13 December 2004

The legacy of a young zoologist who died earlier this year has been kept alive with the opening of a new research facility for endangered animals.

Environment Minister Desley Boyle opened the Brad Mincher Research Facility at the Gold Coast’s David Fleay Wildlife Park this month.

Mr Mincher, who graduated from The University of Queensland in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science with honours in Zoology, died aged 24 in January 2004 while free-diving along a reef off the Mozambique coast.

The Brad Mincher Research Facility will initially be home to a captive breeding program for 17 of the rare and endangered mahogany gliders.

A purpose-built facility for Proserpine rock wallabies has also been established at the wildlife park.

Ms Boyle, who accepted a $5000 donation from the Mincher family and friends for the facility, said Mr Mincher’s life-long passion was being translated into something extremely worthwhile.

“It is generous donations like this one that allow David Fleay Wildlife Park to undertake research that is vital to conserving Queensland’s endangered species,” Ms Boyle said.

The new Proserpine rock wallaby facility will be used for educational purposes and breeding for release, as part of a recovery plan for this endangered species.

Ms Boyle said the facility would be the premier Proserpine rock wallaby facility in Australia.

“By boosting their numbers through captive breeding we will assure their future while educating the public about the absolute importance of their survival,” she said.

“I am told one of Brad’s passions was to educate all about environmental responsibility. Well, that is exactly what these new facilities will do.”

An avid environmentalist, Mr Mincher’s UQ thesis examined the diving habits of estuarine crocodiles under the supervision of Associate Professor Craig Franklin, who is currently involved in crocodile research at the wildlife park.

Anne Mincher, Brad’s mother, said that throughout his life he strove to pass on his passion about wildlife.

“Brad had a deep passion for animals and the natural environment, and an insatiable desire to learn as much as he could about everything,” Ms Mincher

“Brad’s goal was to alert as many people as he could about what is happening to our environment and what may happen if we do not take responsibility.

“He was committed to education as a means of bringing about change and was always striving to improve his effectiveness as an environmental educator on a global scale.”

Media: For more information contact Louise Foley or Carissa Mason (telephone 07 3227 8819) or Chris Saxby at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2479, email: c.saxby@uq.edu.au).