- Thursday 28 March 2019
“It takes a community to preserve our environment for future generations” was the resounding message at the BioBlitz launch held at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve yesterday (March 27).
Hosted by Sunshine Coast Council, the BioBlitz launch included a moving Welcome to Country by Jinibara Elder Uncle Noel Blair who told residents, volunteers, scientists and artists a collaborative effort was paramount to understanding and preserving our environment.
The BioBlitz survey team, consisting of 10 scientists, six creative professionals, and a team of Evergreen Tree Care arborists, are surveying the biodiversity of the Reserve’s five unique strangler fig trees.
Environment Portfolio and Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said the need and enthusiasm for citizen science projects such as this BioBlitz, which promoted biodiversity conservation, was increasing in Australia and around the world.
“I am excited about this global movement and, most of all, excited to see how it translates to the care and growth of our region’s environmental reserves,” Cr McKay said.
“Our Mary Cairncross BioBlitz celebrates a remarkable intersection of scientific discovery and community involvement and epitomises our region’s healthy, smart, creative vision.
“While these brilliant scientists and artists research the biodiversity within the five strangler figs, the community is invited to participate in a vibrant program of activities which will educate and inspire our rainforest visitors.”
In recognition of 2019 as the Year of Indigenous Languages, Uncle Noel unveiled the Jinibara names of the five fig trees and invited the audience to practise saying the names: Gureya (“fig tree”), Barrbarr (“flying-fox”), Mook mook (“ghost tree”), Dala (“Staghorn”), and Djuli djuli (“Spirit tree”).
These names were selected with help of the Jinibara First Nation to reflect certain aspects of the five strangler figs in which the BioBlitz Survey Team will work.
To round out the evening, a local Jinibara dance troop performed several dances and songs, and encouraged audience members to join in the dancing.
Events taking place today (March 28) included survey work of the strangler trees and a Junior Ranger challenge, where young scientists were invited to explore the rainforest and complete challenges to become biodiversity ambassadors.
Be sure to mark the Forest Feedback Q&A event in your diaries for Friday evening, March 29 from 6-9pm at the Maleny Community Centre. Tickets are still available but selling quickly.
For the complete program of engaging and educational events, please visit council’s website, .
The Mary Cairncross BioBlitz is funded by gold coin donations.