Field notes

We’re catch­ing up with some of our spon­sor­ship re­cip­i­ents so you can see how your con­tri­bu­tions help con­serve our nat­u­ral his­tory and keep the Aussie spirit of ad­ven­ture alive.

Australian Geographic - - Your Society -

THE BRIDLED NAILTAIL wal­laby has a wild pop­u­la­tion of fewer than 300 in­di­vid­u­als and could be­come ex­tinct in the wild. Jas­min Lawes, with Univer­sity of New South Wales re­searchers, is eval­u­at­ing the ‘nurs­ery’ as a con­ser­va­tion strat­egy.They’re com­par­ing the postre­lease sur­vival and be­hav­iour of nurs­ery-raised with wild-raised wal­la­bies to de­ter­mine the ef­fects of prey naiveté (the in­stinct to avoid preda­tors). Zo­ol­o­gist turned pi­lot Amel­lia Formby is cur­rently in prepa­ra­tion for a 12,500km mi­cro­light flight from Aus­tralia to Siberia. By fol­low­ing the mi­gra­tory route of the red-necked stint, Amel­lia aims to pro­mote ur­gent ac­tion for Aus­tralian shore­birds, many of which are threat­ened by habi­tat loss. Learn more at wingth­ On 14 June, the day be­fore her 16th birth­day, Jade Hameis­ter – AG’s 2016 Young Ad­ven­turer of the Year – once again en­tered the his­tory books, this time as the youngest wo­man to com­plete the 550km tra­verse of Green­land un­sup­ported and unas­sisted. For close to a month Jade dragged an 80kg sled on skis, fac­ing fe­ro­cious winds, steep ice­falls and the be­gin­nings of frost­bite. Con­rad Hoskin and fel­low re­searchers at James Cook Univer­sity are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the evo­lu­tion­ary pro­cesses that gen­er­ated Aus­tralia’s in­cred­i­ble di­ver­sity of lizards. By sam­pling geckos across re­mote north­ern Aus­tralia, from Cape York Penin­sula to Broome, and by col­lect­ing eco­log­i­cal, mor­pho­log­i­cal, phys­i­o­log­i­cal and ge­netic data, they hope to de­scribe new lizard species. In the process, they ex­pect to pro­duce the largest com­par­a­tive study of chem­i­cal traits ever con­ducted in ver­te­brates.

Amel­lia Formby.

Jade Hameis­ter.

Jas­min Lawes.

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