Science: surveys and research at Mornington-Marion Downs

Science: surveys and research at Mornington-Marion Downs

At Mornington-Marion Downs, AWC measures more than 20 indicators of ecological health. We do this by undertaking fauna, bird and vegetation surveys, camera trap nights for feral predators and dingoes, aerial surveys for feral herbivores and censuses of indicator species such as Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens.  

For example, in 2013 AWC field ecologists carried out over 19,450 vertebrate trap nights (across more than 56 sites), 330 bird surveys and over 120 vegetation surveys. 

A large number of research projects are also being carried out at Mornington-Marion Downs to address key issues such as:

  • The impact of grazing, fire and cats (individually and in combination). 
  • The ecology of key species such as Gouldian Finches and Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens. 

The level of scientific activity at Mornington is significantly higher than at any comparable protected area across northern Australia.  This scientific program is supported by the WildlifeLink Conservation and Research Centre, established as part of the operations base at Mornington, which provides high quality facilities for AWC ecologists and visiting researchers.