• Monitor-Birds
    Monitor birds and habitat

About the Carpentarian and Kalkadoon Grasswren Surveys

Since 2008, BirdLife Northern Queensland has been monitoring Carpentarian and Kalkadoon Grasswrens across northwestern Queensland and eastern Northern Territory.

We have now formed a partnership with Southern Gulf NRM to assist them in assessing the impact of their regional fire management plan on the populations of these grasswrens within the Carpentarian Corridor, which includes the key biodiversity areas of Boodjamulla National Park and the Buckley River.

Each year we conduct systematic surveys in their core distribution areas, to establish a set of long-term monitoring sites to assess how well the species can cope with threats to their habitats.

As a Carpentarian and Kalkadoon Grasswren Volunteer, you will:

  • Work alongside other volunteers to conduct surveys using methods developed for monitoring grasswrens
  • Navigate to specific sites and locations using GPS hand-held devices
  • Detect and identify grasswren species including numbers, sex, and age, when possible
  • Complete data forms including simple habitat assessments and photos
  • Travel and camp within station properties over the duration of the surveys.
  • Receive basic training to help you locate and identify our target species

Volunteer Requirements

You must enjoy bush camping, as we camp each evening out on bush properties, with no facilities available.  You will need to be self-sufficient with food, water, fuel, and camping gear.  As we move camp regularly (every few days), you should keep your camp basic and easy to set up and pack up.

Since we work together as a coordinated group, you must be available during the 29th April-  12 May 2023 for a minimum of one week.  We work in field teams of two people.  Each team completes one survey in the morning hours, usually taking 3-4 hours to complete.  The team will walk over various terrain, which often includes some rocky sections up and down over low hills, so everyone needs to feel comfortable walking for several kilometres over this time.

As the station tracks we use are often not graded, you will need access to a high-clearance vehicle, and preferably 4wd.  If you do not have such a vehicle, please get in touch, as we can sometimes offer a spare seat in another volunteer’s vehicle.

You don’t need to have any previous experience with grasswrens, since we provide basic training to help you locate and identify our target species.

Who is the volunteer opportunity suited to?

Anyone who loves bush camping and wants to assist with better understanding our endemic and enigmatic grasswrens.

Case study

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