Bellinger River citizen scientists

An infrared camera training session
An infrared camera training session

Have you ever wondered what wildlife gets up to on your property?

The National Parks Association of NSW together with Bellinger Landcare and North Coast Local Land Services is helping private landholders answer the question “Who’s living on my land?” using infrared cameras to survey their land for wildlife.

Landholders living along the Bellinger River and its tributaries are invited to come along to a free workshop at Thora Hall on June 23 to learn how to use, and then borrow, infrared cameras.

Landholders have an opportunity to become a citizen scientist for two weeks and put up an infrared camera on their property.

Infrared cameras work by detecting heat in motion; it gets triggered to take a photograph whenever a warm-blooded animal walks in front of it and works both day and night. These cameras are a great new tool being used to survey animals because they are non-intrusive and can be easily used by anyone.

NPA Citizen Science Officer Margot Law said people participating in the ‘Who’s living on my land?’ wildlife survey were often surprised by what they found.

“We’ve had landholders discover koalas, spotted-tailed quolls and deer that they didn’t know were there before,” she said. “It’s hard to conserve a species or create a pest management plan, and we hope that our participants can use this information to change some of their land management practices.” 

Bellinger Landcare is working with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage on the improving the condition of Upper Bellinger Riverbanks as part of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle Recovery Program and it’s hoped some of the data collected can inform the work.

“Conservation on private land is crucial for species to be able to move through the landscape between protected areas in National Parks,” Ms Law said.

“For instance, spotted-tailed quolls have huge home ranges, with some individuals ranging over 1000 hectares. Bellingen’s town name is derived from the Gumbaynggirr word for quoll – Baalijin – so it would be great to see photos of quolls roaming through the landscape.”

Workshop details:

Date: Saturday 23rd June 2018, 10am-12.30pm

Venue: Thora Hall, Corner of Darkwood Rd and Waterfall Way, Thora NSW 2454

Cost: FREE

RSVP essential: Sandy Eager (Bellinger Landcare Coordinator) or phone 02 6655 0588