BioBlitz – Beach to Birrabeen

Fraser Island BioBlitz

28th November to 4th December 2016

Beach to Boomanjin and Birrabeen

Organized by the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation

This BioBlitz offers opportunities and a fun way to explore and learn more about such a special place and the many fascinating species that inhabit it.  The BioBlitz will be a comprehensive stocktake of the living natural resources of this a very representative part Fraser Island (K’Gari). John Sinclair AO, Honorary Project Officer, Fraser Island Defenders Organisation   

Supported by University of the Sunshine Coast,

The University of the Sunshine Coast is pleased to be involved in FIDO’s Bio Blitz. The University operates the Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre at Dilli Village and is very pleased to be hosting this event. The initiative will no doubt contribute to sustainability on K’Gari and will be the basis for ongoing research on the island. Dr Kim Walker, Project Officer Executive Projects Unit, University of the Sunshine Coast

Supported by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service as property managers of the Great Sandy National Park (Fraser Island (K’Gari) section) are supportive of the project and welcome initiatives that enhance understanding of the island’s natural values.”  Ross Belcher, Principal Ranger Sunshine and Fraser Coast Region, QPWS

Supported by Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance

Gaining new knowledge about Fraser Island is always a challenge, with the suggestion that FINIA host a Bio-Blitz endorsed by FINIA in late-2015.  Since that time, members, championed in this instance by FIDO, have been working towards this objective.  The Bio-Blitz promotes science/community partnerships through the use of citizen science, while providing new information on the range of species that exist in the study area.  We encourage everyone to become a part of the team!”  Sue Sargent, Chair, Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance

UNESCO recognizes the Fraser Island World Heritage Area for representing “an outstanding example of significant ongoing biological processes.  These processes, acting on a sand medium, include biological adaptation (such as unusual rainforest succession), and biological evolution (such as the development of rare and biogeographically significant species of plants and animals)”

Professor Ian Chubb AC, Chief Scientist of Australia wrote in the “Australian Guide to Running a BioBlitz”:  With Australia’s biodiversity at risk from many pressures – such as habitat destruction, overexploitation, climate change, and introduced species – we are challenged to learn more about our ecosystems so we can better protect and manage them.  We need scientists from many disciplines, but it can’t just be scientists alone.  We need the help of the entire community to rise to the magnitude of the task.  Citizen science programs like BioBlitzes are vital connecting links. …

“Science isn’t just something scientists do. It is something in which every single one of us has a stake. Through a BioBlitz we can all have a role – working, enjoying our world, and learning about its natural wonders together.  ….”

Beach to Boomanjin and Birrabeen BioBlitz Objectives: 

  1. Enhance the understanding of the World Heritage Outstanding Universal Value particularly its natural values.
  2. Provide more detailed baseline data on the biota of Fraser Island for significant transects of the island;
  3. Extend the knowledge of the range of species that exist in the study area;
  4. Encourage more biological scientists to use Fraser Island, the largest single relatively unmodified natural area in South East Queensland as a base for further studies.
  5. Promote the use of more citizen science on Fraser Island (K’Gari)


The Beach to Boomanjin and Birrabeen Bio-Blitz will be based at Dilli Village on Fraser Island. Specialist scientists from a range of disciplines will undertake field studies across a defined research area to develop an inventory of the natural resources and species within the area. This research area covers a diversity of habitats.

Dunes systems: The area includes all six dune systems identified by the CSIRO Soil Scientists in their study of Cooloola.  Dune System 4 east of Lake Birrabeen and Dune Systems 5 and 6 in the vicinity of the Boomanjin airstrip as well as three large perched dune lakes, two creeks and a number of old swamps as well as various forest types.

Ecotypes:  The BioBlitz will traverse a broad transect of a wide range of ecotypes from the beach through the foredunes and the freshwater aquatic environments of Govi and Gerrawea Creeks.  This area also enables a comparison of mined and unmined areas in both the foredune and hind dune areas.  A large peat swamp that has the flarks and fens never studied in detail previously is also within the boundaries of the research area.

The Study Area Boundaries

Two maps help define the area.  Map 1 shows the axis of the study area as being the Great Walk extending from Dilli Village to Lake Birrabeen.  The study area was chosen not just for the amenities of Dilli Village and the diversity of habitats but because with roads, walking tracks and fire trails, all shown on Map 2. There is relatively easy access to a wide range of these habitats.   Map 2 also defines the study area as being confined to land east of longitude 505000 North of latitude 7165000 and south of latitude 7185000 that are shown on Map 2.

Download BioBlitz Map 1 and BioBlitz Map 2.


The Bio Blitz will run from Monday 28th November and Sunday 4th December and be based at University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dilli Village Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre.  Although a week-long period has been nominated, it isn’t necessary that everyone be in attendance simultaneously for the whole period.  The Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre has been booked solely for use of the BioBlitz.

It is expected that the numbers participating will build up during the week reaching a climax over the weekend.  A special celebratory free barbeque provided by University of the Sunshine Coast will be provided on the evening of Saturday 3rd December.  Fieldwork will finish by 2pm on Sunday 4 December, however some participants may prefer to remain until Monday 5th December.  The Application Form offers the opportunity to nominate dates for participation.

