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Arrival and Day 1 in the field


Janet Price

A ten hour four-wheel drive journey took us from Cairns to Rungulla National Park.

After setting up tents, we checked the board for the next day's happenings.

Day 1 in the field was huge!! We started the day with JR our indigenous ranger, taking us to a site with artefacts like axe heads, paintings and grinding stones dating from contact time. The connection to country he has is astounding, his knowledge amazing. We saw trees that can be used as soap, as a fish stunner, native peppermint, native blueberries and so much more.

Next we got into the helicopter! We helicoptered about 15 minutes to our next site. We bush bashed to look for new indigenous artefacts. So exciting!

After lunch, we helicoptered about 5 minutes to where Andy (lizards), Heather and Will (mammals) and Robert (spiders) were spending the day setting traps or searching. They were also staying overnight.

I set off with Heather into the most amazing sandstone area where we set 26 Elliot traps. The traps are to get any small mammals (possums, small native mice, rats) maybe even a quoll.

We then chose a spot to set up a Harp trap. This set of fine fishing lines is to capture bats, mainly micro bats.
Heather will let us know when they arrive back tomorrow what they found.

Time to helicopter back to base camp. Once back we set off to the Gilbert River to check the pan traps set by Susan (dragonflies, ants, butterflies, other insects, early in the day. A pan trap is simply a coloured container (blue, yellow and white – the colours insects like) filled with a water and detergent. The insect lands and sinks because the detergent breaks the surface tension.
She will keep them out until tomorrow to see what insects are in the areas. 40% of Australia’s insects are unnamed.
The night was completed, after dinner, when we released a Brush-Tailed possum that was caught in a trap.

A huge many new experiences.
What will tomorrow be like??

arrival and day 1

arrival and day 2

arrival and day 3

arrival and day 4