Facility opens doors

UQ Gatton has received a boost in animal research after the opening of the Native Wildlife Teaching and Research Facility last Wednesday.

The facility currently houses Julia Creek Dunnarts, Mohogany gliders, Bridled Nailtailed Wallabies and Blue-tongue lizards.

UQ Native Wildlife Teaching and Research Facility Technical Officer, Trish O'Hara, said the facility was a wonderful investment.

“It's one of the greatest asset the wildlife students have here and I really wish we had something like this when I was still student here,” she said.

“We have 20 volunteers now and soon it will be part of the Wildlife Science students classes, which will be great for them and great for us.

“We are running some breeding programs at the centre at the moment.

“We just mated the dunnarts so we will find out in about 13 days if that was successful, and we also have a pregnant wallaby in the yard which is very exciting.

“With the gliders we have a designated breeding pair and we will start to plan that soon.

“There are plans for stage four, which will enable us to take in even more species,” she said

UQ Wildlife Science student and facility volunteer, Tracey Chaplin, said it was a great addition to the university.

“It's a chance for all the students to have access to some great hands on experience with endangered animals, which is really hard to get,” she said.

“Being here and being able to work with endangered animals that you normally wouldn't be able to see at all gives all the students here an amazing boost and that little bit of extra experience.

“Even the observation is beneficial, especially with the breeding they are doing at the centre.

“It will be great for all the students getting a job after uni because this extra experience is so valuable and that's what employers are looking for.”

The third year student said her duties at the Wildlife Centre included working with all the animals.

“I do the cleanups and feed the animals and the feeding,” she said.

“I handle the blue tongues mostly, which is great fun.

“There is no way that I would have been able to do this without the new facility.”


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