The Threatened Species Bake Off, back for its fifth year, attracted a record number of entries—over 700—of impressively-decorated cakes to mark Threatened Species Day on September 7.
This year’s theme focussed on ecosystem engineers and the important role they play in Australia’s terrestrial and aquatic environments, presenting an opportunity for Australians to research and celebrate our diverse range of incredible threatened ecosystem engineers, particularly Australia’s lesser-known engineers.
The competition, run by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, invites Australians to bake a dessert in the shape of a threatened species, with the aim to build awareness in the community about Australia’s remarkable and unique threatened wildlife.
Judged by baker Katherine Sabbath, water scientist Brad Moggridge, ecologist Dr Bec West, and acting Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Fiona Fraser, the winners of each category were:
Early Learner’s Award (four years and younger): Oscar—Purple Wattle
Children’s Award (five – 15 years): Alice—Plains Death Adder
Open Category (15 years and over): Asha— Long-footed Potoroo
People’s Choice: Felicity—Greater Gilder
Schools Award: Lesmurdie Senior High School—Chuditch (Western Quoll) and Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoot)
Organisation Award: Mates of Maccas Collective— Macquarie Perch
Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Fiona Fraser said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to read the beautiful stories accompanying these entries; from young students learning about threatened species for the first time; entrants inspired to act and get involved in citizen science; and cakes being auctioned off to raise money for threatened species recovery.”