Useful Information

The following information will help you with both making reports, and understanding others' reports.

Click here to listen to an excellent recent ABC segment on Brisbane's wildlife.

Our Areas

McDowall is the wildlife epicentre. Surrounding suburbs include:

Bridgeman Downs Wildlife

Brisbane City Council

Downfall Creek Bushland Centre

Chermside Hills / Milne Hill / Raven St Reserves

Cabbage Tree Creek Catchment

Habitat/Bushcare groups

Spotting Wallabies

Swamp Wallabies in our area are stealthy! They can bound along within 20 metres of you without you hearing a sound.

They'll also often stand quite still watching you walk by - without you even knowing!

You'll increase the chances of spotting one by keeping a good lookout left and right as you walk.

After spotting one for the first time, you'll be more likely to be able to spot others. Your eyes will be more in tune with what you're looking for.


Scats provide evidence of recent activity. If only our furry friends knew how valuable their natural process is for us to track them!

The photo is of Swamp Wallaby scats in Chermside Hills Reserve. Note the greenish, grassy appearance when broken open. The larger piece is between 2cm and 3cm long.

Further help with identifying scats can be found Here.

Koala Tree Scratchings

Tree scratchings provide evidence of Koala activity (ie claw marks from climbing a tree).

Koala claws are very sharp and enable Koalas to get a really good grip on a tree's bark, but this process usually also often involves some of bark being scratched and coming away. Subtle but clear evidence of a Koala!

They aren't always obvious without knowing what you're looking for/at, but once you do know what you're looking for/at, you'll see it everywhere that there are Koalas! Thankfully, that still applies to our area!

Fresh scratchings are usually discernable from older ones.

The photo shows tree scratchings in Bunyaville Conservation Park.

Credit and sincere thanks must go to dedicated local John H for alerting to the above, which has been an important inclusion in the website/system.

If you report a Koala, please consider also reporting it to Save The Koala.


There are hundreds of bird species that may be sighted, or heard, in our area.

Notable/rare/significant sightings may include Owls, Whipbirds, Bellbirds, Curlews, Hawks, Finches, Herons, Drongos, Kingfishers etc that have become uncommon around here.

It's pleasing that Whipbirds can sometimes be heard around McDowall, and Bellbirds still exist in Bunyaville Conservation Park. Bellbirds can regularly be heard west of the southern end of the Jinker Track, but you'll be very lucky to see one!

To have a menu of birds would, unfortunately, be impractical. However, in the future, willing/agreeable verified/registered sighters/reporters may have their comments published on the Sightings Map. Stay tuned!

Help with identifying birds can be found Here.


They DO exist in our area!!! That includes the South Pine River and it's tributaries, and more.

However, platypuses are notoriously elusive and difficult to spot. The best time to attempt to spot them is at dawn or dusk.

Even when you know they have been spotted in a particular creek, river or waterhole, you can go there on a daily basis for weeks and still not see one.

Recently, Australian DNA science has emerged which can detect platypus DNA in their habitat water! See this for more info

This DNA testing should be mandatory as part of investigations for Development Applications (DAs) affecting waterways. Even normally dry watercourses should be considered as part of DAs as Platypuses often move along them when flooded. A case of this is a Development Application at Bridgeman Downs, where a proposed development would cut off one such platypus corridor.

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