Dr Tonia Cochran & Inala Nature Tours
Inala Nature Tours is a Bruny Island based tour company and travel agency that specialises in designing wildlife tours around Australia. Many of their clients are birdwatchers, so Inala guides need to have specialist birdwatching knowledge and skills. All of Inala’s Tasmanian guides are local Bruny Islanders or people with a long association with Bruny Island and a detailed knowledge of where to find birds here. And they are also all jolly nice people! So we are confident that you will be in capable but friendly hands. Dr. Tonia Cochran is the Managing Director, owner and main travel consultant and guide for Inala Nature Tours. She has been a resident of Bruny Island for 25 years and has specifically designed a range of tours for the Bruny Bird Festival which will showcase Bruny’s amazing birds. Opportunities for viewing seabirds, shorebirds, waterbirds and bush birds as well as a good chance of seeing several threatened bird species are all covered in the range of tours that are on offer. Some of these tours, such as a birding tour around Tonia’s 1,500 acre private wildlife sanctuary “Inala” are rarely offered. Tonia has a doctorate in Zoology from the University of Melbourne and has been guiding and designing wildlife and birding tours for the past 20 years. Before that she was a Marine Biologist with the Australian Antarctic Division and participated in 7 research voyages to sub Antarctica and the Antarctic continent. She lives at “Inala” but spends a lot of time away leading tours around Australia, speaking at Ecotourism and Birding conferences around the world and getting involved with wildlife documentaries. In her spare time she is also heavily involved with threatened species conservation and is part of the National Recovery team for the Forty-spotted Pardalote and Eagle (Wedge-tailed and White-bellied Sea Eagle) programs. She will be personally leading some of the tours on offer, and generally available throughout the weekend to answer questions and have a chat. We invite you to join the tours on offer and meet our team. All levels of birding skills are welcome and we will make sure that you really enjoy your tour AND see some great birds and learn heaps! We look forward to seeing you there!
Dr Eric Woehler - BirdLife Tasmania
Dr Eric Woehler has been researching seabirds and shorebirds for more than 35 years, with more than 100 peer-reviewed papers. His primary research effort has been on Southern Ocean seabirds, both at-sea and at their colonies, and he has also collected and collated an extensive data set on Tasmania's resident shorebirds. Eric has spent more than a year at sea undertaking seabird identification and surveys. For more than 15 years, he has undertaken surveys of beaches around Tasmania, mapping more than 5000 shorebird nests and breeding territories, and surveyed small tern colonies. Recently, these surveys have extended onto the smaller islands around Tasmania, in conjunction with the Parks & Wildlife Service, conducting seabird and shorebird surveys. His talk will provide an overview of BirdLife Tasmania’s research on Little Penguins in Tasmania and the surveys and monitoring undertaken on Bruny Island. This research has included mapping of the colony at the Neck, where the State Government is looking to seal the road. Eric will also be one of the two guides for the seabird cruise.
Sarah Lloyd is a Tasmanian naturalist, writer and photographer with a life-long passion for birds. She is well known for her photographs and writings on just about any subject involving natural history – especially in her self-published books and the newsletter of the Central North Field Naturalists. Her latest publication The Feathered Tribes of Van Diemen’s Land describes the functions of bird songs and the role of sex in the spring dawn chorus, the practical and aesthetic importance of feathers and other intriguing aspects of birds’ lives seldom included in field guides.
In 2008 Sarah established 'A Sound Idea', a project to monitor bush and forest birds using digital sound recording devices. Over 90 willing participants from around the Tasmania made recordings from over 160 locations allowing Sarah to compile an aural record of habitats not previously surveyed for birds.
Since 2010 Sarah has been studying acellular slime moulds (myxomycetes) and has written a book for the non-specialist titled Where the Slime Mould creeps – the fascinating world of Myxomycetes.
For nearly 30 years Sarah and her partner, Ron Nagorcka (a composer who shares her interest in the natural world) have lived in a forest in Northern Tasmania where they have been able to pursue their natural history passions to their hearts’ content.Sarah & Ron will guide the Woodlands Walks.
