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Victoria's riflebird

Birds With Altitude Project

Monitoring to understand the impacts of climate change 

Many of our special Wet Tropics birds are in trouble. Research is mounting that many tropical bird species around the world are moving to higher elevations (altitudes) because of climate change. The problem is complex. In the Wet Tropics, the climate is changing, habitats and resources are shifting, but we lack information about some species’ population trends. Not enough is known about most species’ specific requirements to understand how or why climate change is affecting them. With your help, we can gather the data needed to help understand and take action to help Wet Tropics birds. 

As part of the Birds With Altitude Project, Birdlife North Queensland (with the support of a Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant, CSAP059), has established bird monitoring sites in Wooroonooran National Park. We have identified accessible monitoring sites that cover a range of altitudes in the national park, including wheel-chair traversable, paved paths and unformed hiking trails. We need your help to survey them.

Ceri Pearce

Volunteers needed

If you love bird watching and the tropical rainforest, are interested in learning and contributing to bird conservation, and if you live in the area or are traveling to the Wet Tropics (where 45% of Australia’s bird species are found), then this volunteering opportunity is for you.

We’re looking for birdwatchers to conduct 2-hectare, 20-minute search surveys or 500 metre area search surveys in the Wet Tropics – within the Wooroonooran Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), Atherton Tablelands KBA, Daintree KBA, Paluma KBA, and the Coastal Wet Tropics KBA. 

As a Birds With Altitude volunteer, you will:

  • Choose survey sites identified in the Birds with Altitude manual, or at any publicly accessible and safe location within the Wooroonooran KBA (and/or Wooroonooran National Park within the KBA), Atherton Tablelands KBA, Daintree KBA, Paluma KBA, and the Coast Wet Tropics KBA. Survey sites at different elevations (altitude) are beneficial.

  • Visit the sites and monitor the birds using the BirdLife Australia standard 2-hectare, 20-minute search method, or the 500-metre area search method.

  • Record the name and number of birds you see and hear in Birdata.

  • A Birds With Altitude bird monitoring training manual (for Wooroonooran National Park) and a recorded presentation are available to provide guidance.

To undertake Birds With Altitude surveys, you need:




Ability to identify Wet Tropics birds and/or keenness to learn


A valid driver’s license and transport


To be responsible for your own safety and self-sufficiency

2023 Challenge Competition

BirdLife Northern Queensland has two family passes to Mamu Tropical Skywalk and two passes, each for two adults to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to give away in our Birds With Altitude 2023 Challenge!

All you need to do is get out there and complete BirdLife Australia standardised surveys within KBAs in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (Wooroonooran KBA, Atherton Tablelands KBA, Daintree KBA, Paluma KBA, and the Coastal Wet Tropics KBA) between 1 June and 31 December 2023. Eligible surveys must be entered into Birdata no later than 1 January 2024.


Winners will be announced in January 2024.


The person who completes the most BirdLife Australia compatible 2 ha, 20 min search surveys and/or 500 m area search surveys in Wooroonooran National Park and enters the surveys into Birdata.

Unsure about where the Wooroonooran National Park or Wet Tropics KBA boundaries are? Check out the Wooroonooran National Park (WNP) map, the KBA overview map, or explore the KBA boundaries in Birdata. Conditions: All surveys completed in Wooroonooran National Park, automatically go in the draw for the surveys of the KBAs. Each winner can only win one prize. The judge’s decision is final.

Mamu Tropical Skywalk is located in Wooroonooran National Park, just 15 minutes from Innisfail. Talk about ‘birds with altitude’! You can't get a more novel way to go birdwatching while exploring the canopy on elevated walkways, a cantilever, and from an observation tower. Here you can experience the change in altitude as well as admire the stunning World Heritage landscape and its inhabitants.

We sincerely thank Mamu Tropical Skywalk and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for their sponsorship of our Birds with Altitude Project and kind donation of prizes.


The Mamu Tropical Skywalk family pass includes free entry for two adults and two children, an interactive app to download, a walkway botanical guide and map, and local visitor loyalty cards. The pass is valued at $90 and is valid to use up to 31 December 2024.


The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway prize includes a return experience entry for two adults. The prize is valued at $186 and is valid to use up to 31 December 2024.

Birdata logo

Birdata is the way we collaboratively and scientifically collect data to gain insight and protect Australia's birds. Sign up to start entering data immediately through the BirdLife Birdata app or website. It's so easy to become part of our national bird monitoring community and make your birding count!

Bowerbird Monitoring

We have a long-term monitoring project to count the number of Tooth-billed Bowerbirds calling along 1 km transects in Wet Tropics. The bowerbirds will be calling October – December so any day early morning is a good time to have a walk. Or we have some group walks arranged. The idea is to see if there is any variation in bird numbers into the future caused by climate change. For more information and to register, contact Dominic Chaplin at or phone 0419 028 077.

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