Scenic World has joined with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (BMWHI) to roll out an exciting new program which documents and monitors the movements of flora and fauna in the Jamison Valley.
Led by BMWHI with funding through Scenic World’s CSR program, Scenic World Shared, the Wildlife Monitoring Program aims to monitor flora and fauna, and document changes in species and movement patterns at key vantage points within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
The program, which is currently being piloted at Scenic World, captures data from a series of motion sensored cameras which have been installed at specific points along Scenic World’s walkway.
Cameras operate 24 hours a day to capture the movements of wildlife in the valley, while Scenic World staff carefully record changes to different forms of flora. Data is recorded each day to provide a blueprint of the region which will inform BMWHI’s ecological research of the Blue Mountains.
Following the pilot phase, the program is also set to be rolled out on a broader scale as a citizen science program which invites the general public to get involved.
BMWHI Board Director Dr Rosalie Chapple said the program would help to inform the Institute’s efforts to preserve the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area by identifying factors which lead to change, such as climate change or urban sprawl.
The program also enables staff and visitors to engage with their local ecosystem in an interactive and unique way, she added.
“Scenic World is the perfect site to pilot this program, right on the edge of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains national park,” she said. “It also provides a large number of visitors meaning that we can engage the boarder public in these ecological issues.”
As part of the second phase of the program, visitors and staff will be able to input their observations of the local ecosystem using an app, developed by the CSIRO. The general public will also be able to capture and catalogue images of wildlife they see in the valley, which will support BMWHI’s extensive range of data.
Scenic World’s Managing Director Anthea Hammon applauded the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute for its collaborative and innovative approach to conserving the local environment.
“It has been a great privilege to work alongside the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute as the flagship partner of our CSR program, and we’re honoured to play a role in the Institute’s valuable research of our world heritage listed backyard,” she said.
“The ecological monitoring program has had a profound impact on our staff which has an incredible knock on effect that helps to increase environmental awareness of locals, visitors and the general public.”
The monitoring program will be expanded to other popular visitor destinations in the Blue Mountains, including the Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls and the National Parks and Wildlife Service site in Blackheath.
“It’s exciting to be a part of a program which has such incredible potential for the future and sets an example for other tourism businesses to follow. We look forward to what the future holds,” Anthea said.