Minnawarra Biodiversity Project

The Minnawarra Biodiversity Project was started in 2001 to investigate and record any change in biodiversity in heritage listed scrub after fencing out domestic grazing animals on “Minnawarra”, the Willing family property, near Myponga, one hour south of Adelaide.

The survey involves trapping and recording small mammals, reptiles and frogs using pitfall, Elliott and cage traps over four days and nights in eight separate sites. Small mammals are identified, weighed, sexed, marked and released. Bats are captured with harp traps. Vegetation and bird surveys are also carried out. Surveys take place twice per year in autumn and spring. Data collected over the first ten-year period show a strong bias towards seasonal factors such as drought, wet winters etc. The commonest mammals collected are Bush rats, Swamp rats and Antechinus, but Pygmy Possums have also been recorded.

Volunteers are invited to join members of the Scientific Expedition Group to take part in this project. This is an opportunity to be involved in a scientific survey close to Adelaide, to see what actually goes on, to develop animal handling skills, and to help on a biodiversity project. Those with skills in these areas are especially welcome, but no special skills and only moderate fitness are required. It is a great learning experience for all comers, both young and old, especially children. Help is very welcome on the first and last days when traps are set up, then closed and taken up.

Camping facilities are available, with cooking facilities in a large weather-proof shed. Bring own tent, food, swag etc. A donation to the Scientific Expedition Foundation (tax deductible) to help cover running costs is welcome. Suggested Adults $10, Children $5

Want to get an idea of the daily routine? click here.

When is it on?

The dates of the next Minnawarra Surveys have been chosen to include school holidays as follows:

Autumn: Wednesday 14th April to Sunday 18th April 2021

Spring: Thursday 30th September to Monday 4th October 2021


Download here a Personal Details form. Registration essential for insurance purposes.

For further details please contact:

Janet Furler on 0419 842 667 or email: Janet Furler; or

Richard Willing on 8558 6381; 0408 807 517 or email: Richard Willing