Previous YACCA Activities and Achievements

YACCA has a rich 7-year history in learning conservation skills with a range of environmental expert individuals, organisations and locations. Read on for detail into the activities we have participated and excelled in, and the skills we have acquired over the years. We always revisit these skills to ensure new members get every opportunity to learn and have fun!

Animal trapping and handling


We have done animal trapping and handling in a local activity setting at the Tatachilla Ecoclassroom and in a practical, involved setting on camps.

At Arid Recovery, Roxby Downs, we used cage traps to monitor Burrowing Bettongs, Western Barred Bandicoots and Greater Bilbies. Our YACCA members learned how to successfully set a trap with bait (peanut butter and oat) and a bag over the cage to ensure the animal’s comfort. We learned how to calmly encourage the animal into a soft bag for processing, and collecting information and measurements in a manner keeping the animal as comfortable as possible. We also dug pitfall traps and monitored reptiles in the day and small mammals after the night. We learned how to set Elliot traps.

At the Conservation Centre for Ecology at Cape Otway, YACCA members set camera traps. Several steps are required to adequately set camera traps to ensure battery life and stability, and knowing the target animal, which the YACCA members learned to do to appropriately contribute to the science of the Centre.

At Ngarkat Conservation Park, we learned how to correctly set Elliot traps to monitor Western Pygmy Possums.

IMGP8432 web version Katie with Cage Trap at Arid Recovery


Flora and fauna surveys

At Arid Recovery, fauna surveys involved both the physical trapping and handling of animals (see above) and the identification of traces of animals. The sand dunes provided a clear slate to observe animal tracks and use field guides to identify the likely species that made them. Scats were also observed.

Flora surveys have been conducted at several sites such as camps and private properties. Quadrats, line transects and site-specific techniques are used to identify plants and quantities. To do this, knowledge in how to use field identification sheets and books is required and very proficient.

Plant identification

We regularly learn how to identify plants. This may be in a familiar, local environment such as at the Willunga Wirra Reserve, where we may learn to collect samples for sketching or plant pressings, or to identify using a field guide. In Arid Recovery, we did a tour of the landscape and identified the dominant species in the dunes compared to swales, and noticed separate communities between them and even between separate dunes or separate swales.

Willunga Basin Plant Book

YACCA is "constructing a brand-new plant identification book ‘Flora of the Aldinga Washpool and Beyond’! This book will contain detailed information about the most common flora in our area, including the leaf shape, type, inflorescence, family, and Kaurna name, just to name a few. This book will also contain a plant pressing, photo, and drawing for each of the specimens to ensure a clearer understanding of the plant for the reader. These drawings, pressings, and photos are original, and up to date work, creating a fresh, detailed and exciting look at the Washpool!" - Skye Dunn, YACCA Leader  Plant book excerpt

Water testing and creek health

The Willunga Wirra Reserve is an ideal, close location to monitor and assess water health. We do this by using a water test kit to determine salinity, turbidity, phosporous, and other nutrient levels; observing creek bank vegetation and structural integrity; and by catching and identifying macroinvertebrates present and relating their pollution tolerance level to the health of the creek.

Camps at Arid Recovery Roxby Downs; Cape Otway, Victoria; Ngarkat Conservation Park

We have attended various camps in different environments to experience the differences in nature and of potential environmental careers. This develops a rich outlook for YACCA members and an idea of potential pathways. Please see other sections for specific skills encountered. 

IMGP8575 web version

Fixing the Dog Fence at Arid Recovery

Cultural Awareness Training

YACCA members were given a historical presentation by Southern Cultural Immersion - Corey, Tobias and Aunty Buster Turner. Working on a historical timeline, and case studies, we were able to grasp insight into South Australia’s post-invasion history from the perspective of an Aboriginal Australian. Corey, Tobias and Aunty Buster worked us through a guided art workshop, cultural roleplay, debriefing, and discussing and learning how to move forward. The content of this workshop was at times confronting, and gave all of us much more to think about in relation to our Aboriginal history as well as ways we might go forwards together. This workshop was made possible through funding from our $40,000 Aldinga Washpool grant.

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Stipiturus Swamp planting days

YACCA has attended Stippi planting days since around 2016. This is an opportunity to plant trees in a significant swamp location. We also contribute to the community by showing the younger children around the creek and teach them to identify macroinvertebrates. This is also an important networking opportunity for YACCA members to broaden their circles and learn more about the environment from many different perspectives.

McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project plantings, weed control, other local projects

We participate in McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project (MVBP) events at local areas and wineries. Lessons in weed control are utilised here (depending on the method of weed control) and guided by local experts. For newer members, it is an excellent opportunity to hone tree planting skills in our area – for example, noticing the different skills required in clay soils vs limestone, or loam vs sandy soils. These help equip our members to be very proficient in any revegetation location.

Pygmy Possum Box installation at Deep Creek Conservation Park

Possum boxes Deep Creek 2019 1

Coastal surveys

Hooded plovers surveys in (year) and Reefwatch monitoring and Reef Rambles (2019 and 2020). The coastal environment is very significant to our Willunga Basin location, so skills in surveying and noticing ecological indicators are beneficial.

Training in caring for sick and injured wildlife

Working with Karen Lawrence, we learn some tips on how to temporarily care for an animal in need and what to do in such a time. We have also been involved with The Native Animal Network and Fauna Rescue

Developing Nature Play locations

We regularly work with the local Onkaparinga Council at the Bassett St Reserve to build the Nature Play location, with revegetation, weed control and developing a Butterfly Garden.  18 07 09 YACCA Basset St web version 

Creating management plans

Bandicoot project

Reefwatch and Reef Rambles

Seed collection


Removal of invasive plants from sites

Nature by Night



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