Many individuals make significant personal contributions towards achieving Gondwana Link. Some of the ways people are doing this include:
Investing in bushland
Several dedicated people, including Eddie and Donna Wajon, have purchased properties as their contribution to Gondwana Link. They manage the bushland, perhaps placing a conservation covenant over it, and restore cleared or degraded portions of the property either on their own or with support from one of or more of the Gondwana Link member groups. Eddie and Donna have revegetated 70ha with help from Greening Australia and now have a formal Partnership with Bush Heritage Australia for management and research on their land.
As well as maintaining or recreating bush linkages, these properties often present opportunities for observation and monitoring as we work to learn more about the natural ecosystems. The Land for Wildlife program is another source of useful management advice.
Placing a conservation covenant (easement) over existing bushland
This provides an additional layer of protection over privately owned bushland, beyond that provided by government clearing controls, ensuring that the bushland is protected even when the property changes hands. Some covenant programs include some support for management of the bushland. If you are interested in placing a conservation covenant on your land, The Department of Conservation and Environment and the National Trust of WA both run covenanting programs.
Responsible land management
Across Gondwana Link, many land holders are fencing off their bush, removing stock from waterways, removing weeds and feral animals and planting local native species – all of which supports our work. Sometimes these efforts are purely voluntary and individual; sometimes they form part of a wider approach supported by local catchment and natural resource management groups. In conjunction with the larger scale works we are directly supporting, these are all adding up to improved ecological health and resilience. We support these efforts. For ideas and information on what you can do download (1.4Mb) the document 'Living with the land: Guidelines for the Fitz-Stirling (2008). Compiled by A. Sanders for Greening Australia WA and Bush Heritage Australia.
Providing knowledge and expertise
From local farmers and naturalists to scientists from around the world, Gondwana Link is using and building on existing knowledge to ensure all work and decisions are based on the best information available. We are fortunate in having many excellent naturalists in the region who have a wealth of knowledge on birds, plants, fungi, geology and their interactions. Where possible, we link the local, observation-based knowledge with more formal scientific frameworks to make sure our thinking is place-based and place–tested. This can be through specific projects to increase our knowledge base, through linking tertiary institutions and students to projects, or through involving local people in on ground monitoring.
The many generous donations made by individuals have been pivotal in our success. Personal donations have funded whole projects, both large and small, and supported property purchases. Donations have also allowed us to purchase equipment such as remote sensing cameras to detect shy wildlife and planting equipment for restoration work.
Volunteering to help
Field monitoring, data entry, cataloguing, planting seedlings and more have been tackled by volunteers. There are many opportunities for people to help with work that protects and restores nature in this region: contact any of the groups if you are interested in sharing your time and energy. We will endeavor to find a useful niche for you to fill – though this of course is subject to seasonal conditions and our varying needs.