Lesley gave an overview of the group’s achievements and contributions over the last year. These are summarised below:
- FoWST trip to Perth Zoo to visit the WST captive breeding program. Met Dean Burford and Clint who run the breeding program at the Zoo. Friends were given a tour of the facility and were introduced to some of the tortoises in the breeding program.
- Installation of aestivation tunnels, seed collection and revegetation of habitat. FoWST visited Ellenbrook, Twin Swamps and Mogumber Nature Reserves to install tunnels used by tortoises during the summer months, collected seeds to be propagated into rehabilitative vegetation and planted out reserves to be the tortoises habitat.
- Released captive bred tortoises into reserves. Friends released 18 adult tortoises into Mogumber Nature Reserve in 2004 followed by 5 adults at Twin Swamps and 13 juveniles at Ellenbrook Nature reserves in 2005. Following a bumper crop bred at the Zoo this season there will be plenty of opportunities for Friends to release tortoises in the new year.
- Creation of community awareness and interest in the WST. Friends have produced a fantastic display and hosted at the RAAF Airshow in Bullsbrook and the Autumn River Festival. Alex Stone has written an article on the WST and the Friends to be published in Wildlife Australia an also perhaps Australian Geographic.
- AnWST education pack is in the pipeline which has been successfully trialled by Jan Bant with school groups. A submission for a LotteriesWest Grant will be carried out in the new year to fund this project.
- The group has received 2 community grants which have funded display materials, FoWST t-shirts and on-ground work.
- An interpretive display has been designed and has recently been approved by CALM to be placed at the Gull Service Station in Baskerville. An opportunity for the group to gain publicity with the Gull Service Station interpretive display opening will exist in the new year.
- Two Friends, Lesley Stone and Kaitlyn Height have represented the group on the WST Recovery Team attending meetings on behalf of the group and reporting back of any news or events.
- The group has ongoing partnerships with CALM, WWF, Ellenbrook Catchment Group