Tonia Cochran is the founder and owner of Inala and it was her passion for conservation that underpinned the creation of Inala’s private conservation reserve on Bruny Island, Tasmania. Now Inala Nature Tours’ tourism activity is the vessel that facilitates this message. Being a successful commercial business allows on-property and wider, local and national conservation efforts to be supported.
We have established the ‘Inala Foundation’, formed to primarily protect the 1,500 private sanctuary here at Inala in perpetuity, with intention to expand the project reach in future.
Targeted examples of species conservation make up an essential part of what drives people to visit Tasmania, Bruny Island, and specifically the Inala property. Profits from Inala Property Tours and entry to the Jurassic Garden and Nature Museum are returned directly to on-property conservation efforts, and each season Inala positions more purpose-designed and built nesting boxes for the Forty-spotted Pardalote and Swift Parrot, as well as revegetating former farmland with wildlife corridors and rehabilitation of riparian zones.
The combination of a solid reputation in both birding, nature and conservation fields means that Inala is asked to provide consultation advice on a wide range of local environmental issues. This has grown to include being asked to consult on proposed development and building projects regarding environmental and threatened species management issues.
We stay alert to potential threats to wildlife on the Island resulting from a range of activities including as examples infrastructure developments, forestry practices and increased tourist visitation, and when specific threats emerge, express concern with appropriate stakeholders, supported by well-considered and scientifically based information. In 2016/17 this process ensured that a forestry coup adjacent to Inala and home to a Wedge-tailed Eagle nest, was removed from the logging schedule for the next 3 years.
Inala practices what it preaches and provides a working example of how to keep habitats healthy while operating its tours and accommodation services.
We welcome non-invasive scientific research on threatened species and allow scientists and PhD students access to the Inala private reserve to carry out important research on key species of flora and fauna.
Inala has cared for Injured and orphaned wildlife for over 25 years. We have a constant flow of orphaned native wildlife; usually as a result of the mothers death by vehicle strike; that live under our temporary care with the perpetual aim of rehabilitation and release into the safety of the Inala Reserve.
For over 8 years, we have cleared the roads around Inala daily of roadkill, to mitigate raptor injury and death from collision with vehicles when they are feeding on the road kill. Moving the roadkill into a safe field area allows the raptors to then feed in safety. Three threatened species in particular benefit from this (Wedge-tailed Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Grey Goshawk).
We contribute to many other important Australian conservation programs including threatened shorebirds, Swift Parrot and Orange Bellied Parrot programs. We support conservation programs both through direct financial contributions and through in-kind donations of accommodation and tours to auction and raise money for the programs.
One of our on-island initiatives has been to partner with another local conservation business to create readily available red cellophane packs for both locals and visitors to wrap over their torch beams in order to protect nocturnal wildlife such as Penguins and Shearwaters, from the damaging effects of bright white torch light in their eyes.