Wildlife Discovery at Earth Care Park

Landcarers learn how to use infrared cameras to detect native wildlife

Wildlife Discovery at Earth Care Park

Landcarers learn how to use infrared cameras to detect native wildlife

Taking Action -

LLCI014-048

The issue

Landcare groups across the lower Hunter put volunteer time and effort into restoring and enhancing habitats on the sites that they care for.  Many of the species that benefit from the habitat creation can be difficult to detect as they are shy or nocturnal.  Atlas of living Australia records are data deficient for these sites as formal ecological studies have not been carried out.  We need to paint a clearer picture of the value of these remnant bushlands and the restoration works biodiversity value.

The solution

Hunter Region Landcare Network is rolling out a Wildlife Discovery project that will enable Landcare groups in the region to discover what species- native and feral- are using the public or private land that they are caring for using wildlife cameras.  Cameras are available to loan for all Landcarers across the Hunter.

Earth Care Park Landcare hosted the first workshop in which members and community learned:

How to set up wildlife cameras for a wildlife survey- field of view, trigger mechanism, placement, concealment, what to look for, dos and donts, timing, and how to make and use non-toxic lures to attract wildlife.

Importance of the local native vegetation and the Hunter Valley effect which brings more biodiversity to the region, and how they can be involved in the project.  Experts from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Envirocam contributed to this knowledge sharing.

The impact

The first Wildlife camera training workshop held at Earth Care Park enabled several Landcare groups to put the cameras to use in the field in the first couple of months.  

Our Landcarers have already captured some great footage with confirmation of a number of birds, kangaroos, wallaby, a hare, a fox, possums, bandicoots, a turtle, a number of reptiles and possibly various marsupials and a microbat, possibly one of the threatened species.  The HRLN project team is working to identify all the species and they will then be added to NSW Biocollect and the Atlas of Living Australia.  This information will be used for ongoing monitoring on each site and to determine if feral species are a problem.

The next workshop will be held in the Upper Hunter in August this year and will continue to be rolled out over the next two years.

Key facts

  • 25 people attended the workshop
  • Over 20 species of fauna detected at Earth Care Park
  • Infrared cameras offer incentive to continue habitat restoration

Project Partners