We know you like the idea of having a holiday with nature. So do we. But sometimes making it happen can be a challenge…
A few years ago, we were having a terrible time trying to stop a pair of destructive galahs from ripping Yondah apart. On one memorable trip we arrived after dark to find the house sitting in what looked like a snowy landscape in the moonlight. Only it wasn’t snow, it was our insulation. The galahs had chewed right through a wall and into the house! As bird lovers, we tried every humane deterrent we could think of, including racoon wires and chili sauce on the trusses, but nothing worked. Then, as fortune often has it, our efforts to fix the problem led to an incredible discovery…
An accidental discovery led us to a new ‘holiday with nature’ experience
It was one of our anti-galah devices, a scarecrow, that alerted us to the presence at Yondah of one of Australia’s cutest marsupials, the endangered Western Pygmy Possum. Quite by accident, we discovered a tiny possum curled up underneath our scarecrow’s hat. With its big floppy ears and delicate curled tail, this gorgeous little possum is small enough to sit in the palm of your hand. It is also a nocturnal animal, and incredibly fast, which might explain why we had never seen one before.
Now we’re planting a forest of flowers
Since then, we’ve been researching this little possum and planting its favourite food plants at Yondah as part of our major 300 acre revegetation project. Despite its tiny size, the Western Pygmy Possum will travel up to 4km in a single night to feed on the flowers of its favourite plant, Eucalyptus rugosa. So this year we are planting 600 seedlings of this species and 400 of the other five local species that it likes best. We are also installing extra nest boxes, funded largely by the proceeds of our on-site mini shop at Yondah, and we’re monitoring nocturnal possum activity with our new remote trail camera. The Western Pygmy Possum is the last of the 18 marsupial species that once lived on Yorke Peninsula, a region that has been 98% cleared since European settlement. So it’s very rewarding to be returning bare paddocks to bush and to be creating new habitat for this delightful little possum and all the other animals that will eventually live here.
And our galahs? Well it was the continual presence of our guests at Yondah that finally convinced them it was time to move on.