Bruce Greatwich, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Western Australia)
What are your research interests as they relate to northern Australia?
The Kimberley faces a multitude and ever increasing threats such as development projects, weeds, feral animals, landscape scale wildfires and more. I’m passionate about playing my role in protecting the natural values and assets the region is famous for, so future generations can enjoy this region as we do now. Specifically, I’m involved in Bilby research across the Fitzroy river catchment and Dampier Peninsula where we investigate their occupancy, population demographics through scat DNA analysis and assess threats, to better inform management and conservation of Bilbies and their habitat.
What do you love about working in northern Australia?
It’s great working with indigenous ranger groups, the majority of the Kimberley is determined native title and there is now a workforce of ranger groups across the landscape implementing amazing on-ground management. Tracking Bilbies with rangers is heaps of fun, they have great eyesight and able to spot and track fauna and their signs with ease. As a keen birder it’s great living in an area with large bird species richness and there’s always plenty of vagrants turning up. The landscapes and environment can be rugged and harsh to work in, but equally beautiful and stunning, which make it all worthwhile. The Kimberley is my favourite place to work! It has such a diverse range in habitats, sandy deserts in the south, limestone and sandstone escarpments and ranges, savannah woodlands, rainforest patches, great wetlands and more. Whilst it’s almost always hot, a refreshing swim in a rocky gorge is usually not far away.