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Project:

Gresswell to the Creek Wildlife Monitoring

The Coordination team have had a busy start to the year developing a project that will provide a substantial and lasting boost to DCMC’s Citizen Science capacity.


The objective of the project is to monitor wildlife in the corridor from Gresswell Forest to the Darebin Creek, an area that was identified in the late 90s as having significant value for native wildlife. There has been much fragmentation since then, so we want to understand what functionality the corridor retains and subsequently what interventions we can make to support wildlife movement and gene flow.

The Parks Victoria Volunteer Innovation Fund has provided DCMC with the capital to purchase many new monitoring tools including trail cameras, song meters, nest boxes and nestbox cameras and a new drone.

We have deployed trail cameras and song meters (audio recorders) to see what we can discover. The motion sensor cameras are mounted to trees in areas suspected of wildlife activity and can be set to take photos or short films. The song meters record sound which can be analysed using spectrograph software to identify species. This is new tech for DCMC staff and volunteers, so we are on a steep learning curve but the possibilities are exciting.

With many of our projects focussing on creating habitat for small woodland birds, like the Ivanhoe floodplains project in the Darebin Parklands, the song meters provide an efficient method of collecting data. Over time, we hope that this data will tell the story of a shift in populations of birds from Noisy Miners and Common Mynas to small woodland birds like Superb Wrens and Red Browed Finches as well as picking up on exciting discoveries like Powerful Owls.

A training and planning evening was held at the La Trobe Nangak Tamboree Sanctuary on Thursday 22nd with 30 willing volunteers, Darebin, Banyule and La Trobe staff in attendance. La Trobe’s Michael Cincotta shared his experience on Cameras and Warringal Conservation Society’s James Deane presented on the Song Meters.