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Find out about upcoming opportunities to learn and engage

  • School Holiday Fun- Agents of Discovery Program

    Become a nature agent these school holidays with Agents of Discovery, an award-winning app. This free digital game gets kids outdoors, exploring our spectacular conservation areas whilst learning about the creatures who live in them. A cute koala guide shows players where to find hidden challenges, unlocked in the game by simply walking in the forest. Choose from two missions: Bushland Discovery 2.0 in Tanawha or Rainforest Discovery at Mary Cairncross. Suitable for 4 - 12yrs. Download the free Agents of Discovery app from google play or app store and load the Sunshine Coast missions onto your smart device. Mobile phone coverage can be limited in the forest, so make sure you get your device loaded and ready before heading out. The app requires min. 2GB of RAM, standard on devices 2017. Solve all the challenges and become an Agent of Discovery!

  • All things scaly, reptile walk

    Join Mike Donovan, author of Snakes of the Sunshine Coast and avid naturalist for a reptile walk through Mary Cairncross. Mary Cairncross is home to many reptile species including the elusive Southern angle-headed dragon. Join Mike for a relaxed walk through the reserve, discover tips on how to spot our scaly residents and learn more about their intriguing behavior and important role in the forest. Tickets $15 Registration essential.

  • Frogs and their habitat

    Frogs & their habitat - Learn how to Find a Frog in February! Join Mary River Catchment Officer, Eva Ford as she shares the secrets of these often cryptic creatures, learn about the habitats and plants they prefer and why. The talk will be held in the theatrette with an optional short walk to look and listen for frogs following. To say Eva Ford is passionate about frogs is an understatement. She has spent the last 18 years frolicking along waterways and wetlands in the dead of night in search of our amphibious friends, working with landowners to restore their waterways and driving the annual ‘Find a Frog in February’ program. Eva will provide you with some tips on how to identify frogs, share information about the habitats and plants they prefer and why. The talk will be held in the theatrette with an optional short walk to look and listen for frogs at the conclusion. Free event. Limited places. Registration essential.

  • Plant Behaviour

    Held at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, this seminar looks at two very different, but intriguing, pollination systems occurring within SEQ Eucalypt forests, the grass tree (Xanthorrhoea johnsonii) and two cheese tree species (Glochidion ferdinandi and G. summatranum). Evolutionary pathways, in most cases, are constrained by ancestral traits that can be changed or modified over the passage of time. We often study these systems at one such moment in time…but time, and the dance (between the plants and their associated animals) continues. Join Griffith University plant ecologist Dr Jacinta Zalucki for this fascinating insight into how even the smallest things can change the course of evolutionary history…..in a forest.

  • Fungi, foundation of life

    Fungi, foundation of life - They are not a plant and are in fact more closely related to animals. Fungi are crucial to the healthy functioning of the rainforest ecosystem, decomposing forest material and returning nutrients to the soil. Join fungi guru Fran Guard for a walk through Mary Cairncross Reserve. Fran has been interested in fungi for more than 15 years and loves them all but especially the tiny ones called Marasmius that decompose leaf litter. Fran's walk will focus on the role of fungi in the rainforest and how they interact with everything else. Tickets $15 - bookings essential.

  • The ‘big scrub’ rainforest

    Sub-tropical rainforest areas of northern NSW and South-east Queensland, known colloquially as ‘big scrub’, are considered national biodiversity hot-spots. These areas have some of the highest levels of species diversity and richness found anywhere on the Australian continent with only the wet tropics having a greater species richness. Over the past 200 years we have seen significant declines in the extent of the big scrub rainforest, almost wiping them out entirely in some parts of northern NSW in pre and post war times. The term scrub is a derogatory term used to describe low scrappy vegetation by the early settler’s intent on clearing the vegetation. When they were confronted by the majestic rainforest areas with their tall valuable cedars and other rainforest trees they coined the phrase “big scrub”. Fortunately, some important areas remain and due to the efforts of many special, caring people and communities we are collectively seeing restoration of rainforest. Richard’s presentation will look at historically how and why we have lost such extensive areas of rainforest on the Blackall Range, what makes Mary Cairncross such an important and special remnant patch of rainforest in a Sunshine Coast area context; and what Council has been doing to help protect and restore these biodiverse ‘power-house’ habitats.