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Cardwell Bioblitz

Cardwell Bioblitz                                    
Two members of our staff (Joanne and Alex Drew) participated in the first ever Bioblitz organised at Cardwell last weekend by our partners at Terrain NRM.  The Cardwell Bioblitz was an opportunity for community members to learn how and why to complete surveying of the local remnant vegetation and revegetation sites behind the Community Centre.  A bioblitz also provides some baseline data on the ecological health of an area.  This is especially important at Cardwell where natural habitats are slowly recovering from Cyclone Yasi.  The area is also home to two iconic endangered species – the Southern Cassowary and the Mahogany Glider.  Surveys completed were of both flora and fauna, with data collection methods including mammal traps, micro map netting, nocturnal spotlighting for reptiles and frogs, many different insect trapping methods, native plant surveys, weed identification and general information sessions.  Many participants took the opportunity to camp overnight at the Community Centre.
Experts were on hand to run the appropriate sessions - Mark from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service coordinated the Mammal sessions; this included checking the mammal traps at 6am.  Greg Calvert was hunting for reptiles and frogs by having participants roll logs to see what is trying to hide under them.  Christine Lambkin from Queensland Museum, assisted by Noel Starick, presented the insect trapping sessions, including providing information for project design, comparative methods, insect identification and field collection.  There were approximately 700 invertebrate species identified from the insect trapping methods.  
In addition to undertaking biological surveys there were numerous other activities held at Base Camp, including;
·        Bush first aid (Cardwell Ambulance service)
·        Disappearing wildlife display based around Mahogany Gliders & Cassowaries (Queensland Museum)
·        Insect identification & trapping activities (Queensland Museum)
·        Launch of the Mahogany Glider DVD (Terrain)
·        Launch of the Girringun Bushfood Book (Girringun)
·        Community organisation information displays (Community groups)