FOWST

FOWST

Tortoise Tales 21 (2015)

Get the latest news by going to 'Newsletters' on the bottom right-hand corner of the home page. Click on 'Tortoise Tales 21'

Fast cars help slow tortoises!

Our members have diverse interests - not just conservation. Some are sports car enthusiasts too!

Leigh Marian is a FOWST member and was also one of the convenors of the 2014 Triumph Sports Owners Association National Rally, held in Perth. The group is a car club for owners of various Triumph sports cars dating from the 1950s to the ‘80s.

The week-long October rally was based at The Vines, with various social and motoring events.

Two of the local TSOA committee are ‘Friends’; they were given some items to raffle and believed that they might not need all of the funds raised, so decided to donate part of the takings to FOWST. They felt it was appropriate especially because the rally was based in the Swan Valley. Marian used her own funds to add some Edgecombe Bros. wine and Margaret River chocolate tortoises to the prize pool.

As well as donating the money, the organisers mounted a FOWST display on several evenings during the rally, using our brochures, material downloaded from the website and the Friends’ portable poster.

2013 Achievements

2013 achievements

The Friends and others celebrated 50 years of scientific monitoring of the tortoise at an event held on 2 October at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve. The 65-year-old female Tortoise Number 4 was recaptured and briefly on display. Gerald took the opportunity to do an ultrasound and she was found to have egg follicles; she was released later that day. It was a great day, with good publicity from local papers, a short item on Channel 10 news and since then the UBC and DPaW environmental newsletters have run our article about it.

Sponsorship by Margaret River Chocolate – Treasurer indicated they have donated $4500. Cathy is keeping the newsletter display topped up at the main factory outlet building in the Swan Valley and newsletters are now in the adjacent Providore as well. Next step with them is the display and sculpture between the Chocolate Factory and the Providore. Jan will make enquiries about the time line early in the new year and offer volunteers to help.

DPaW requested Jan write a letter to Boral requesting donation of the land for sale adjoining EBNR. No response, but Alex Errington from DPAW seems pretty certain he has a sponsor to purchase.

Presentations to schools, church groups, scouts/joeys, environmental groups and seniors groups have been requested and held as in previous years.

Publications have been printed professionally and distributed. Two editions of Tortoise Tales have been ably edited by Tanya.

Our brochure has now been updated and 5000 copies printed. Web address and email are more prominent.

2014 Achievements

Highlights of 2014

The release of the 500th Western Swamp Tortoise bred by the Perth Zoo. WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob attended - great day, good publicity. Thanks to DPaW's Craig for a smooth running, well organised event.

Sponsorship by Margaret River Chocolate – still going strong. Ray Mooney handed over another cheque for $5000 at the release. Cathy is keeping the newsletter display topped up in the Choc Factory and the adjacent Providore. Janelle has distributed some to their city store. We’re still waiting for the display and sculpture between the Chocolate Factory and the Providore. The grounds have been landscaped, and Jan has enquired several times, but no response as yet.

DPAW purchased the Boral land adjoining Ellen Brook Reserve, and we planted in Gerald’s Swamp on the new land. Robin took lots of photos. The land hasn’t been included in the fenced area at this stage. Thanks to Alex Errington for lots of hard negotiation.

Our new website is now live, with some changes and updates. Thanks to Tanya, Bob and Paul for all their work on this project.

New Education Sub-committee, formed at 2013 AGM, has contacted a core group of Ellenbrook and surrounding schools. JB presented to 10 consecutive Ellen Stirling Primary School classes at an Earth Day event. Cathy has given talks to Millennium Kids and Chidlow Primary. We have also formed a good relationship with City of Swan officers, and are working on a Stormwater Stencilling Project with them and local schools. Presentations also to Kelmscott Garden Club, WA Herpetological Society, Lake Wannamal Landcare Group Sundowner and displays at the World Wetland Day, Threatened Species Network Day in Fremantle, World Animal Day at Piney Lakes, CONNECT at Ellenbrook, John Wollaston School fete. Thanks to Tanya who took the displays to other environmental events with which she is associated and to all others who helped man the stalls. Our display and brochures are currently with the Triumph Owners Association for a rally in the Swan Valley at the end of the month.

We attended the Museum Discovery Centre for 2 weeks of the April school holidays, and made hundreds of egg carton tortoises with the children who came. Thanks to Margaret, Cathy and Melanie.

Publications have been printed professionally and distributed. Two editions of Tortoise Tales have been ably edited by Tanya.

Ian Hakanson has been working on the film documentary, including taking time out of his holiday to Queensland to interview Robert Boyd.

Catherine Carvell’s children’s book has been published and serialised in the West, and an interview by her with Robert has been published in a school magazine.

Our own Cathy is working on a book of her own on Western Swamp Tortoises for early childhood students.

Still working on a plaque with some acknowledgement of Martyn family who donated the land for EB & TS. Chairperson visited them in Mandurah to collect newspaper cuttings and memorabilia from that time.

Part of our education budget has been spent on new t-shirts, tote bags and give-away pencils and bookmarks.

We have audited our books at last, (thanks Fred) and this will enable us to attain Charitable Status in the near future. More work for Bob.

Pam and her friends at Silver Chain ran a fundraiser for us and raised over $200.

The 10th anniversary of the formation of the Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise was in July 2014. A celebratory lunch was held at Edgecombe’s on 24th August, attended by 23 people.

Thank you to all the members of the Group who have helped in any capacity in 2014 and we look forward to even more activities and awareness raising opportunities in 2015.

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