Trail cameras are an integral part of protected area management throughout the world and a useful tool where resources for field observations are limited. Within the Great Sandy National Park, cameras are utilised and applied to the management of threatened fauna species, feral animal activity, compliance and dingo conservation. The process of going through the images can be long and at times surprising, but the rewards are worth it.
Recently, QPWS staff were excited to ‘capture’ for the first time, two elusive and rarely recorded fauna species on K’gari. Firstly, the back end of an adult Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami) at Urang Creek. The only record available was an unverified record from 2005. The second surprise was a juvenile eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) ‘captured’ bounding along Ungowa Road. Eastern grey kangaroos have been previously identified in dingo scat diet studies conducted on the island and from limited anecdotal sightings by long-term residents and QPWS staff suggesting the island has a small population.
Both species can now be added to state-wide WILDNET data as verified by image. QPWS welcomes contributions of images and location data for plants and animals to add to the WILDNET database.
Article contributed by Linda Behrendorff (RIC NRM), Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Great Sandy National Park