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Unit 7 Balneaire, Albany

I am staying at our unit in Albany for few days I am down here. The unit is part of the Belneaire Resort. As owners we get to use of for a couple of weeks each year, though I try to pick times when it isn't otherwise wanted by tourists.

For exercise I have been walking into town each morning, along the boardwalk at Middleton beach. This is a very pretty walk, with great views of Middleton Beach, King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour opening up along the trail. There are also some side trails to very interesting historic sites, such as the old lighthouse keepers house, and WWI and WWII gun emplacements. It's an 8km return trip and even though I have done the walk about 10 times now, the views never seem to get boring.

We have started our own site for our until - www.unit7balneaire.com. It's not quite finished yet, and I plan to put a lot more scenic shots on there. What I am looking to do is show some of the less well knows, but very beautiful scenery of the region, as well as some tips for travelers of what I think is the best Albany has to offer.

Back to Albany and the Western Ground Parrot

I nominated for, and have been accepted as, Treasure for the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. We sponsored this organisation heavily when I was at Exetel, and, post Exetel, I am keen to see its objective - to save the Western Ground Parrot species - realized.

Whether that can happen or not remains to be seen. There are only an estimated 110 of these birds left in the wild. The current 'rescue' plan hinges on effecting a captive breeding program, removal of feral predators, and re-release of birds bred in captivity.

At Exetel, we funded the trial for the captive breeding program, which involved the capture of 8 birds, conversion of a building to an aviary, and some other time and materials costs. But what we could afford, as a small company, only got us to the end of the trial - proving that yes, it is possible to run such a program on full scale.

Unfortunately, a full scale program is well beyond the means of a small business to fund.

I am going to Albany today to meet up with my fellow comity members, take up the reins as Treasure, and get a handle on just what level of funding is going to be needed. My guess is we will be looking at around $750k over maybe 5 years. A lot of money, a lot of money per bird in fact. But that is what happens at the very pointy end of extinction this species is facing.

Our 'ace in the hole' is that I think we can leverage off the fact that any money put into this project can have direct and measurable effect on species survival. Which is very good for potential sponsors who actually want to know, and get some green mileage, from what their conservation dollar is doing.