Discover the Wildlife in Your Backyard with the WildTracker Project
Have you ever wondered what creatures share your backyard? Meet the Marshall family from Tinderbox, south of Hobart, Australia, who recently embarked on an exciting journey to find out what animals live on their property.
Thanks to the Tasmanian Land Conservancy’s WildTracker project, a citizen science program, the family is discovering the fascinating array of wildlife that coexist with them!
Andrew Marshall and his daughters, Paige and Adia, installed a hidden camera in their yard, capturing awe-inspiring images of their animal neighbors.
They were already accustomed to seeing wallabies and the occasional echidna, but the camera revealed so much more. From eastern bettongs to pademelons and even a pair of wallabies engaged in a heated dispute, the camera captured all these amazing moments.
But it’s not just about wallabies and echidnas. The family is also hoping to spot the elusive forty-spotted pardalote, one of Australia’s most endangered birds. They’ve even set up bird boxes to encourage these rare birds to take up residence on their property.
The WildTracker project has so far attracted about 170 participants, who have submitted over 100,000 photos in total. The initiative aims to determine which creatures live where, track the range expansion of invasive species like the lyrebird and fallow deer, and monitor the spread of diseases, such as the devil facial tumor disease in Tasmanian devils.
Participants include both large landholders and those in more urban areas, making it a perfect opportunity for everyone to get involved. According to conservation ecologist Dr. Glen Bain, it’s vital to have people with smaller plots of land participate as well, as Tasmania still has unique wildlife living in suburban areas.
The project has led to some surprising discoveries, including the first-ever recorded sighting of a pygmy possum on camera. Carol Hurst, another participant, has captured images of quolls, mischievous owls, and Tasmanian devils on her property near Ranelagh.
She believes that discovering the wildlife living on her land has made her feel more connected to her surroundings and taught her to coexist with the creatures she shares her garden with.
So, why not join this fantastic project and learn more about the incredible wildlife in your backyard? The WildTracker project is open to anyone in Tasmania looking to contribute.
By participating, you’ll not only be educating yourself and your family about native wildlife, but also helping conservationists gather valuable information for preserving these amazing creatures.
This article by Nicholas Vincent was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 17 March 2023.
What you can do
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Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.