The base

Basecamp at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dilli Village Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre has accommodation for up to 60 people. There is also a large camping area and good amenities within the complex.  24 hour 240V power is available on site to power equipment that may be used in the BioBlitz .  The large meeting area will provide the space and opportunity for the various teams to compare notes and share observations of their field work each night.  Dilli Village also has wonderful facilities for people to be able to deliver presentations on their findings and are of interest with large electronic screens.  It is also hoped to have on hand an IT expert to help record the range of field data so that there is a clear record of the baseline for future reference.

Dilli Village also offers wonderful opportunities for recreation and relaxation with the new pedestrian bridge making the beach just 200 metres away and attractive Dilli Village swimming hole in Govi Creek.  Dilli Village is the starting point of the Great Walk making it easy to walk Lake Boomanjin or to head south beside Jabiru swamp


University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dilli Village Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre has self-contained cabins but these will be offered free to Team leaders. The bunkhouses can sleep up to 40 people (maximum 2 per room $ $50 per night.  The bookings for the bunkhouse beds is on the basis of Dilli Village on the basis of first-in — best dressed.   However preference may be given to people willing to share their accommodation.

The large campground and facilities can cater for up to 100 campers @ $10.00/person/nihgt.  See:


Participants need to provide their own 4WD transport to and from Dilli Village, as well as to move through the study area for the duration of the BioBlitz.  The organizers are encouraging car pooling to minimize environmental impact.  FIDO is seeking to assist participants to minimize costs through exemptions and coordinating transport to and from and on the island.


Note:  The BioBlitz has received no financial grant has been received to assist staging this event.

All participants will be responsible for:

  1. Registering for the BioBlitz by completing the Application Form. This is a prerequisite to receiving further more detailed communication.
  2. Transport: Providing /securing their own transport to get to Dilli Village.  FIDO will negotiate with QPWS for exemption from access fees for those vehicles used for the BioBlitz as long as the make and registration number of the vehicle is notified by 6th November as well as whether it is planned to use a barge from Inskip Point or Mary River Heads to attend the BioBlitz.  Please indicate on the Application Form if you require 4WD transportation to/from and during the BioBlitz and FIDO will attempt to place you in a vehicle if seating is available.
  3. Accommodation: Participants are expected to base themselves at Dilli Village.   To book a bunkhouse room/bed or a campsite phone the Dilli Village Manager, Diane Crighton  (07) 4127 9130, information about Dilli Village ammenities is available in the document Dilli Village Ammenities. If camping, providing their own camping accommodation   Please note that all of the bunkhouses have all been booked out for the BioBlitz and will only be available to BioBlitz participants.  Non-participants though can be booked into the campground. The Cabins have been reserved for nominated specialists
  4. Catering arrangements: While some participants may choose to self-cater there will be an option to be fully catered for and this is encouraged to provide interaction between participants.  It is planned to engage a professional chef to cater for those who book ahead.  Details of costs will be notified in early November.

Further details regarding catering will be provided to all registered participants well before the event

The University of the Sunshine Coast will host the barbeque on for all participants and Saturday 3rd December.   This and other catering will be entirely a BYO  event.


It is expected that there could be experts covering many of the following specialities:

  • Botany (This may be broken into different ecosystems such as heathland, rainforest and schelophyll forest. There may be other specialists such as liverworts, orchids or odiscreet categories within botany)
  • Fungi
  • Mammals (This may be broken into more specific areas such as bat, rats, etc.)
  • Birds (These may be broken down into specific areas such as forest birds and shorebirds)
  • Reptiles
  • Frogs
  • Fish
  • Invertebrates Because of the diversity of invertebrates there may be specialists such as dragon flies, butterflies and beetles.  Being summer when most insect populations are high, there is an excellent opportunity to cover a broad range of groups. .  This is a subject area that is least known and on which more data is most urgently sought.

While roads will be used to get to some points it is expected that most of the BioBlitz will be carried out on foot.  Pedestrian access routes have been identified and these routes may be used by many specialists to comb the area seeking to identify a maximum number of species or discover previously species unlisted for Fraser Island (K’Gari) .

Collecting and reporting:

It is aimed to have one permit to cover the BioBlitz.  However this demands that there must be disciplined reporting of from each team leader.  Participants are asked to share any baseline / census data made during this BioBlitz with the organizers for contribution to a BioBlitz data repository and contributions to the Queensland Government’s Wildlife Online database, Queensland Herbarium, Queensland Museum, University of the Sunshine Coast Library and other public data access facilities.

There will be standard forms provided leaders of specialist teams to help record data and information to facilitate easy entry into the data repository.

There will be a librarian and IT specialist on hand from University of the Sunshine Coast to ensures that all data and records are documented before participants leave the BioBlitz


The BioBlitz provides an opportunity for citizen science.  Volunteers need be available to provide any sort of help, from providing transport, recording data and assisting fieldwork to digging trenches.  They may be engaged in other work from errands to cook’s assistant.

Limits:  Due to logistical limitations the number of volunteers may need to be limited.  If this is the case volunteers will be engaged in order of the applications received.

Specialists who would like to make use of volunteers are asked to specify the sort of assistance they need in the field and when they would need it.  This will assist assigned volunteers to come prepared.


The Fraser Island Defenders Organisation has engaged Kim Walker to coordinate this event.  Kim’s role is to liaise with the scientists liaise with the respective team leaders on their requirements and individual goals and  assist individual scientists where possible and regarding any specific needs any needs they may have for external assistance.

BioBlitz Slideshow on YouTube

Download BioBlitz Resources

From here you can download various resources related to BioBlitz.