining NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as a Project Officer for the Saving our Species (SoS) program. Camera-trap methodology developed during his PhD research has since been adopted by the SoS spotted-tailed quoll program and rolled out at priority sites across the state in efforts to monitor this nationally endangered carnivore.
Hailing from the Blue Mountains, David ventured west of the Divide in 1999, and never really left. Now based in Dubbo, his work with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and now the Office of Environment and Heritage has been varied and (mostly) fulfilling, including: surveying biodiversity in the Western Division, mapping the vegetation of the Lachlan and Central West Catchments, supporting the NSW Scientific Committee, investigating the biodiversity and social values of artesian bore-fed wetlands, and projects for the Brigalow Belt South Bioregional Assessment. For the last 12 years David’s focus has been on threatened species and ecological communities, particularly threatened frogs and plants in the Central Tablelands. This has fostered close collaboration on Saving Our Species projects with the Central Tablelands LLS, NPWS, NSW Forests, NSW Fisheries, local government, landcare groups and landholders on species with strange names like the “Genowlan Pea” and the “Clandulla Geebung”, and in spectacular locations like the Capertee Valley, Wollemi National Park and even the Rockley Pub. David is currently part of the Frogs Fish Flora and Fresh Flowing Water Environmental Trust Partnerships Project, which among other species in the NSW Central and Southern Slopes and Tablelands, aims to ensure long-term conservation outcomes for the Nationally Endangered Booroolong Frog.
Rodney Price is a Fisheries Manager working for NSW Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries in the Aquatic Habitat Rehabilitation Unit. Rodney has a Bachelor of Environmental Science from Charles Sturt University and has over 10 years of experience working in environmental management, primarily in Fisheries.
In his role with AHR Rodney has managed a wide range of projects that include: weir and road crossing removal and remediation to facilitate fish passage; resnagging of over 400 Large Woody Habitats; facilitation of the 2017 Murray-Darling Basin Native Fish Forum and; stakeholder engagement across a huge suite of aquatic habitat rehabilitation activities.
As well as these projects Rodney has mapped the aquatic and riparian habitat features of 15 rivers in inland NSW, covering over 3500km. The information he has collected has been applied to developing and prioritising remediation actions that benefit land managers and the environment. Further, the knowledge he has gained while undertaking these activities has given him a unique insight in to the processes impacting waterways in inland NSW.
Kurtis Lindsay is a landscape Ecologist who has a strong love for the central west. He lived in Mudgee for four years and while he no longer lives in the region, he still regards it as home as half of his family (on his mothers’ side) come from the Orange-Bathurst area. Kurtis has spent many long days and nights surveying and studying flora and fauna across the central west. He has developed an intricate knowledge of the biodiversity of the region.
Kurtis will be sharing his experiences in protecting and rehabilitating Putta Bucca Wetlands in Mudgee for the protection of the threatened species and Ecological Communities that occur there.