By Nathan Beerkens,
Field Ecologist and Community Coordinator

We put the Greater Stick-nest Rat in the spotlight in “Stickie September” and asked for your help to build a haven for these animals around the new Education Centre at Arid Recovery.

Thanks to our family of supporters and quite a number of new friends, we were able to raise over $5,000. The project can now go ahead.

Critical to our success was this article that appeared in the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. We were flooded with adoptions for Stick-nest Rats, which until then had been our least popular threatened species for adopting.

The haven project can now proceed. We will fence off several hectares around the Research Station and new Education Centre using 50mm netting. Stick-nest rats can easily move in and out of that size netting, but bettongs that compete for the same food resources will be excluded. With a little bit of planting, we’ll encourage a garden to grow Stickies’ favourite food plants like quandongs and succulent saltbushes.

As well as being a wonderful place for Stickies, the Haven should also mean that visitors have a better chance of seeing and appreciating Stick-nest Rats as they stroll around at night. Encountering these animals is truly delightful, as these gorgeous dumpy rats often get about in pairs and run about playfully circling each other.

A Stickie peers through a roll of wire we’ll use to construct the Haven