Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Survey
Sunshine Coast Council and the University of the Sunshine Coast have joined forces to undertake a comprehensive survey of fauna species in the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.
Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said the detailed survey will provide a timely health check for the reserve’s fauna.
“Council is very keen to build partnerships with our local experts and learning institutes,” she said.
“This strategic partnership will help us understand the values and threats to fauna within the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and how we can better manage these species in the future.
“The partnership will also help to promote the reserve as a place of active learning, a living museum and an outdoor classroom.”
University of Sunshine Coast Wildlife Ecologist Dr Scott Burnett said the research program will involve multiple monitoring stations and sampling devices throughout the reserve.
“Given the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve’s relatively small size and its lack of connection to other areas of rainforest, the fauna within the reserve is more vulnerable to factors like increases in feral animals, extreme weather events and climate change,” he said.
“We really need to know how various species are faring over time so we can act to ensure they continue to call the reserve home in the future.”
Council will contribute $40,000 towards the survey program through the MCSR donation fund. USC will contribute a similar amount in-kind.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is home to a number of threatened fauna species, including the Rose Shade Skink, the Tusked Frog and the Marbled Frogmouth.
USC will present the outcomes of the research surveys to council as well as the community-based reserve committee and volunteers in early 2014.