Our Latest News

Improved access to a World Heritage view

24/07/2017

An upgrade of the popular viewing platform on the shore of Lake St Clair has now been completed, improving disability access to one of the finest viewing points of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.More

Overland Track bookings open with a rush

18/07/2017

Tasmania's iconic world-renowned bushwalks are a key driver behind the boom in visitor numbers to the state, and bookings for the Overland Track walking season have opened with a rush for the peak summer period.More

Works under way to improve safety at Bruny Island Neck

07/07/2017

Bruny Island Main Road at The Neck will soon be a safer environment for road users, visitors and wildlife, with road and car park improvements starting this week.More

Green Guardians

Projects and Updates

Current Projects

Operator
Location
Program
Under Down Under Tours 
State-wide roads  Road-killed Devil Survey
Water By Nature 

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park World Heritage Area - Natural Values Monitoring Project
Wild Pedder

Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area, including Lake Pedder World Heritage Area - Natural Values Monitoring Project

Bay of Fires Lodge Walk

Mt William National Park / wukalina, 

New Holland Mouse Project

Cradle Mountain Huts Walk

Overland Track, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

World Heritage Area - Natural Values Monitoring Project

Roaring 40's Kayaking

Southwest National Park World Heritage Area - Natural Values Monitoring Project
Tasmanian Expeditions Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park Blackberry management - Franklin River

For additional operators and more information on visiting Tasmania go to the Discover Tasmania website. 


Updates

As Green Guardians projects progress information will be placed on the internet for participants to see the results of their combined efforts.  The updates will be brief, however further information is available by contacting the PWS through the website and quoting the Green Guardians program.

Road Kill Devil Survey

In 1996 the first Tasmanian devil was photographed with a large tumour on its face. This infectious cancerous is now known as the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Since 1996, it has wiped out approximately 85% of the wild devil population with only the far north-west of the state remaining disease free. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s (STDP) Roadkill Project is an initiative that provides vital information to support the battle to keep this endangered species from extinction. It plays a key role in informing ongoing management strategies of wild populations. Green Guardian participants are undertaking Roadkill Devil Surveys which allows them, where it is safe, to collect information, a biopsy and a whisker from devils killed on Tasmanian roads. Their results play an important role in supporting the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s Roadkill Project.

Under Down Under

Under Down Under Tasmanian Tours provides adventure and backpacker tours of Tasmania. Established in 1996, they operate in an environmentally ethical manner. They have been involved in the Green Guardian’s Roadkill Devil Survey project since August 2012.

Update May 2015

This season, six roadkill devils were identified on state roads with the wonderful support of 30 voluntourists. The location of these devils included Coles Bay Road and Swansea on the state’s east coast as well as Strahan, Tullah and Tarraleah in the west. Information such as age, sex and the condition of each devil was collected along with biopsies and whiskers. These are collected to determine the animal’s genetics and diet, both of which provide important information to the STDP in their quest to save the species from extinction.

A tour guide performs a biopsy on a Tasmanian devil.


Update March 2014


Under Down Under Tours have recorded a number of Tasmania devil deaths on state roads over recent months. A total of 7 Tasmanian devils were found, 5 of which were juveniles. A biopsy was performed on the majority of these devils, and it is pleasing to report that none showed any obvious signs of the Facial Tumour Disease. The devils were found on roads where the speed limit varied from 80-100 km/h, which acts as a reminder for drivers to please be cautious when driving on roads at dusk and dawn, as this is the time that Tasmanian devils are most active.

Update April 2013                                                                                                          

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is working with the Green Guardians Program on a project that records details of Tasmanian devils that have been killed on the state’s roads. Since the start of the project there have been seven dead devils recorded along the roadside around the midlands and west coast. A biopsy was done on two devils, one outside of Strahan which was an adult over 4kg with a few scars, and a juvenile male just out of Tullah. Neither devil showed any sign of the deadly Facial Tumour Disease which the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is working hard to manage. All the results provide the STDP with vital information in their battle to save this iconic and endangered species from extinction. Approximately 85% of the wild devil population has been wiped out by the disease with only the far northwest corner of the state remaining disease free.


Fauna Survey

Tasmania’s unique wildlife is a strong drawcard, attracting many visitors to the state. The Green Guardian’s Fauna Survey project offers a chance for participants to experience Tasmania’s wildlife while giving something back to the environment. Participants will survey a range of species such as the azure kingfisher, the eastern and spotted-tail quolls, swamp and dusky antechinus and the Tasmanian tree frog, while rafting down the Franklin River. The vital information collected will be uploaded into the Natural Values Atlas. Here it will assist in improving conservation outcomes for all levels of government, industry and general public planning and decision making.

