Rugged, remote Rungulla

The latest Bush Blitz species discovery expedition is taking place in Rungulla National Park, spectacular rugged country, 500 km southwest of Cairns.

Expedition base camp
Expedition base camp

Rungulla (pronounced Roong-ala) National Park is on Ewamian (pronounced Oor-a-min) Country and is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. We are working with Ewamian cultural representatives, park rangers and scientists to record the plants and animals that call Rungulla home, and hopefully discover a few new species.

The team was welcomed on Country by Ewamian representatives, who are working alongside our scientists, sharing their knowledge of Country with us.

A Traditional Custodian showing a specimen he has found
Hilton (JR) Richards is one of the Traditional Custodians sharing their knowledge with the team

The scientists are specialist taxonomists from the Queensland Museum, Queensland Herbarium, Australian Tropical Herbarium, University of NSW and Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). The rugged nature of the park means a helicopter is needed to transport taxonomists to sampling sites. After being out in the field all day, they work hard each evening in the expedition field lab to analyse what they’ve collected.

Taxonomists about to board the helicopter
The invertebrate team ready to be transported to a sampling site

Chris Burwell from Queensland Museum has been busy collecting dragonflies and damselflies. In the first week he recorded 14 species that were new records for the park.

Painted Grasshawk dragonfly
Painted Grasshawk dragonfly (Neurothemis stigmatizans) 📷 ©️ Chris Burwell