Numbat Task Force: Conservationist of the Year 2018

By Australian Geographic | October 26, 2018

Working hard to save Dryandra’s numbats, one of only two natural populations of the endangered marsupial left, the Numbat Task Force is this year’s Conservationists of the Year.

A meat-truck driver and former stonemason, Robert and John make up two thirds of the ‘Numbat Task Force’, along with Sean Van Alphen. They all met while photographing numbats in the Dryandra conservation area, 170km south-east of Perth, WA.

The Numbat Task Force was initially formed to lobby for protection for the numbat from feral cat predation. But when plans were announced to site a major rubbish tip just 6km from Dryandra, McLean says it was “all hands on deck” in a campaign to save the creatures. The four friends set up a Facebook page and now post every numbat image they capture on their cameras. Their efforts have managed to overturn a decision by the state’s Environmental Protection Authority not to assess the tip proposal. It was a significant victory for the team and means the potential impact of the waste facility on Dryandra will now be examined by the environmental watchdog.

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2018 Conservationists of the Year, the ‘Numbat Task Force’, received their medallion at the AG Awards Gala ceremony in Sydney on 26 October 2018.

Read about all the winners of the 2018 Australian Geographic Society Awards.

The Australian Geographic 2018 Conservationist of the Year Award is sponsored by the NSW OEH’s Saving Our Species program.

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