This is so exciting! Make sure you get along to the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve in Maleny to participate in BioBlitz - four huge days of never-before-seen perspectives of the rainforest reserve. Tree-climbers, scientists and artists will climb five giant strangler figs to study, capture and share the information from these majestic living skyscrapers.
From March right through to August, there will be heaps of opportunities for the public to get involved - to learn, to listen and to create in the BioBlitz workshops and events. Need I mention how much fun the children will have, all the while learning about the fantastic region, we all proudly call 'home'. For ease of reference, please see map below for BioBlitz event locations. Access to the strangler fig sites is via the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
What?Listen Up When? Thursday 28 March to Sunday 25 August | 9.00am to 4.30pm Where? Rainforest Discovery Centre
From the 28 March right through to the 25 August, visitors will have the opportunity to listen to the sounds of the tree canopy in the Rainforest Discovery Centre. Dr Leah Barclay from Griffith University has installed an acoustic monitoring microphone at the top of the rainforest at Mary Cairncross. What sounds can you hear and identify?
What?Cairncross QuestaGame When? Monday 25 March - ongoing Where? Along the forest circuits - please stay on the track Notes: The QuestaGame requires a smart phone with Questagame app (free to download)
Download the citizen science app to your smartphone, iPad or other electronic device - you might already have this app installed from playing QuestaGame at the Eco-Hunt Adventure at Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary last year - and be part of this fun, wildlife spotting challenge. Participants earn points while playing and can see what other players have discovered too. Download QuestaGame from the Apple Store here or on Google Play here.
What?Junior Ranger Challenge When? Thursday 28 March to Sunday 25 August | 9.00am to 3.30pm daily Where? Pick up your kit at the Rainforest Discovery Centre Notes:
Limited quantity of kits available per day
Junior Ranger Challenge is aimed at 6 - 12 year olds
Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver
Please allow one to two hours to complete the Junior Ranger Challenge
Junior Ranger Challenge will be running from March through to August 2019
Calling all budding biologists and scientists! This is your opportunity to explore Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and complete different challenges to become a biodiversity ambassador! How awesome is that! Junior Ranger kits will be available for pickup from the visitor information desk in the Rainforest Discovery Centre. As these kits are limited, this is an opportunity for 'early birds' to rise and shine.
What?Every Pademelon Counts When? Friday 29 March, Saturday 30 March and Sunday 31 March | 5.30am to 6.30am Where? Meet at the BioBlitz basecamp Notes:
This activity is supported by the University of the Sunshine Coast
How many pademelons can you find and count? This challenge is calling for the real 'early birds' to get out and about and put their mathematical skills to the test. Over three consecutive dawns, groups of pademelon counters will be quietly taken through the forest to generate information on Mary Cairncross' pademelon population.
Join a special Q&A discussion evening on bio communication
This should be fun and … educational! A variety of scientists and artists participating in BioBlitz are coming together for this very special Q&A evening, to share their insights into bio communication.
In the ecological world's web, natural systems are held together by threads of communication - how do different species relate to one another and how does this information get translated? From networks of mycelium underneath the forest soil, to frog songs and bat radar, the Forest Feedback panel discussion is not-to-be-missed. Forest Feedback will open your eyes and your ears to the signals of science and the webs of communication that hold our rainforests together.
What?Botanical Impressions When? Friday 29 March | Session #1 9.30am to 11.30am and Session #2 1.30pm to 3.30pm Where? Outdoor classroom Notes: *FREE for all ages and no registration is required
Botanical Impressions is a FREE walk-in arts activity that will examine the beauty of local leaves. Maleny Printmakers will teach 'students' to capture the botanical beauty of leaves, in a keepsake to take home.
Educational FREE activities and workshops to get involved in
What?Jinibara Talking Circles When? Saturday 30 March | Circle #1 10.00am to 11.30am and Circle #2 1.00pm to 2.30pm Where? Next to basecamp Notes:
FREE for all ages
No registration is required
This activity is supported by the Jinibara People Aboriginal Corporation
The Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve region has been home to the Jinibara people for tens of thousands of years. The Talking Circle is an invitation for everyone to come and meet the Jinibara elders, ask them questions, learn a bit about the Jinibara language and to share cultural perspectives. Don't be shy, come and say 'yadji gadji' (hello).
Learn to journal nature in the outdoor classroom with Ecologist, Dr Paula Peters
What?Nature Journalling When? Saturday 30 March | Workshop #1 9.30am to 11.30am and Workshop #2 2.30pm to 4.30pm Where? Outdoor classroom Cost? $20 public | $15 for Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve volunteers or Barung members Notes:
Ecologist Dr Paula Peters will be offering instruction on botanical and animal observation and how to capture your environmental experiences in colour, line and notation. Nature Journalling is an introductory workshop, where mindful observation will be met with pencil and paper, hopefully resulting in a fabulous take-home piece of art.
What?Insects in the Night Light When? Saturday 30 March | 6.00pm to 10.00pm (arrive anytime) Where? BioBlitz basecamp and outdoor classroom Notes:
FREE, no registration is required
Children must be accompanied by an adult
All children love to play outdoors in the dark and with this in mind BioBlitz is giving visitors a special opportunity to 'shine a light' on the study of insects. Do you know what an entomologist is? Don't worry, nor did I, but thanks to an online dictionary, I got my explanation. 'An entomologist is a person' - boy or girl - 'who studies or is an expert in the branch of zoology concerned with insects.' How awesome is that! Dr Geoff Monteith and Kathryn Ebert (both of whom are entomologists) will showcase the light trap method, attracting bugs from the forest, identifying them and answering all your questions.
Children just love night-time outdoor activities and these two are FREE!
Professor Stuart Parsons from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will take you on a bat walk to learn about the diversity of microbats and flying-fox species, whilst trying out new technology that will enable 'students' to both listen and see their echolocation.
To book or reserve your spot to any of the above activities, please click the respective links. Alternatively, additional information can be found at www.events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
Make sure you return to the Rainforest Discovery Centre to enjoy the exhibition
Once all the 'leg-work' and challenges have been completed, the public are invited to return to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve from the 25 March to the 25 August 2019, to enjoy the 'Biodiversity: That's Life!' Exhibition, that will be on display in the Rainforest Discovery Centre. The scientific and creative research findings from the four-day BioBlitz will be showcased for everybody's enjoyment. And, how much better will it be to know you have contributed too!
The realisation of BioBlitz is as a direct result of all the gold coin donations made by visitors to the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve's centre and is the educational centre's way of saying 'thank you' to the public. Make sure you bookmark your calendar for all the important dates, so as not to miss out on the exploration of our region's rainforests, at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.