EdgePledge is nothing without the people who support us, and we're lucky to count some incredible organisations amongst our wildlife - and environment partners. The work they do is key to keeping Australian environment - as well as the environment worldwide - thriving and well protected. To date we count ten organisations and groups part of our mission, groups whose vision sets them above many others. Their vision and commitment is crucial to helping the causes they’ve partnered with us to promote.
Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre
Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre is a unique ecosystem in Victoria that keeps feral predators out in order to protect some unique species that live there. They’ve partnered with EdgePledge to provide help for two critical species, the Eastern Quoll and the Southern Brush-tail Rock Wallaby. The mission statement for this incredible organisation is to protect and restore the natural ecosystem around Mt Rothwell, restoring the habitat, re-establishing the fauna and getting the community involved in the process. The Eastern Quoll is a small marsupial (think rabbit-sized but slightly more cat like in appearance) one of four Quoll-species found in Australia and like many native animals they’re finding their natural habitat more and more diminished each year. Foxes and other introduced species are also threatening them because they’re competing for the same areas. They were previously found all over the Southeast but are now primarily found in Tasmania. The Southern Brush-tail Rock Wallaby are a unique species that are able to climb the most intimidating rocks and cliff walls, and even trees. They can be found in many areas along the Great Dividing Range and tend to seek out rocky areas. This animal is especially threatened in Victoria but with the help of Mt Rothwell we hope to increase their numbers.
Conservation Volunteers connect people who want to do something with ample opportunities to help in many varied areas. The conservation projects they’re involved in put focus on native flora and fauna that are under threat by setting up projects consisting of practical incentives and dedicated volunteers. This group is working with EdgePledge to protect two animals in a critical state, The Western Quoll and the Flatback Turtle.
The Western Quoll is similar in size to its Eastern cousin, with a similar colouring. This slightly shy creature is nocturnal and can only be found in a small area of Western Australia although their numbers were once significantly larger and they covered areas from central to southern Australia. They were on the brink of extinction because they were hunted and non-native animals like foxes and cats were introduced to kill them. Both remain a threat to the Western Quoll, which is why it needs protection. The project aims to get populations thriving again, especially for the significant role they play in their ecosystems, most importantly in controlling the rabbit population since these unusual marsupials actually eat meat.
The Flatback Turtle is a traveller by nature, and have been around for longer than most other creatures on earth. As their name suggests, they have a flat upper shell, which makes them look a little different and helps propel them faster. They are threatened because they’re losing their nesting grounds and many underwater areas where they’re found like coral reefs are continually diminishing. The vision for this ocean-dweller is to protect areas for them to nest and have their hatchlings make it safely to the ocean. It’s also crucial to prevent trash and debris clogging up the ocean and threatening many species, not just the Flatback Turtle.
Taronga Zoo is not just where you might spend an afternoon marvelling at the pug-puppy level cuteness of the wombat: Taronga Zoo also has a fantastic Environmental Sustainability program that aims to put sustainability and conservation at the centre of their activities. Their program plays an important role in conservation efforts and alongside EdgePledge they’re working hard to protect the Marine Turtle. Marine Turtle is a broader term denoting most marine turtles living in and around Australia’s oceans, and sadly all marine turtles are under threat from pollution, habitat destruction and trash left in the ocean. The latter is especially damaging as many species of Marine Turtles love to eat jellyfish and the shocking amount of plastic bags found in the ocean confuse them, causing them to choke on the plastic when they try to eat it. Taronga Zoo is making efforts to prevent plastic getting into the ocean and works alongside the NSW government to keep our oceans free of plastic.
Another unique Australian Taronga Zoo is helping to protect is the Bilby, arguably one of the cutest inhabitants of the country. They just to be much more common than they are today but they can still be found in several areas like the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory and the Mitchell Grasslands of southwest Queensland. They are perfectly suited to the climate and doesn’t need much water but their habitats are being destroyed daily. The Lesser Bilby is entirely extinct, and to prevent other Bilbies going the same way some urgent action is needed. Taronga Zoo is helping EdgePledge ensure the bilby doesn’t become entirely extinct with their breeding program that also intends to place them into protected habitats.
Zoos Victoria is committed to conservation and their work is both local and global. In their many conservation projects they are fast becoming a leading authority on managing threatened native species. They’re a non-profit so all profits goes to the great work they do.
With EdgePledge Zoos Victoria are helping to protect the Southern Corroboree Frog and The Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
The Southern Corroboree Frog is very close to extinction in the wild and can only be found in the Kosciuszko National Park. They vulnerable to a disease that is pretty much wiping them out. There’s only twenty of them left and if you see one it is a real treat, they’re striking to look at but about the size of a five-cent piece. Zoos Victoria have been breeding these frogs in captivity and the longer-term goal is to establish a population in the wild.
The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is a small marsupial that is extinct in the wild on the mainland due to habitat destruction but can still be found on Tasmania and Churchill Island in Victoria. Victorias Zoos breeding program is saving them from complete distinction and hopefully they can be introduced to the wild to establish a presence again on the Australian mainland.
Greening Australia is an independent non-profit organisation that’s been making a difference to our unique flora and fauna since the early 80s. They’re established in 30 locations around the country. With EdgePledge their working to protect two icons: the Tasmanian Devil and the coral in the Great Barrier Reef.
