Regularly surveying areas of habitat is important to understand what is happening in nature. Trust for Nature’s staff can help you learn how to survey your property – this could include using photo-points to show changes over time, remote trail cameras, or keeping records of the animals you see on your property.
Initial observation and recording is the key to becoming even more familiar with your land.
Here are some of the things you can do to compare changes over time.
• Look closely at the different aspects of the property, take notes and photos.
• Pick a couple of sites to examine the plants and birds in detail. Mark the sites with a peg or ribbon on a tree so you know where they are. Take photos from different directions at these spots to compare changes over the years.
• Look from the top down – are the tree tops healthy? Are there dead or dying branches? Are there bird nests or hollows? Are there trees that are weeds?
• Look at the tree trunks, are there signs of rubbing? Browsing or rubbing on trees can indicate deer,
kangaroos or wallabies.
• Look at the under-story – are there many plants? Are there any you are not familiar with? Which ones are in flower? Are there any pollinators on the flowers such as bees, wasps, beetles and flies? Do you see any weeds at this level?
• Look at the ground, are there any smaller plant and grasses, do you know their names? Is there bare soil – an important part of some vegetation is called soil crust. How much plant and leaf litter is on the ground? Are the grasses and herbs grazed down to small stubs? Are there small birds looking for insects? Are there any signs of pests such as rabbits?
• Know your conservation management plan and work towards improving the environment.
Enjoy the journey. For more information, contact your local Trust for Nature conservation officer.