Water by Nature

Water by Nature offers rafting expeditions through the famous Franklin River, traversing some of Tasmania’s deepest and most impressive gorges. The river carves its way through some of the most beautiful, rugged and inaccessible country in the world. Its significance was recognised in 1982 when it was listed as a World Heritage Area. Water by Nature have been conducting Green Guardian Fauna Surveys since 2011.

Update May 2015

A total of 8 Green Guardian trips were run this season by Water by Nature in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park with the help from 64 voluntourists. A large variety of threatened species were surveyed including 2 spotted-tail quolls, 3 wedge-tailed eagles and a new nest site, 3 white-bellied sea eagles, 3 azure kingfishers and a Tasmanian tree frog. One of the primary reasons for establishing this project in 2011 was to try and identify the allusive azure kingfisher. It is a great result having three confirmed sightings uploaded into the Natural Values Atlas from this season.

Update March 2014

A total of 11 Green Guardian trips were run this season by Water by Nature in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. A large variety of fauna were surveyed including the green rosella, little black cormorant and the black currawong which were found in large numbers during trips, as well as over 25 yellow-tailed black-cockatoos, 16 platypus and 11 tiger snakes, among many others. It was encouraging to hear that an increase of endangered species were spotted this season with four azure kingfishers, eight wedge-tailed eagles and one Tasmanian devil. Other species worth noting was approximately 20 pink robins and four bumble bees.



 

Shorebird Survey

Through its long geographic isolation, Tasmania has become a global centre of bird diversity. With its 5400kms of varied coastline, Tasmania offers a range of coastal habitats, and supports a number of threatened shorebirds. These include the hooded plover, red-capper plover, sooty and pied oystercatchers, as well as the fairy and little terns.The Shorebird Survey project allows participants to identify and record these key shorebird species found along the coast of Mt William National Park and the Bay of Fires Conservation Area. This important work will aid in assessing shorebird species numbers and habitat quality, both which have been seriously affected by human activity. Information collected will also be sent to the Natural Values Atlas.

Life’s an Adventure

Life’s an Adventure offer a range of outdoor experiences throughout Sydney and Tasmania. Their Tasmanian based tours visit a number of popular regions, allowing tourists to discover Tasmania’s beautiful scenery and unspoiled habitats. They are currently running the Green Guardian’s Shorebird Survey project in the far north-east of the state.

Pied Oystercatchers and Red-necked Stints at the Bay of Fires. Photograph by Eric Woehler

Update May 2015

This was Life’s An Adventure’s second season with the Green Guardians program, carrying out surveys on Tasmania’s shorebird population in two locations. 4 Green Guardian trips were run at the Bay of Fires with 26 volunteers while 17 trips were undertaken on Maria Island with 137 volunteers.

Update March 2014                                                   

Shorebird survey

Life’s an Adventure surveyed a large array of shorebirds during their first season. A considerable number of sanderlings were indentified as well as 43 Red-necked Stints, 29 Hooded Plovers and 22 Pied Oystercatchers. Smaller numbers of other species identified included the sooty oystercatcher, red-capped plover, little tern, fairy tern and the ruddy turnstone.

 

Roaring 40s Kayaking

Roaring 40ºs Kayaking offer tailored adventures to suit people’s time-frame and experience level This includes kayaking lessons, lunchtime city paddles, day tours or multi-day expeditions into the Tasmanian wilderness.

Update May 2015

This was the company’s first season with the Green Guardians program running shorebird surveys on their multi-day expeditions to Tasmania’s south-west wilderness. They ran 4 Green Guardians tours this season with 23 volunteers.

Green Guardians in action

The 186 volunteers who worked for both these companies, along with their passionate guides, recorded hundreds of shorebirds during the 2014-15 season.  These were the resident shorebirds the hooded and red-capped plovers, and the pied and sooty oyster catchers as well as the migratory species the ruddy turnstone, the red-necked stint and the sanderling.


 

Devil Dietary Study

The Tasmanian devil has become one of the state’s most iconic species. However, population numbers of the devils have been plummeting. The Devil Dietary Study is an initiative by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) to monitor and manage the introduced devil population on Maria Island. The project was undertaken in 2012 to combat low population numbers of Tasmanian devils, by relocating them to Maria Island where they would not be affected by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. The Green Guardian’s Devil Dietary Study asks volunteers to locate and record scats left by devils. These scats provide important information allowing STDP to monitor devil eating habits, giving them an insight to how the devils coexist with other fauna species on Maria Island.