The Tasmanian Devil is almost as much an Australian icon as the kangaroo or the Opera House, but they’re plagued by disease and habitat destruction. The debate rages on their cuteness but it’s clear this meat-eating scavenger marsupial is facing some pretty severe challenges. They’re expected to be gone entirely from the wild in 20 years unless the tumours affecting them are effectively treated. They were once hunted to the brink of extinction but have come back since laws were introduced to protect them in the 40s.EdgePledge and Greening Australia wants them to be in strong enough numbers to keep doing their job in the Tasmanian ecosystem, most importantly as the main native predator.
Greening Australia is also committed to preserving the coral on the Great Barrier Reef. Did you know it’s actually an animal? It’s confusing since we still call it a forest of coral but in fact each branch is made of tiny polyps that also are home to a type of algae. This incredible symbiosis is what gives the coral its colour: without the algae the coral is closer to white, which is why the phenomenon affecting them is known as coral bleaching. It’s simply caused by rising temperatures and over 90% of the Great Barrier Reef is now experiencing bleaching. The bleaching is caused by pollution from industries like farming pouring into the ocean, but organisations like Greening Australia is helping restoring landscapes that aid in keeping the waters clean, like the wetlands surrounding the coasts by the Great Barrier Reef.
EarthWatch’s mission is to engage people in research and education to promote sustainability and conservationism. This global organisation has existed since the 1970s, and now support projects in 40 countries with seven offices worldwide. Alongside EdgePledge they are working to protect the Manta Ray, which is suffering largely due to human intervention, including hunting for use in traditional Chinese medicine and being caught in fishing nets. To protect them there is work being done in furthering Ningaloo Reef’s Project Manta and fundraising towards tagging them to monitor population movement.
EarthWatch has partnered with Murdoch University and University of Queensland to learn as much as possible about these graceful giants of the sea to protect their habitat and their lives. The research aspect is crucial because our knowledge of them is limited but we do know they’re affected by global warming. EarthWatch is also working towards preserving the exotically named White Lemuroid Ringtail Possum, which is also under serious threat from climate change. Available habitats are becoming more and more scarce due to increasing temperatures. They also stick to the trees, even avoiding roads and crossing power line corridors so their movements are increasingly restricted. This Queenslander is the first know Australian mammal clsoe to extinction as a result of climate change. To protect them we have to fight global warming and EarthWatch is working with the Centre of Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University to conduct research on this possum and other threatened species in the region.
Albury Conservation Company
The Albury Conservation Company (ACC) is relatively new, although they’ve been around for over ten years. Their purpose is to protect the natural environment of Thurgoona NSW, and engage the local community in their efforts. With EdgePledge they’re committed to protecting the Squirrel Glider.
The Squirrel Glider is more or less what it sounds like, a squirrel with skin forming a sort of sail between their front- and hind feet that enables it to glide from tree to tree. Their habitats are being destroyed but they can still be found from Queensland and all the way to SA, preferring nice eucalypt forests and woodlands. Introduced species like dogs and cats are also a threat to the Squirrel Gliders and the housing boom near Albury is predicted to be a double-threat to them. Albury Conservation Company aims to protect these unique animals and striking a balance between planned expansion and conservation to ensure animals like this remain in their native communities.
The Jane Goodall Institute Australia
Dr Jane Goodall hardly needs an introduction but the famed primatologist and humanitarian’s organisation here in Australia is perhaps not as well known, having only operated in the country since 2007. The JGIA is a non-profit as well as a registered environmental organisation. It’s imbued with Jane Goodall’s vision for an inter-connectedness of Animals, People and the Environment (i.e APE). The goal is to inspire actions that further this connectedness.
Their work promotes the conservation of the Great Apes, in particular the Chimpanzee, which is threatened by both hunting and habitat destruction. Their numbers in their native Africa has dwindled from an estimated million fifty years ago to less than 200 000 today, and still decreasing. The Jane Goodall Institute works to end the illegal commercial bush meat trade through education and awareness programs, changing policy and community-centred conservation activities including development of alternate sources of protein.
Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group
It’s quite clear from the name where this group’s focus is, and they do amazing work to Gilbert's Potoroo from extinction. They provide information for those interested and can help point people in the right direction if they want to get involved.
Gilbert’s Potoroo is a marsupial on the brink of extinction with only 60 remaining in the wild. This action group works hard to increase the numbers of the smallest Potoroo species (there are three in total). The few remaining wild ones live along the headland at Two Peoples Bay in WA. They’re another native species that is being threatened by introduced predators like foxes, but also by bushfires.
The SEA LIFE Trust (ANZ) is a Registered Environmental Organisation dedicated to the protection of marine wildlife and conservation of aquatic habitats. They work with other conservationists worldwide, restoring habitats, protecting vulnerable species, supporting improved fishing gear that minimises bycatch and working towards banning shark fin soup, amongst many other important initiatives.
Through innovative conservation campaigns, scientific research and inspiring education Sealife Trust aims to end overexploitation of marine life and habitat destruction. With EdgePledge Sealife Trust works to protect the Grey Nurse Shark. Their vision is to ensure marine habitats and wildlife is respected and cared for. The Grey Nurse Shark lives along both the East- and West coasts of Australia but their numbers are threatened by illegal fishing, and even accidental fishing since they are often found in areas where fishing might also occur. Beach safety nets are also a critical issue for the shark, as it is for other species of shark. Part of the initiative for the Grey Nurse Shark is to improve our knowledge of their behaviour and what impacts them to develop better practices for this animal.