Clean-up goes underground

Date posted: 29 February 2012

While many organisations and volunteers will be working hard to remove rubbish above our landscapes as part of the national Clean up Australia day; a committed team will be venturing underground to clean the latest addition to the Naracoorte Caves National Park.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Habitat Recovery Team and the Cave Exploration Group of South Australia will be working together on Sunday, March 4 to remove rubbish from the Sand Cave located five kilometres east from Struan house.

The cave, as well as 70 hectares of land above it, was added to the World Heritage Naracoorte Caves National Park in November last year.

Although not yet open to the public, it has generated immense interest from the caving community, palaeontologists and researchers.

On Clean up Australia Day, the Habitat Recovery Team will remove fencing wire, old fence posts, drums and household waste that have historically been dumped in and around the cave over time.

DENR on-ground works officer Toby Read said the rubbish removal will not only make the area safer and more beautiful but will also contribute to the conservation of the critically endangered Southern bent-winged bat.

“Caves are critical to the bats survival as they provide a source of shelter and protection and a place for overwintering,” Mr Read said.

“By cleaning up the rubbish in and around the Sand Cave entrance we hope to provide an accessible and safe place for these endangered bats, which will increase their chance of survival.”

Mr Read said the Sand Cave will continue to be an area of focus in 2012-13 as 70 hectares of land surrounding the cave has been approved for re-vegetation.

“This will increase potential habitat for the endangered red-tailed black cockatoo, link-up large patches of woodland on the Naracoorte Range and provide food and shelter for many other native animals,” he added.

Due to the nature of the project site no volunteers will able to assist in the clean up but anyone interested in supporting the project can visit: www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/habitatrecoveryteam

Members of the public who have discovered a cave on their property or believe they have a cave can contact DENR on 08 87351177 to allow a member of the Habitat Recovery Team to investigate.

Media Contact

Alex Taylor
Media Adviser
alex.taylor@sa.gov.au
(08) 8204 1934
0423 827 613