Fiona Hamer hosted a ‘Who’s living on my land?’ workshop at her beautiful property ‘Esdale’ along the Murrumbidgee River near Yass. Thirty-nine landholders attended the workshop and borrowed 16 cameras to find out ‘Who’s living on my land?’
Over the two week survey of properties in and around the Yass Valley, we identified 20 species from 34,038 photographs.
The most commonly identified native mammal species was the Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor). We additionally observed two other macropod species – Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus). All three of these macropods have previously been recorded in publically accessible database, Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), in the Yass Valley Region, although there have been low numbers recorded for Swamp Wallabies (n = 11) and Red-necked Wallabies (n = 8).
As well as macropods, we observed two other species of herbivorous marsupials: Common Wombats (Vombatus ursinus) and Common Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). While Common Wombats are relatively abundant in the Yass Valley region, there are only two recordings of Common Brushtail Possums.
We detected eight native bird species in this ‘Who’s living on my land?’ survey – most of which were only detected at one property. The low number of bird species may be due to camera set up, which targets ground dwelling mammals. The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) was the only bird species that we saw at multiple properties. All of the eight native bird species recorded in this survey are common around Yass.
Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were the most common species found in the Yass 2017 survey, being recorded, at least once at eight of the thirteen properties. We detected five other introduced species, although these were only recorded at one or two of the properties surveyed. This included hares (Lepus sp.) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and two introduced rodents – Black Rats (Rattus rattus) and the House Mouse (Mus musculus).