All creatures great and small recorded in the Blue Mountains Fauna Project Inventory

A research and citizen science project that catalogued fauna species within the Blue Mountains, has now been published online.

The Blue Mountains Fauna Project Inventory was celebrated on 26 February, at a launch event that included informative talks by Anne Carey of Applied Ecology and Alex Callen from the University of Newcastle.

Over 16 months data was collected from publicly available records, from special interest groups such as WIRES and the Australian Herpetological Society, as well as from Blue Mountains residents for the project.

Blue Mountains Fauna Inventory is now online (see details below).

For this inaugural version, the project collated over 300,000 fauna records from the community and fauna databases to create the first inventory of fauna in the Blue Mountains LGA.

Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said: “This inventory demonstrates the incredible array of animals we share our home with, and reflects what a privilege it is to live in a city within a World Heritage Area. People come from all over the world to experience our wilderness, our animals and our precious biodiversity.”

Residents were asked to record animal sightings through an interactive map on Council’s Have Your Say website. There, community members were invited to drop pins on the map with details of fauna sighted. Photos and video could also be uploaded, if the resident had filmed the animal. Community members also contributed via the project’s Facebook page. If this all sounds very contemporary, Researchers compiling the inventory also researched historical records including the writings of early European explorers. 

The Inventory has revealed a spectacular menagerie of furred, feathered and scaled friends we share our Mountains home with. More than 450 different species, including 51 threatened species, were recorded within the Blue Mountains local government area. Notable resident sightings include the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater spotted in a Springwood backyard and a micro bat found in leaf litter by someone cleaning out their gutters.

One of the 453 pages in the Fauna Inventory showing the Spotted-tail Quoll – includes description on habitat, feeding, breeding; a map showing locailty in the blue Mountains, record sightings and status.

This inventory is an extremely useful resource both now and into the future, as it gives us a benchmark to measure whether we are succeeding in supporting our biodiversity or failing our wildlife.

After the prolonged drought, unprecedented bush fires and flooding natural disaster this Inventory reminds us of both how vibrant, and how fragile our local environment is, and what is at stake if we fail to protect it and these animals.

Anne Carey from Applied Ecology, who produced the Blue Mountains Fauna Project Inventory Report, presented an engaging talk on the species listed in the Inventory and where in the Blue Mountains you are likely to find them. Alex Callan, of Newcastle University, talked about a frog conservation citizen science project and encouraged all present to help fight the decline of Blue Mountains frog species.

“The word has got around”. Costa Georgiadis was filming Gardening Australia at the The Gully where he endorsed the Blue Mountains Fauna Inventory Photo: Sandy Benson

The Blue Mountains Fauna Project is a joint partnership between the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network and Blue Mountains City Council, with grant funding from the Greater Sydney Local Land Services. Thanks to the efforts from the Bushcare team for running the fauna project program, in particular Tanya Mein for setting the project up – conducting the fauna surveys over the mountains.

The fauna inventory enables us to learn more about what wildlife is in our local bushland and how you can help both as a conservation volunteer and an landholder. If you would like to know how to help our wildlife then contact Bushcare. https://www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/join-bushcare/

You can download the Blue Mountains Fauna Project Inventory on Council’s Native Animals webpage. on https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/bushland-management/native-animals