Outback Queensland is host to some of Australia’s best kept secrets. This unique country of ours is so vast that some areas are yet to be properly explored.
With a keen interest in natural history and native animals and plants, BOOBOOK ecologists love to explore the unexplored to further understanding of this wonderful place we call home. Over the past twenty years our teams have discovered 6 new plant species and numerous range extensions for both native plants and animals. In addition, our Director and Principal Ecologist, Craig Eddie, has discovered over 50 new species of land snails alone and yes, he does know and can describe the 3000+ currently named ones found across Australia.
This thirst for more knowledge and interest in the natural environment has led to the initiation of our Eco-science Expeditions. The first of which will be taking place in September this year, in the little explored uppermost headwaters of the Dawson River within the Carnarvon Ranges. During this survey we’re hoping to find new species and expecting to extend the current known ranges of various Australian fauna and flora species.
The Dawson River is the life blood for both biodiversity and agriculture yet we know virtually nothing about the ecology and biology of the environment at the source of the river. There have been no previous biological surveys in this stretch of the river and we will seek to unlock its secrets.
We aim to answer questions such as:
- What waterholes are present that support aquatic life during dry times?
- What wildlife and aquatic plants live in these waterholes?
- We know that downstream waterholes of the Dawson River support six species of turtles including two threatened species, but are there additional populations of species such as the critically endangered White-throated Snapping Turtle waiting to be discovered?
- What threatened mammals occur along the river – is it locally important for threatened species such as Koala, greater glider and the large-eared pied bat?
- Does the river still have populations of the endangered northern quoll?
- What wildlife lives in the cave systems along the river – there is a good chance we will find elusive and spectacular creatures such as the rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko?
- Are there threatened species of plants that live along the river?
- What other plants are significant?
- Are there important habitats for certain plant groups such as ferns in the upper reaches and cool/moist side gorges?
- Are there any springs?
- What vegetation types are present along the river system?
- Are there any threatened vegetation types such as dry rainforest/semi-evergreen vine thicket pockets?
- What invertebrates does the river support?
- What species of butterfly, snails, dragonflies and water bugs are present?
What happens then?
All of the information we collect will be recorded electronically. Following our expedition and the analyses of data a summary report highlighting the areas values will be produced. Information collected may also form the bases of scientific papers. Overall, we will contribute to a much better understanding of the upper reaches of one of Queensland’s most important river systems. The information is valuable to and can be used by multiple organisations including the land owner/managers and Natural Resource Management Groups.
If you would like to join us on a once in a life time expedition, you can find out more by calling us on 07 4622 2646 or visit our website.
We’d love to have you come along for the adventure!