Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 09.12.2010 (Article Archived on 23.12.2010)
The feral donkeys on Ascension are vectors of seeds from invasive plant species. Most importantly, they feed on pods of the invasive Mexican Thorn,
Donkey Corral at One Boat
The feral donkeys on Ascension are vectors of seeds from invasive plant species. Most importantly, they feed on pods of the invasive Mexican Thorn, Prosopis juliflora, and are largely responsible for it’s spread on Ascension. The donkeys are free to roam around the Island, distributing seeds which results in invasive plant species colonising new areas. No monitoring currently takes place into what the donkeys eat, the distance they are transferring seeds, their population structure and general health.
A donkey corral has been constructed by the AIG Building and Civil team at the back of Birdies fuel station. The funding for materials and labour was provided by DEFRA/JNCC for work relating to invasive species management in the UK Overseas Territories. A water supply has been moved into the corral and soon we will be supplying the donkeys with a mineral supplement. The donkeys forage for food in One Boat dump, often getting caught up in wire and eating items which cause them harm. The food we will supply the donkeys at the One Boat corral should reduce the amount of foraging they do in the dump and other areas on the Island. It may also reduce the distance they travel for food and hopefully limit the spread of invasive plant species.
The corral also allows safe animal husbandry to be carried out. At the moment if a donkey requires medical treatment it often involves chasing them over uneven ground and is very time consuming. Once in the corral, however, the donkeys can be contained and treated safely.
Thank you to the AIG staff who have been involved in the construction of the corral.
Donkey corral at One Boat
The Conservation Office will be closed on Saturdays until the 8th January 2011. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
We are looking for used drink cans (not crushed) to use as plant pots for our endemic plants. If anyone is able to save cans please let us know so we can collect them.
Please contact Olivia Renshaw
email@example.com Tel: 6359