Tiny giants set to be exposed in Mary Cairncross reserve


MARY Cairncross Scenic Reserve in Maleny is widely recognised as an astonishing hot spot of biodiversity. This month, scientists and the Sunshine Coast Council are on the hunt to discover as much about the rich invertebrate life in the reserve as possible.

Funded through council’s environment levy, 12 scientists led by the Queensland Museum will undertake the first broad study of the invertebrates of Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

Under the microscope will be flies, spiders, ants, mites, moths, butterflies and beetles.

Queensland Museum curator of entomology Dr Christine Lambkin said little was known about most invertebrates in Australia.

“There are 178 species already recorded in Maleny and that is only just scratching the surface,” Dr Lambkin said.

The community is invited to join in the fun and learn directly from the scientists at Tiny Giants: Mary’s Amazing Vertebrates to be held from October 21-24, with four days of diverse walks, talks and workshops for all ages.

There’s something for everyone, from the littlest citizen scientist to those just curious about the tiny giants living amongst us.

Bookings are essential and the full Tiny Giants program is available under ‘See and do’ at https://mary-cairncross.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

Some events are free and some will include a cover charge but all require a booking.

The program includes a spider walk, butterfly identification and photography, bug a scientist Q&A, dung beetles revealed, light trap night, flower beetles, kids love bugs, mites in the rainforest, beetles inside fungi, Jinibara elders talking circle, critter crafternoon, flies in the rainforest walk and ant walk.

An interactive artist event is also planned with artist in residence Lesley Kendall, with an evening exploring the intersection of arts and science, and a discussion evening to unlock the digital tools and hands-on opportunities for communities to contribute to invertebrate research.

Dung BeetleImage supplied by Kathryn Ebert, University of Queensland Museum

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