Riverina Local Threatened Species take the stage

Understanding Threatened Bird species and their cultural significance

Riverina Local Threatened Species take the stage

Understanding Threatened Bird species and their cultural significance

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

There are many locally native threatened species in the Riverina. Three of the bird species that are struggling are the Australasian Bittern, the Malleefowl and the Plains-wanderer. When the general community think about threatened species, the ones that come to mind are often the species overseas such as the Panda, Gorilla or Rhinoceros. In Australia the Koala or the Platypus. Not a lot of people think about the locally native bird species that are doing it tough. The farming community are right on board with these three species; however the community know little about them. Understanding Threatened Species in our own backyard is essential.

The solution

Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc (MLi) supported by Riverina Local Land Services with funding provided by the Federal Government National Landcare Program to spread the word of Threatened Bird species across Riverina Schools teaching students about becoming Citizen Scientists. MLi carried out presentations and provided teachers with resources and confidence to continue educating the students into the future about these birds.

One of the highlights of the program was the opportunity to learn a little more about the cultural significance of the birds. Mli purchased one of the artworks by Wiradjuri Elder Michael Lyons who came with the MLi team to the local schools to spread the word on how First Nations people look after Threatened Species.

The impact

Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc visited six schools delivering the Threatened Species Bird package to 180 students. Michael Lyons and Nioka Dupond delivered the First Nation Perspective of the birds.

Students were delighted with the taxidermies of the birds. They saw the beautiful colours and shapes of the birds to appreciate the function of the various body parts for survival in their unique habitats. They became Citizen Scientists identifying the features of the birds and the habitat they live in. Students also understood the importance of the people heavily involved in saving species e.g. Researchers, Farmers, First Nations People, Zoos and Government Agencies.

Key facts

  • In partnership with Riverina Local Land Services and the National Landcare Program an education package was developed and delivered on the Australasian Bittern, the Malleefowl and the Plains-wanderer
  • Identifying the unique features of Threatened Species which assist in adaptation to their habitat.
  • Understand the importance of educating people to protect habitat of Threatened Species and reduce the number of feral pests that threaten them.
  • Understanding the cultural significance of the birds and country.

Project Partners