01 April 2021

Mt. Rothwell Biodiversity Centre

Article by Tahlia Walker

Mt. Rothwell Biodiversity Centre

Year 12 Environmental Science Field Trip

Measuring 473 ha, Mt. Rothwell Biodiversity Centre is Victoria’s largest feral predator free ecosystem. Foxes and cats were eradicated from the property more than a decade ago so that native mammal species could be reintroduced. The site currently holds approximately 80% of the mainland Eastern Barred bandicoot population which is currently recognised as the only mainland self-sustaining population.

When the Year 12 Environmental Science class arrived at Mt. Rothwell on a calm and clear evening in March, the students were all ecstatic to say the least, and curious to see what kind of work they would be undertaking for the rest of the night. After settling down amongst the beautiful native bushland, students were all given small mammal traps, which were set up further into the bush, under the instruction of our guide Naomie.

After a marvellous barbeque hosted by Mr. Brown, the students settled in to watch and take notes on an informative PowerPoint on the history of the reserve, the animals within and what the staff and volunteers at Mount Rothwell are doing to protect the native species and grasslands.

The class then all participated in a night walk around the grounds of the reserve, in which multiple mammals and marsupials were spotted, including the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Brush-Tailed Rock Wallabies along with Eastern and Spotted Quolls. Students then checked on the traps set at the beginning of the evening, to find many of them inhabited by Spotted Quolls – one even tame enough to be petted by each of the students.

It was such a treat and a wonderful experience to be able to go on such an educational and really inspiring excursion to Mount Rothwell this year. It’s safe to say that the whole class had a fantastic experience which we learned a lot from. The people working at Mount Rothwell are exceptional and passionate about what they do to keep the wildlife thriving and increasing in their numbers, spreading awareness through events such as school excursions like ours. We are truly grateful for the time we spent as a class at Mount Rothwell, and we’ll never forget it!

Tahlia Walker   Unit 3/4 Environmental Science