Would you like to help conservation science while exploring Victoria’s amazing Mountain Ash forests in a rare opportunity to visit Melbourne’s closed water catchments?

Partnering with Professor David Lindenmayer’s research team from the Australian National University, NatureWatch volunteers will contribute to over thirty years of ecological research investigating the possums and gliders of these forests and the decades of impacts from timber harvesting and bushfire. ANU’s forest ecologists, Dave Blair and Lachie McBurney will lead our stagwatches.

Come and learn about the ecology of the Central Highlands forests around Healesville, their 10 years of recovery since the Black Saturday bushfires, and their future within the Great Forest National Park.

Upcoming dates in February

2019 stagwatching dates: 12, 16 & 22 February.

Meeting time 6pm in either Warburton or Healesville.

Volunteer Registration Form

What is stagwatching?

Stags are old trees that provide essential tree-hollows for native possums and gliders who emerge each night to forage. Stagwatching involves sitting on the forest floor and looking up to the silhouette of the stag tree against the night’s sky to watch for emerging animals.  Other animals we may be lucky enough to see include Greater Gliders, Mountain Brush-tailed Possums, Southern Boobooks, forest bats and more!

What is the plan? 

Starting from the townships of either Healesville or Warburton, we will begin our adventure with a DIY picnic dinner while learning about the Central Highlands forests and the plan for the Great Forest National Park. Then we will carpool into the forest to conduct a stagwatch survey for one hour over dusk, followed by a walking spotlight.

Volunteers must be able to walk 100 metres in unstable forest terrain and be happy to sit quietly, alone (but close to others) in the dark forest for up to 1 hour. Events will be cancelled due to total fire ban days or high wind conditions. BYO 4WD vehicle if possible. Transport from Lilydale Train Station and return available.

Stagwatching Information for Volunteers