Somersby Mintbush and Fire

May 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Australian Plants 
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Somersby Mintbush recovers from fire by producing seedlings.

I was involved with the burning of a patch of bush at Somersby on the Central Coast of New South Wales which contains some of the Endangered plant Somersby Mintbush (Prostanthera junonis).

Checking out the Somersby Mintbush before the fire

Checking out the Somersby Mintbush before the fire

We monitored the effect of the burn on the plants Read more

Mount Royal Nightlife

May 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Australian Mammals 
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Doing the loop looking for gliders.

Looking for animals in the Australian bush is quite often best done at night as many of the creatures are nocturnal and can only be seen when it gets dark. Richard Ali, Vicki Elliott and I did some spotlighting at Mount Royal National Park while undertaking a Rufous Bettong survey and we saw lots of wildlife, some I had never seen before.

Trapping Folk

Wildlife researchers, Richard Ali, Richard Harris and Vicki Elliott having a break at Youngville picnic area, Mount Royal National Park

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Getting our hands dirty with the Velvet Star-bush

May 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Does the Endangered plant, Velvet Star-bush (Zieria involucrata) grow on Yellow podsols, grey earths or yellow-grey duplex soils?

Velvet Star-bush monitoring

Velvet Star-bush growing in Yengo National Park

We wanted to find out what type of soil the Endangered plant, Velvet Star-bush (Zieria involucrata) grows on, and classify the landscape it grows within, to help us find more populations of the plant within Yengo National Park and Parr State Conservation Area. The plant grows near the town of St Albans on the MacDonald River in New South Wales and is regarded as endangered. Read more

Something special in our cage trap

May 19, 2009 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: Australian Mammals 
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Trapping animals is sometimes like a lucky dip.

Just imagine you are in a beautiful national park undertaking a wildlife survey where you have 48 cage traps setup, each trap about 250 metres apart. You have to drive through fabulous tall eucalypt forests and rainforest to check the traps and there is wildlife running across the road all the time. You never know when you get out of the car and then walk into the bushland what is inside the trap.

Sometimes we capture something very special, and on my recent trip to Mount Royal National Park we captured one of mainland Australia’s rarest animals, a Spotted-tailed Quoll.

Quoll Trapping

Spotted-tailed Quoll inside capture bag

This beautiful animal was trapped in a cage trap and lured into there by Read more

Spy cameras in the rainforest

May 17, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Australian Mammals 
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Digital camera technology is just wonderful for wildlife observations.

During a recent wildlife survey at Mount Royal National Park near Singleton in New South Wales, Australia, our survey team, Richard Ali, Vicki Elliott, Richard Harris and myself deployed weatherproof cameras into rainforest and Eucalypt forests to observe wildlife.

Red-necked Pademelon

Red-necked Pademelon caught with a remote camera

The cameras automatically take a photograph once movement is Read more

Did we catch a potoroo?

May 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Australian Mammals 
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So, did we manage to catch a potoroo at Mount Royal National Park?

Mount Royal National Park
Well, yes and no. The trapping in our cage traps was unsuccessful for potoroos, but we were successful for other animals. But more of this later.

What sort of trapping were we doing at Mount Royal National Park?

We laid out 48 cage traps in 3 lots of 16, each trap was about 250 metres apart. Each cage trap was accompanied by Read more

On the hunt for a Long-nosed Potoroo

May 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Australian Mammals 
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Searching for a long-nosed potoroo

This week I’m off to Mt Royal to search for Long-nosed potoroos, rufous bettongs, spotted-tailed quolls and Hastings River Mice. All of these are threatened Australian Mammals, the potaroo and the bettong are kangaroo-like animals but are only about 30-40cm tall. The quoll is a carnivore and the ones we catch are about 2kg and very interesting when handled and the Hastings River Mouse is obviously a rodent.

These medium sized animals are caught in a cage trap like the one shown below. We use a bait ball comprised of peanut butter and honey, and a piece of bread with strawberry jam as the bait. Sometimes we catch birds and large goannas as well in the traps.

Animal Trap with possum - dougbeckers.com

A cage trap used to capture medium sized animals

Hopefully we won’t get much rain, looking forward to the company. I’ll fill you in on what we caught when I get back in a week as there is no phone reception or an internet connection where I’m staying.

An unexpected discovery – Dungowan Star-bush

May 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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The identity of an unknown shrub.

You know, identifying eucalyptus trees sometimes can be difficult and it is necessary to get some fruit, or gum nuts, in order to correctly identify the plants. When working in the area around Tamworth area in northern NSW Australia, while conducting a vegetation survey of the riparian zone, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Dungowan Dam catchment area and it was here that I made an interesting discovery. Read more

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