People visiting Lake Guthridge and Lake Guyatt in Sale this week may have noticed some rare creatures migrating to the area, as the Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Center hosted a sea of wood carvings to mark Endangered Species Day.
The project, coordinated by the Wellington Shire Council and local arts group Concerned Artists Resisting Extinction (CARE), aimed to raise the profile of the many endangered species that call the area home.
On wood donated by Bunnings Sale, CARE artists have crafted the silhouettes of 42 endangered animals that inhabit Wellington County, including the vulnerable southern greater glider and the critically endangered brush-tailed wallaby .
The designs were then cut out by Sale carpenter Norm Hyde and passed on to pupils at eight Wellington Shire schools to paint.
Finally, with the help of Stratford Men’s Shed, the animals were transformed into over 300 staked works of art which were displayed outside Nakunbalook.
Mayor of Wellington Shire Council, Ian Bye, said it was rewarding to work with local schools and community groups to raise awareness of local biodiversity.
“Conservation of nature is a key theme of the Council’s 2020-24 sustainability strategy, and it has been great to work with the community to highlight the importance of our local biodiversity,” he said.
CARE has also rolled out the project in East Gippsland, with similar artwork on display at the East Gippsland Art Gallery.
Held on September 7 each year, National Endangered Species Day commemorates the day the last known Tasmanian tiger, also known as the Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), died in captivity in 1936.
The day raises awareness of endangered plants and animals.
Over the past 200 years, more than 100 Australian animal and plant species have disappeared.
In Wellington Shire alone there are:
- 85 endangered bird species
- 18 endangered mammal species
- 15 endangered fish species
- 7 endangered reptile species
- 8 endangered amphibian species
- 9 threatened invertebrate species
(According to the latest data from the Statewide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams)