From Deer and Snow Leopards to Koalas – Meet Fanny

Our volunteers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Science for Wildlife team. For many, volunteering with our organisation is an extension of their chosen career path. The specialised skill sets and deep understanding of the field that these individuals bring has been invaluable to S4W research and field work projects.

S4W volunteer Fanny Stricher is no exception, with a wealth of field experience in ecology and environmental conservation in both France and Australia. As a continuation of our volunteer article series and a gesture of thanks, this month we are recognising Fanny’s contributions to our organisation.

Meet Fanny

Fanny is from Basque Country in the South-West of France. Passionate about wildlife and the environment, Fanny studied ecology and environmental conservation at the University of Bordeaux in France. During this time Fanny found unique opportunities to study interesting and exotic wildlife. She told us:

I was involved in the monitoring of a population of Roe Deer in Sweden, for a study about tick and tick-borne diseases. I have also taken part in the monitoring of Snow Leopards in Kyrgyzstan in the Himalayan Mountains, with an NGO called Objective Sciences Internationale.”

Originally travelling to Australia for just a 6-month internship, Fanny has now spent 6 years in this country partaking in a range of wildlife surveys and bush regeneration management projects.

“When I arrived  I worked at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton QLD on research project about koala conservation. I was involved in conducting koala population surveys and looking at the quality of their habitat by assessing vegetation succession. I have also taken part in koala captures as a means to examine their wellbeing and attached radio-tracking devices so that we could study their behaviour later on.”

Whilst looking for work as an ecologist, Fanny came to us seeking work experience opportunities. She felt her 3 years of working in bushland management would be valuable to our conservation projects. Additionally, Fanny has experience conducting fieldwork and working with koalas.

“I absolutely love being out in the bush and do all sorts of monitoring/survey and I am always looking to learn more about flora/fauna and survey techniques. My motivation to keep volunteering for S4W comes from my passion for wildlife conservation and the fact that I can actively contribute to a research project that aims to protect koalas.”

Featured: Some of the flora and fauna Fanny has discovered whilst out in the field

During her time with us, Fanny assisted in the search for find koala scats during our post-fire Koala surveys. With experience in bush regeneration, she also helped with vegetation surveys where we have been identifying Eucalyptus and shrubs species, measuring leaf litter depth and tree heights. For Fanny, this has been an enlightening and exciting time. She told us:

“My favourite moment is when someone in the group finds a koala scat on the transect, which didn’t happened often when I was volunteering. Everybody gets really excited, especially when the survey conditions are difficult, such as working in dense vegetation with high leaf litter or on hot days. Moreover, I have seen many exciting things while I was volunteering with S4W like tens of cicadas molting, a goanna climbing a tree, many birds species such as Gang-gang Cockatoos who stopped by to check on our fieldwork and orchid species that I have never seen before. Although I have been looking for koala during our surveys, unfortunately, I haven’t seen a koala yet!”

Featured above: Animal tracks found by Fanny

Fanny tells us that she has learnt so much volunteering with and has enjoyed getting to know S4W Team.

“I particularly enjoy working with Victoria and Lacey. I want to thank them for sharing their knowledge and for trusting me with the various tasks they assigned to me.”

How can you help S4W?

Work of this scale requires many hands! We are inviting volunteers from local communities and beyond to assist over the coming months and into early next year. If you’re interested in learning more and registering to help out, then please check out the button below.

For other projects updates and to learn more about Science for Wildlife community, visit our website here.