NSW coastal forests
How many wombats, pademelons, kangaroos, foxes and other common animals are out there?
We simply don’t know! It is easy to believe that common native animals like kangaroos, possums, lyrebirds and wombats will always be around. Is it possible, that, despite being relatively common, they are in decline? Help scientists find out.
Animals you’ll see
The swamp wallaby is dark brown with a yellow, orange or brown belly. Its face is dark, almost black and often has a white stripe.
The superb lyrebird is a pheasant-sized bird around 110 cm long. The bill, legs and feet are black and the body is brown with long tails.
Wombats are stocky grey-brown to black marsupials with a broad head, short neck and large nose.
Top tips from the researchers
You’ll see a lot of swamp wallabies – they are small and stocky and have dark brown fur with lighter patches below and on the chest and the base of the ears.
The brushtail possum is also likely to be spotted – they are perhaps the most widespread marsupial in Australia. It has large pointed ears and a bushy tail. Its fur varies in colour from silver-grey, brown, black or gold.
The research team
WildCount is a 10-year fauna monitoring program that uses motion-sensitive digital cameras in 200 sites across 146 parks and reserves in eastern NSW. WildCount looks at trends in occurrence of animals at these sites, to understand if animals are in decline, increasing or stable.
Erin is a Senior Scientist working on citizen science for the NSW Office and Environment and Heritage in Australia. She is responsible for developing and leading citizen science projects that contribute data to the agency’s environmental research program. Erin is also a Committee Member of the Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA). Erin continues to publish, research and speak on environmental issues and has a PhD in terrestrial ecology.
For this project, Erin partnered with a team of ecologists in the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, they are responsible for the experimental design, camera deployment and recovery and species identification.