Maria Island Walk

Situated on Maria Island, the Maria Island Walk offers a four day guided walk through this spectacular National Park. Guests have the opportunity to experience Tasmania’s unique wildlife, scenery and history. During their tour, Maria Island Walk guides facilitate the Green Guardian’s Devil Dietary Study project for the guests.

Update May 2015

This season a total of 24 scats were collected by 40 voluntourists over the course of three trips on Maria Island. Last season, the evidence from the scats showed that the devils are consuming a number of different species on the island including brushtail possums, common wombats and pademelons (see graph 1). When the results are collated from this season’s scats, it will be interesting to compare the results of these from last season.

Graph 1 illustrates the diet of devils whose scats were collected during the Devil Dietary Study on Maria Island during the 2013-14 tourist season (click to enlarge)

Update March 2014

Tasmanian devil scat collection

This season a number of scats were collected on Maria Island. These were collected over the course of six trips and show evidence that the devils are consuming a number of different species on the island, including brushtail possums, common wombats and pademelons. This season is also the first time remains of a ringtail possum have been identified in devil scats.


Marine Debris Collection

Beaches in Tasmania are known for their wilderness qualities, but even on beaches were the next land stop is South America marine debris or rubbish can still be found.  Participants will collect and study marine debris as part of this project.  Links have been established with the Tangaroa Blue Ocean organisation to document and report on the marine debris collected. Tangaroa Blue Ocean then works with government agencies and manufacturers to change design to stop the debris ending up on our wild coastline.

Bay of Fires Lodge Walk (Tasmanian Walking Company)

Located on the east coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk offers small groups a chance to explore this unique area of Tasmania, while experiencing its remote landscape and beautiful flora and fauna. Whilst undertaking these four day experiences, guests receive the opportunity to be involved in the Green Guardian’s Marine Debris Collection and Classification project. The company has been involved in the Green Guardian program since 2011.

Update May 2015

A total of 78 guests volunteered in the program this season, over the course of 16 four-day Green Guardian trips. During these trips, more than 17 kilos of marine debris was collected and classified. 

Some of the litter collected by Green Guardians
Update March 2014

A total of 215 pieces of marine debris, 10.85 metres of rope, 6 metres of fishing line and 1.8 metres of strapping bands were collected and classified this season. Marine debris collected were mainly complied of 57 aluminium cans, 31 hard plastic pieces, 29 plastic bags, and 10.85m of rope. A smaller amount of other items were collected such as 4 fishing lures, 4 rubbers and 6m of fishing line, among many others. A number of dead or injured wildlife were also recorded comprising mainly of short-tailed shearwaters (also known as muttonbirds).

Update April 2013
 

Marine debris is continuing to be collected along the Bay of Fires coast in the north east of the state and the Tarkine coast in the north west. From recent Bay of Fires trips 295 items of marine debris have been collected and classified by volunteers. The major contributor to the debris was 96 items of plastic hard pieces of various kinds. The other top four contributors in order are 31 aluminium cans, 19 items of paper/cardboard, 16 plastic-food wrap and 16 pieces of broken glass. The trips have also found dead or injured wildlife and sadly seven sea birds (six shearwaters and one cormorant) were recorded for the period of December 2012 to March 2013. Items found along the Tarkine coast this season include 30 pieces of hard plastic, 20m of rope, an inner tube, a bicycle pedal, 20 glass bottles and 17 plastic drinking bottles. Green Guardians continues to partner with Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society to try and reduce the amount of marine debris that enters the environment.

 


 

 

Other Green Guardian Activities

International Green Guardians

During July, a group of international students undertook a three day Green Guardians experience along the east coast of Tasmania. They volunteer their time collecting and classifying marine debris, pulling out the beach weed sea spurge and surveying shorebirds. During this experience, they explored some of Tasmania’s most pristine coastlines, learnt about the heritage values in the region and had the opportunity to connect to this spectacular place at an authentic level. These students are now strong advocates for conservation and Tasmania, both now and more importantly, when they return to their home countries.

 

Green Guardians in the Community

In June 2105, Green Guardians reach out to the local community for the second larpuna/Bay of Fires Community Weekend. Over three days, more than 50 people from the local community walked 35 kilometres of coastline undertaking a raft of volunteering projects while learning about the heritage values of the region. A number of local experts and organisations joined in to share their knowledge, build community relationships and work on common issues together.