Home sweet home!

I’m back in Melby B folks!

I’ve just returned from a trip to French Island, volunteering to help with some research on the endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoots. And yes, I have been handwriting several blog posts as promised and they’ll be posted up here shortly!

The trip up to French Island was an interesting one. I’ve never ventured to that side of town by myself before, especially on public transport! I had to catch a tram, train, train and a ferry to get there; and in total it was roughly a 2 hour commute.

French Island in the scheme of things! I had to get on to the Frankston Train to the last stop, then catch the Vline to Stony Point. And from there – a 20 minute ferry ride!

So why was I needed at French Island? Well, the bandicoots are an endangered species and they need a new home because of habitat loss and introduced species (such as foxes and cats). The researchers that I’m working with, have released a small population of bandicoots on French Island to see if they can survive and thrive here. And if the data is good, they will be fully reintroduced here!

My role is to assist with the trapping and monitoring of bandicoots. Besides from me walking into a lot of spiderwebs and falling into ditches; I’ve been making lots of bait (apparently bandicoots dig oats mixed with honey and peanut butter – and I wouldn’t blame them! It was delish!), hiking through lots of thick bushes to set traps and marking sample grids.

If you’re expect to see some pictures of bandicoots on French Island, I’m afraid I don’t have any! We had no luck at all catching them pesky bandicoots. We caught a couple of swamp and bush rats (they were cute!), but no bandicoot!

We put out about 70 traps every late afternoon, and checked them at the break of dawn the next day…and nothing! So, I’m a bit disappointed – but it was a good experience!

Besides from all the bandicoot shenanigans, I was on another personal expedition. KOALA SPOTTING! While I was doing some background research about the island, apparently there are THOUSANDS of koalas on French Island.

And it’s probably true! Just along the driveway of the Parks Victoria Depot where we were staying (about 50 meters), I spotted over 20 koalas! That’s pretty impressive!

Koalas. Koalas, EVERYWHERE!

Anyhoo!

It’s great to be back in society and having full reception! (I’ve been living off one measly bar of reception for the past few days). And looking at all the emails and whatnots, golly – looks like I’ll be spending all day replying to every one of them!

More posts coming up! Thanks for your patience :)

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