Soft Release site No 4 Kurt & Marie
Kurt and Marie's place has our 4th release site, were currently running 3 at once plus Rocklily
With so many wombats in care over the last few years we realised we need to be running 3 permeant supported soft release pens as well as the odd release at Rocklily, where we have currently released 24 wombats and a total suported soft released as at Dec 2018 of a scary 49 wombats
And as we take pride in our supported release program for wombats and Macropods, we know whats happing well after release and were constantly modifying our approach and method constantly fitting in with infield feedback (called adaptive management ) We are running close to 21 wildlife camera's
Finding other sites to release wombats is a labour intensive exercise, were happy to talk to other carers about our releases and help in any way we can.
Kurt and Marie there every weekend. We have just released Jess to start with and look forward to drone monitoring and release of more wombats at max 2 per year at this site. Still grassed through drought, and large permanet dam's with plenty of water and borders National park
Selection of release site: This is not easy we look for around 1,000 acres of wildlife friendly joi ned properties with bush, grasslands permant water, no hunters, residents coming regularly or permant. Roads are a big issue we release at least 2km from a minor road, and that 2km is scrubby forest , no water , no grass with plenty of grass and water in other directions. We know our wombats can travel a 4 kms in a few hours from their visits to our neibours!
We look for properties with some sort of wildlife friendly signs on gates, then check them out on gooogle earth before approaching them with a nice card in the letterbox. We also look at local road kill to help decide on populations as well as walking the site looking at burrow activity and poo quantities.
Materials used this release pen
We use mesh to see out and meet the new neibours but also solid pannels to help with sttorm and weather proofing as we get snow.
Finished size 8.6m x 10 m = 86sqm
We scavage what we can from wherever
We had Nick donate alot of corrigated iron plus old stuff we had so that formed the basis of 13 x 2.6m 'colourbond style fencing pannels.
We have learnt alot over the years and this is our release pen encoumpases alot of features we have learnt about through trial and error. 2 seperate burrows (releasing 2 males) plus they cannot dig channels to divert flooding rain into their burrows as its the highest part of pen. Considered placement of solid pannels and shelter pannels for weather. Second feeder bowl for furure, when pen is shut with new release there is always water avail.
6 sheets of Sheep Mesh 1100 x 6m $48 ea (rural supplies ) for the ground with 60cm inside 50cm outside
5 x ARC Pannels (primary school fencing) 1.2m height 2.4 m $67 Bunnings
90 metres U channel from steel n stuff 90m $1.40 per m to make 'Solid pannels '
Lots of rivets! to secure
13 x 6 foot starposts second hand 2ft into ground for support of fencing
4 x 6 ft starr posts /wooden beanms to support starter burrow tin roofing
2 x wooden beams 3m to support roof
assorted sheets corrigated iron/cliplock for windproofing shed, and Ours was 3m wide x 5 m long
1 roll of 2 mm tie wire to secure
3m lngth old guttering
2 x self feeding animal bowls stainless steel $50 small inside $90 larger outside
200 litre blue drum with lid (cut some out and insert mesh to stopn mossies, drain gutter into lid)
assorted fittings metal to fix the feeders 1 inside one outside with tap to blue drum
Plywood wombat door more instructions below
2 feed bowls metal fixed in position
2 large second hand dog kennels from side of road cleanups with straw inside for burrow flooding etc
Drum/ bucket with tin on stick to hold Xtracool and put into seperate bowls
1 bail of medow hay
4 wildlife camera's one on wombat door one on pen plus at least 2 at nearby burrowsTraining wombat to use a wombat door We train our wombats to use wombat door's/flaps, we use 'feed stations in release area's to suppliment feed whe times are tough so birds or kangaroo's do not get it. We can also insert a cap into wombat door and treat for mange. We have had to enclose water and feed in wombatoriums to stop contamination by birds. Build from what you have, we hold the doors open initally as they get used to them, and there only light plywood to start, once they are going in and out we leave them down , we have tin roff's to keep weather out and these open to allow food water to be put in.