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Secret life of native animals to be revealed at Dowerin

The secret life of some of the Wheatbelt’s rarest and interesting native animals will be on display at this year’s Dowerin Field Days.
Natural resource group Wheatbelt NRM has been part of an intriguing program using “camera traps” to record the habits of the region’s native animals.
The camera traps are motion triggered cameras that sit on standby, but wake up to record warm, moving objects.
Already, the camera traps have revealed exciting discoveries such as the existence of the Western Bowerbird near Wyalkatchem.
Without the camera footage, bird experts would have disputed this desert species could have ever been found in the region.
The cameras have also filmed two species of the rarely seen dunnart, a mouse-sized marsupial.
Disturbingly, footage has also revealed how common cats have become in the Wheatbelt.
WWF’s Mike Griffith said people were continually surprised at how far their pets roamed, particularly at night.
“This is unfortunate as cats are highly efficient hunters of wildlife and can wipe out entire populations of small animals like the dunnarts,” Mike Griffiths said.
“We’ve got video of cats catching and killing various animals including birds and geckoes.”
Some of the region’s most popular native animal will also make an appearance in real life at the Wheatbelt NRM tent.
Kanyana Wildlife will have on hand Bilby’s, snakes and echidnas with a special presentation on the habitat and characteristics of each mammal on day one of the field day.
While visiting the site, landholders will be able to find out more on how they can preserve flora and fauna on their own property.
Wheatbelt NRM’s Healthy Bushlands covenanting project has been helping farmers discover some amazing biodiversity in their own back paddocks.
Staff will be on hand to answer any questions landholders may have about preserving their native bush land for generations to come.
Aussie Solar will help power the Wheatbelt NRM tent, along with footage from the camera traps.
Farmers can also learn more about combating wind erosion through a Soil Incentives Program.