Gwydir Ark presents a Fauna survey workshop

October 6, 2017

There is an air of excitement about. More and more people are getting out in nature and becoming inspired by the intricacies they observe. Gwydir Shire has recently been abuzz with conversations about the koala sightings. People are interested and enthusiastic to know more.

Photo by Louisa Butler. Koalas are at the top of many ‘want to see’ lists of visitors and local residents alike, with several sightings in the Warialda area.

It is no longer enough for us to see a pretty bluish bird; we now like to know definitively, that what we saw was a Turquoise Parrot.

Farmers, it seems, are becoming increasingly aware that wildlife is an indicator of the health of their properties. The thing about observing wildlife though, is that the more you know the more you realise you don’t know.

Fortunately there are experts to help satisfy this thirst for knowledge. Alex Dudley is one such expert.

Gwydir Ark in conjunction with Local Land Services has invited him to present a workshop on conducting Fauna Surveys on Sunday October 8 at the Living Classroom. Alex is an entertaining speaker with a wealth of knowledge to impart.

We will learn the fundamentals of basic animal identification during the workshop.

This will include how to use Field Guides so that we can ensure that the pesky blue parrot is indeed a Turquoise and not a Blue Bonnet.

Alex will also explain about the Apps that are available to help with both the identification of and reporting what we see.


Photo by Louisa Butler. Photo by Louisa Butler.. Dragons like this fellow, can be seen relaxing by the water’s edge along the Gwydir River.

Our resident Fauna Expert is famed for looking under logs and bits of iron and extracting various snakes and geckoes.

We too, will learn to recognise the glint of a gecko eye in the spotlight and leap across bushes at great speed and extract the unwitting animal from the trunk of a tree.  Which brings me to another point, Alex will also inform us about the legalities of handling animals.

The practical element of the workshop will teach us how to look for animals and will be followed up by a spotlighting excursion for participants later in the year.

Fauna Surveys are a great tool for citizen scientists. Information is the key to understanding our environment and our farms.

The value of consistency and replication of surveys for providing comparative information will also be discussed.  The implementation of remote viewing cameras and how to set them up for the best results is included in the workshop.

The days of describing a bird as “sort of greyish, smallish and a sharp beak” are gone thanks to Gwydir Ark.

Alex will be showing us how to take great photos and how to use them to take the guess work out of identification. Can’t Wait!

This interesting event is on Sunday October 8 at from 9:30am until 4pm at The Living Classroom.

The workshop and the follow up session costs $10 per person.

Please RSVP by email to or phone Shelley McDouall on 6724 2002.