In line with the objectives of the group, and GPAG's responsibilities under Objective 3 of the 2016 Recovery Plan, our activities fall into three broad areas:
- Fundraising to assist Gilbert's Potoroo research and recovery programs.
- Promoting Public Awareness of the Critically Endangered status of Gilbert's Potoroo.
- Hands-on Volunteer Assistance in Gilbert's Potoroo research and recovery programs.
Lack of sufficient, consistent funding is one of the greatest difficulties facing the effort to save Gilbert's Potoroo and so fundraising is the first of our key objectives. GPAG is also one of the interested parties listed in the 2016 Gilbert’s Potoroo Recovery Plan as having responsibility to “Seek resources to undertake Gilbert’s potoroo recovery”.
GPAG raises funds through a range of activities including:
- Applying for grants
- Stalls and fundraising events such as quiz nights
- Partnerships with fundraising organisations such as Urban Descent and Edge Pledge
- Selling of potoroo themed merchandise
- An annual wine fundraiser in partnership with Jingalla wines
- Direct donations
Having sufficient funds is essential to implement recovery actions but, as the recovery plan notes, the ability to raise funds will be determined by the level of awareness and involvement of the community and all levels of government. Raising awareness of the plight of Gilbert’s potoroo is therefore the second of our key objectives.
The Recovery plan again lists GPAG as one of the interested parties having responsibility to “develop and apply education and promotion programs about Gilbert’s potoroos” and to “Promote the plight of Gilbert’s potoroo and the recovery actions required to all levels of government, NRM groups and non-government organisations”. Our public awareness activities are therefore just as important as both fundraising and volunteering in directly addressing Objective 3 of the Recovery plan.
GPAG attempts to raise awareness of the plight of Gilbert’s Potoroo through:
- Providing accurate and up to date information through this website
- Regular posts on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
- Presentations at schools and universities and at professional conferences
- Media interviews (both radio and television)
- Hosting Edith Cowan University Work Integrated Learning students
Our third objective is to encourage volunteers to participate in Gilbert’s Potoroo research and recovery programs. Since the group was incorporated in 2002 GPAG volunteers have contributed tens of thousands of hours of volunteer time to help save Gilbert’s Potoroo.
The Recovery plan lists GPAG as one of the interested parties having responsibility to “Provide opportunities for participation in the Gilbert’s Potoroo recovery program” with the specific aim of increasing participation by volunteers and interest groups. The “recovery program” encompasses not just field work but also fundraising and awareness raising so all the activities described above are also forms of volunteering that contribute to the recovery program.
Over the years GPAG volunteers have contributed directly to research and management through:
- Searching for additional populations of Gilbert’s Potoroo outside Two Peoples Bay using hair tubes and arches
- Working with DBCA scientists and fungi specialist Katrina Syme to carry out fungi surveys at Two Peoples Bay to learn more about the diet of the potoroos
- Assisting DBCA staff in the feeding and monitoring of captive animals
- Collecting various species of underground fungi to help supplement the captive diet
- Carrying out periodic “substrate changes” to replace the sand in the captive colony to remove uneaten food and prevent the build up of faeces that could lead to disease.
- Assisting DBCA scientists with intensive all-night radio tracking of Potoroos at Two Peoples Bay to help learn more about their home ranges and habitat use
- Assisting DBCA staff with trapping to monitor the Potoroos at Two Peoples Bay, Bald Island, Middle Island and in the Waychinicup enclosure.