Sandalwood was the only thing on the menu for some local residents at a sandalwood regeneration site in the Goldfields.
Operations Officer Greg Mason said that while surveying the site of some 2019 planting he noticed something suspicious.
“A number of the sandalwood seeds had been dug up and eaten,” Mr. Mason said.
“We presumed it was a spinifex hopping mouse, as the evidence was similar to what had been found by Jon Brand previously.”
To get to the bottom of it and identify the culprit, Greg and Mark Harring scattered and shallow buried some seeds and then set up cameras in the area to try to catch the hungry thief.
“It turns out while there were plenty of hopping mice eating the seeds, we also caught an emu red handed eating the sandalwood seed,” Mr. Mason said.
“Interestingly we also captured a photo of one of the threatened mallee fowl.”
Mallee fowls are chicken-sized ground dwelling birds that build mounds of dirt rather than nests of sticks.
“While I see a lot of mallee fowl in the bush, it’s quite a unique sight for most and something cool to have captured on our cameras,” Mr. Mason said.
The area will now be reviewed as a sandalwood seeding option for future regeneration programs.