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National Threatened Species Day at Nakunbalook
September 9, 2022

People visiting Lake Guthridge and Lake Guyatt in Sale this week might have noticed some rare critters migrate into the area, as Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Centre played host to a sea of timber cut-outs to mark Threatened Species Day.

The project, coordinated by Wellington Shire Council and local art group Concerned Artists Resisting Extinction (CARE), aimed to raise the profile of the many threatened species that call the local area home.

On timber donated by Bunnings Sale, CARE artists designed silhouettes of 42 endangered animals that inhabit Wellington Shire, including the vulnerable Southern Greater Glider and critically endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby.

The designs were then cut out by Sale woodworker Norm Hyde and passed onto students from eight schools around Wellington Shire to paint.

Finally, with the help of Stratford Men’s Shed, the animals were made into more than 300 staked artworks which were exhibited outside Nakunbalook.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said it was rewarding to collaborate with local schools and community groups to build appreciation of the local biodiversity.

"Protecting nature is a key theme in Council’s Sustainability Strategy 2020-24, and it’s been great to work with the community to underscore the importance of our local biodiversity," he said.

CARE has also rolled out the project in East Gippsland, with similar artworks on display at East Gippsland Art Gallery.

Held on 7 September each year, National Threatened 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 plants and animals at risk of extinction.

During the last 200 years, more than 100 Australian animal and plant species have become extinct.

In Wellington Shire alone, there are:

  • 85 species of threatened birds
  • 18 species of threatened mammals
  • 15 species of threatened fish
  • 7 species of threatened reptiles
  • 8 species of threatened amphibians
  • 9 species of threatened invertebrates

(According to the latest State Wide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams data)

A selection of some of the many timber cut-outs of our endangered species, which went on display at Nakunbalook.

Council’s Sustainability Education Officer Sharon Ray with winners of a writing competition for National Threatened Species Day, Bella, Evelyn and Sonny from St Mary’s Primary School in Sale.

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