top of page
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


Each year a report is produced to share Wet Tropics bird population trends; distribution including in relation to altitudinal shift; and where possible, species’ specific factors and requirements. We sincerely thank all volunteers for their participation. Without you this important work would not be possible. 

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

2024 Challenge Competition

BirdLife Northern Queensland is thrilled to unveil an exciting opportunity for nature enthusiasts! We are offering a chance for two lucky individuals to embark on a captivating Daintree Boatman Wildlife Cruise with the renowned professional nature guide, Murray Hunt.

IMG_1596 (1280x960).jpg

The prize

Join Murray Hunt on a spellbinding 2-hour journey on the iconic Daintree River, known for its unparalleled biodiversity. Share in the search for a myriad of bird species, estuarine crocodiles, snakes, and other fascinating wildlife. Murray’s knowledge of the ancient vegetation and ecology of the Daintree River will enrich your experience with valuable insights.

2023 Challenge Competition

A very big thank you to all participants in the Birds With Altitude 2023 Challenge Competition. There was outstanding participation with a total of 185 surveys completed in the Wet Tropics Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) and entered into Birdata between 1 June and 31 December 2023. Kate Millar, CEO of BirdLife Australia, announced the Birds With Altitude 2023 Challenge Competition winners at the recent BirdLife Northern Queensland 2024 Annual General Meeting. We sincerely thank Mamu Tropical Skywalk and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for their sponsorship of our Birds with Altitude Project and kind donation of prizes.

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.

bottom of page