Science: surveys and research at Pungalina-Seven Emu

Science: surveys and research at Pungalina-Seven Emu

Rock Wallaby recorded during biological survey.

AWC’s science team measures more than 25 indicators of ecological health at Pungalina-Seven Emu, including the abundance and diversity of key faunal groups as well as the density of feral herbivores. 

To this end, ecological surveys are conducted annually over a period of 4 weeks by 3-4 AWC ecologists, assisted by permanent sanctuary staff and volunteers.  These surveys typically comprise 2000 live trap nights, 150 camera trap nights, 20 spotlight surveys, 5 bat trap nights, 20 vegetation surveys and 5 wetland surveys. A number of previous surveys have been assisted by the Garawa Rangers, the local indigenous ranger group.  The Shadforth family has participated in surveys on Seven Emu. 

A range of fire metrics are measured by the analysis of satellite imagery. 

A large collaborative survey expedition was undertaken by AWC and the Royal Queensland Geographical Society (RGSQ) in 2012. This expedition comprised over a dozen projects collecting information on soil crusts, plants, spiders, insects and vertebrate groups; the results will be presented in a scientific monograph to be published by RGSQ in 2014.

AWC research activity on Pungalina-Seven Emu is focused on examining the catastrophic recent decline of small mammals in northern Australia and identifying land management strategies that will halt and reverse this decline.