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Sat, 29 Apr


Carlton Hills near Mount Isa

Grasswren Survey 2023

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Join us for the 2023 Grasswren Survey – one of the best opportunities for citizen science, travel and bucket list birding all year.

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Grasswren Survey 2023
Grasswren Survey 2023

Time and location

29 Apr 2023, 9:00 am AEST – 12 May 2023, 5:00 pm AEST

Carlton Hills near Mount Isa, Mount Isa QLD 4825, Australia

About the event

Carpentarian and Kalkadoon Grasswren Surveys

Since 2008 BirdLife Northern Queensland has been monitoring Carpentarian and Kalkadoon Grasswrens across northwestern Queensland and eastern Northern Territory. We have now formed a partnership with Southern Gulf NRM to assist them in assessing the impact of their regional fire management plan on the populations of these grasswrens within the Carpentarian Corridor, which includes the key biodiversity areas of Boodjamulla National Park and the Buckley River. Each year we conduct systematic surveys in their core distribution areas, to establish a set of long-term monitoring sites to assess how well the species can cope with threats to their habitats.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • work alongside other volunteers to conduct surveys using methods developed for monitoring grasswrens, over a 2-week period in early May
  • navigate to specific sites and locations using GPS hand-held devices
  • detect and identify grasswren species including numbers, sex and age, when possible
  • complete data forms including simple habitat assessments and photos
  • travel and camp within station properties over the duration of the surveys.

Volunteer requirements:

You must enjoy bush-camping, as we camp each evening out on bush properties, with no facilities available. You will need to be self-sufficient with food, water, fuel, and camping gear. As we move camp regularly (every few days), you should keep your camp basic and easy to set up and pack up. Since we work together as a coordinated group you must be available during the period specified below. We work in field teams of two people. Each team completes one survey in the morning hours, usually taking 3–4 hours to complete. The team will walk over various terrain, which often includes some rocky sections up and down over low hills, so everyone needs to feel comfortable walking for several kms over this time.

As the station tracks we use are often not graded, you will need access to an high clearance vehicle, and preferably 4WD. If you do not have such a vehicle, please get in touch, as we can sometimes offer a spare seat in another volunteer’s vehicle. We are able to provide some assistance with costs of fuel to attend these surveys.

Who is this opportunity suited for?

Anyone who loves bush camping and wants to assist with better understanding our endemic and enigmatic grasswrens. You don’t need to have any previous experience with grasswrens, since we provide basic training to help you locate and identify our target species.

Location and time:

This opportunity is located about 50 kms northwest of Mount Isa. The start date is 29 April and runs until 12 May. You will need to commit to a minimum of one week starting on 29 April.

Please contact Kath Shurcliff at, or on 0478 641 987 for further details and to register your interest.

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