Secret life of animals revealed

A RECENT project involving 10 landholders in the northern Shoalhaven placing motion detection cameras on their properties has revealed some interesting animal behaviour.

The Who’s Living on my Land? pilot project involved the use of infrared motion detection cameras to monitor native and pest animals on the participants’ land.

The survey was co-ordinated by the National Parks Association of NSW throughout December.

Thirteen cameras were placed at sites between Broughton Vale and Moeyan Hill.

Sightings included a diverse array of native fauna including swamp wallabies, echidnas, long nose bandicoots, lyrebirds, bowerbirds, sparrowhawks, green catbirds and purple swamphens.

The pilot’s regional facilitator David Rush said although the pilot had finished, a number of the participants were keen to continue and were looking into acquiring or borrowing more cameras.

“The cameras were scattered across a wide landscape and although we didn’t find anything rare we were surprised by some of the birds that were photographed at ground level.

“The cameras were set up to photograph ground-dwelling animals.

“We found about half the images were of birds and we really didn’t expect that.

“Sparrowhawks were one example that you wouldn’t expect to see on the ground,” he said.

Berry resident and Landcare member Bill Pigott was one of the participants in the project.

His family made a deliberate decision not to have pets as a way of encouraging wildlife onto their land.

“We saw a baby wombat, a long-nosed bandicoot, wallabies and foxes.

“It was lovely for us to get the photos and see the wildlife.”

Mr Pigott said the program led to people having a much greater enthusiasm for looking after their biodiversity.

 “Like all these projects they gather information, but they also have a nice unintended consequence of bringing the community together,” Mr Pigott said.

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