This year marks five years of Workpower’s partnership with Perth Zoo, where our Environmental Services team has collected and providing 330 kilograms of termites over the 5 year contract to support numbat breeding Program located at the Perth Zoo.
A contract filled with results.
Workpower provided services one day a week collecting termites for the Native Animal Breeding Program, on behalf of Perth Zoo. The goal was to provide a reliable source of natural food to ensure maximum breeding potential of the vulnerably listed Australian native Numbat species. Enter Workpower and its termites.
Workpower Environmental Technician and Project Leader, Kelly Berwick, emphasised the challenge they had to ensure the project was conducted safely with the maximum yield of termites provided with little destruction to the natural bush and surrounding environment where the termites were collected. This would ensure a minimal ecological footprint.
“Although the program had been running for 18 years prior to Workpower being involved, there was very little documentation or documented processes supporting the collection of termites,” said Kelly.
”Over the five years we have been able to collect tangible data and maps that have provided a well-equipped program.”
The project involved managing 250 individual termite traps scattered in the Perth Hills and surrounding bushland, safely distanced from suburban influences, which resulted in the collection of 330 kilograms of termites over the 5 years. These termites are free of pest control chemicals so that the numbats are getting the best quality stock. Amazingly, numbats can eat up to 20,000 termites each day.
It was important for the team to work closely with the Department of Conservation Biodiversity and Attraction’s Native Animal Breeding Program as well as Bush Fire Services to protect the termites from prescribed burn offs.
This communication was established by the Workpower team and led to the termite barrels being marked on the Bush Fire Services maps along with updates and safety processes during the prescribed burning season.
A project with so many highlights
As the contract comes to an end, Kelly reflected on so many of the highlights from the contract.
“When we first began with Perth Zoo, the contract gave us an opportunity to one of our people with disability to learn about environmental services as well as endangered animals,”
“It has since grown and so many of us, as a team, have been able to contribute to this project.” For Kelly, it was the impact the team has had on the future of Numbats.
“I’m not going to lie, I felt a sense of responsibility for the numbats, it made taking holidays difficult, because a run to collect termites had to be completed each week.” Kelly said.
“They required a reliable supply of live termites and, turns out, animals don’t take holidays from eating!”
About Environmental Services
Workpower’s Environmental Services team was established in 2004 and is a leading provider of land management and rehabilitation services. The dedicated team has worked across Western Australia as well as in the Middle East. For more information on our Environmental Services team visit https://workpower.com.au/enviro/