Mary Cairncross BioBlitz recognised as finalist in sustainability awards


[top] Mycologist Dr Sandra Tuszynska grabs a shot of a species in the canopy of one of the strangler fig trees in the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. [bottom] Jinibara Elder Uncle Noel Blair experiences the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve from another perspective, thanks to the team of BioBlitz arborists.

In an Australian first, Sunshine Coast Council’s Mary Cairncross BioBlitz saw scientists, artists, Traditional Owners and volunteers hoisted up into the rainforest’s canopy to conduct biodiversity conservation research.

Recognising this unique take on a bioblitz initiative, which are usually conducted at ground-level, the Banksia Foundation recently recognised the Mary Cairncross BioBlitz as a Finalist in their annual Banksia Sustainability Awards.

While the vertical surveying activity was definitely unique, council’s BioBlitz also strongly aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay explained that the international Sustainable Development Goals are key criteria in judging the Banksia Awards.

“One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals addresses ‘Life on Land’ and is about protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem,” Cr McKay said.

“Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is already known as an incredibly significant terrestrial ecosystem, and yet, the BioBlitz helped us identify a range of previously unrecorded species for the reserve.

“Through these discoveries and collaborative work with our Survey Team partners, we can now better manage and protect these diverse species more effectively.

“I’m so proud of our remarkable BioBlitz Survey Team, all the volunteers, and the community that engaged with this ground-breaking program.

“This Banksia Award Finalist recognition is icing on the cake of what was already an incredibly successful scientific and cultural surveying experience.”

Over the four-day program in March earlier this year, 13 scientists across seven taxonomic groups surveyed species found from the understorey to emergent canopy of five strangler fig trees.

Six artists undertook creative research, developing visual responses to the emerging biodiversity data, and Jinibara Traditional Owners shared their knowledge and perspectives with the Survey Team and community alike. 

More than 250 people participated in programmed activities, including bat detective walks, pademelon population surveys, botanical printmaking and a number of other public engagement opportunities, all aimed at raising the community’s appreciation for the reserve’s biodiversity values.

Cr McKay shared her excitement for the future of the Mary Cairncross BioBlitz.

“The Banksia Sustainability Awards, which are regarded as the most prestigious and longest-running in Australia, will be held on December 3, 2019,” Cr McKay said.

“While our beloved BioBlitz may gain further recognition, which I believe it deserves, this program already achieved such a broad range of positive outcomes for both the biodiversity of the rainforest and for our community at large.

“Because of this, council is already in preliminary consultations to develop the next interdisciplinary citizen science event.”

For more information about council’s Mary Cairncross BioBlitz and the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, please visit council’s website,

Community Environment Sunshine Coast Council

Sunshine Coast Regional Council :
Locked Bag 72 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560, Sunshine Coast Wide
07 5475 7272
1300 007 272
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Rugby's young entertainers set to put on a show 13 November 2019 | Still gripped by World Cup Rugby fever? You won't have to wait long for another fix! Rugby Australia's Youth Sevens Championships are coming to Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday November 30 and Sunday December 1... More information...
Development.i recognised for its innovative approach 12 November 2019 | Development.i, Sunshine Coast Council’s revolutionary development tracking and visualisation platform, won the Improving Planning Processes and Practices award at the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)... More information...
An exhibition to delight your senses and taste buds 08 November 2019 | An immersive art and food exhibition will open at Caloundra Regional Gallery on Friday, November 15. More information...
Innovative program helps Koki engineer a job pathway 08 November 2019 | It has only been a matter of months since Koki Mukai swapped the bright lights of Tokyo for star-gazing on the Sunshine Coast, but he has already found a job thanks to the insights he has gained from the Migrant... More information...
Making a song and dance about Caloundra for the world 08 November 2019 | Caloundra’s heart and soul have been captured in a new theme song and video, showcasing our region’s golden beaches, hinterland mountains, shopping and dining districts and other local attractions. More information...
The Sunshine Coast - so good you can taste it! 08 November 2019 | Delicious delights from across our great region are now bottled, wrapped and ready to tantalise tastebuds at The Wharf Mooloolaba’s newest store – Flavours of the Sunshine Coast. More information...
Students clean up the coast, prepping for summer sea turtles 07 November 2019 | In anticipation of the first female turtles arriving on Sunshine Coast shores to lay their eggs and kick off the nesting season, more than 250 school students, teachers and volunteers joined forces to clear... More information...
Caloundra Comes Up Trumps as Street Art Destination 07 November 2019 | A Caloundra mural has taken out the Best External Mural category at the inaugural Australian Street Art Awards. More information...
Finding the non-fiction book you want to read will be easier than ever 04 November 2019 | Finding non-fiction books to get your teeth into will be much easier than before thanks to an exciting change taking place across all Sunshine Coast library branches. More information...
Innovative disaster educators win national recognition 07 November 2019 | Sunshine Coast Council’s Disaster Management Team have been recognised as national leaders in disaster preparedness, today (November 7) winning the Local Government Award at the 20th Resilient Australia Award... More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service