Penguins waddle for weeks on end. Waterbirds travel thousands of kilometres on the wing. Wildebeest cross vast savannahs in search of food. But, out in the Simpson Desert, a very different kind of migration takes place.
Every year, scientists migrate inland in search of… well, data. Did you know the University of Sydney’s Desert Ecology Research Group (DERG) has done field work on Ethabuka and Cravens Peak since 1989? That’s 27 years’ worth of ecological research!
With a keen interest in inland mammals, Professor Chris Dickman first visited the properties when they were cattle stations. Since then, Ethabuka and Cravens Peak have been the focus of numerous research projects, with field trips held there four times a year. Through desert-based university projects, the reserves are rookeries for future ecologists. What’s more, over 1,000 volunteers have joined field trips to lend a helping hand.
When Bush Heritage bought Ethabuka and Cravens Peak (in 2004 and 2005 respectively) we were keen to see this outstanding research continue. Ten years on, we’re fortunate to work with Professor Chris Dickman, Professor Glenda Wardle and their research team, as they piece together the ecological puzzle of inland Australia.
As the Bush Heritage Science Communication Intern, I’ll spend two weeks doing field work with scientists from the University of Sydney. Join me for a fortnight as we take a closer look at Ethabuka Reserve’s unique animals and plants.
– Kate Cranney, Bush Heritage Science Communication Intern