Ron Nagorcka (Sarah Lloyd’s partner) is a composer with a considerable international reputation. He is also secretary of the Central North Field Naturalists, and has over the last two decades recorded and assembled a large library of Tasmanian and mainland bird calls. Many of these have featured in his music (often in a much manipulated form.) Sarah and Ron spend many hours birding not only in Australia but anywhere in the world given the opportunity.
Bob Graham - BIEN
Bob Graham is convenor of BIEN and has worked in and enjoyed many different areas of Australia from tropical North Queensland to SW Tasmania. Growing up in North West Tasmania he thought that birds were either, sparrows, seagulls or crows. That changed in the '70s after a trip to the Coorong with dedicated 'Birdo' friends. Since then birds have become an integral part of both his every day and professional life. After purchasing Karingal (a bush block with dilapidated farmhouse) on Bruny in 1977, Bob says that "getting to know the birds, their habits and their ever changing behaviour from season to season and year to year in and around the 'block' has been one of the most rewarding exepriences of my life".
As a professional geographer and planner, the relationship of birds to where they live, how they survive and how they cope with environmental change has been an ongoing fascination for Bob. Working for over 40 years in diverse environments such as Lord Howe Island, North Queensland, SE Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, the Darwin Region, throughout Tasmania and on several national projects has allowed Bob to enjoy many different birding experiences. At the same an interest in birds and their relationships with the natural world have made Bob aware of the tenuous hold that many species have in a world which places more value on developing land for creating economic wealth rather than wise stewardship that respects and values birds and their habitats.
Since moving to Bruny to live full time in 2000, Bob continues to learn more about the local birds, their daily lives and how they respond to even minor changes in their environment. With his wife Marg, Bob has put a lot of effort into allowing the local bush on Karingal to re-establish itself and provide a safe haven for the many bird and animal species that share the land with them. Since getting together with a group of like minded people to establish BIEN, Bob has been involved in a number of activities that have helped to educate locals and visitors about birds and to celebrate and look after the wonderful bird life on the Island. Bob will be guiding the Beach to Bush walks.
Dr Dejan Stojanovic -ANU (TBC)
Dr Dejan Stojanovic is a conservation biologist, whose research focuses on the conservation and management of threatened species and their habitat, with a focus on how species cope with habitat loss. He has a particular interest in parrots, and his PhD research led to the discovery of severe predation by sugar gliders on endangered swift parrots. He has also worked on the conservation and breeding biology of orange bellied parrots and Carnaby's cockatoo.
Dejan will be guiding the Swift Parrot walks.
Dr Sally Bryant - Tas Land Conservancy
Dr Sally Bryant worked for 18 years as a wildlife scientist with the Tasmanian government including 6 years as manager of threatened species, and is now the manager of science and planning at the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. She has travelled extensively throughout Australia and overseas researching threatened species mainly birds and has published widely on a range of wildlife conservation issues. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Tasmania and her popular wildlife talkback program on ABC radio has been running fortnightly since 1999.
Sally will be guiding and presenting at the festival.
Read more about Tas Land Conservancy
Nick Mooney is a wildlife biologist educated at the University of Tasmania then employed by Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service and its various permutations, for 33 years, more recently, after leaving government employ, being a volunteer. After hands-on, youthful involvement with raptors, Nick pioneered survey, risk assessment and management of Tasmanian raptors, travelling extensively (and privately) to get practical experience and presenting in local, national and international forums. He was a founding member of the Australasian Raptor Association. Conserving forest dependent species such as grey goshawks and nesting wedge-tailed eagles amongst logging was a focus as was dealing with peoples’ problems with raptors predating stock or pets; finding practical solutions to wildlife/people conflicts has been a forte.
Nick has monitored reports of Thylacines in Tasmania, actively searching, assessing possible evidence and advising private searchers. He has helped with responses to whale strandings and oil spills and developed road-kill mitigation, protection of coastal penguins, rehabilitation of orphaned Tasmanian devils and management of human/devil conflicts. Nick has put much effort into increasing community appreciation of wildlife and has used innovative rehabilitation (including using prisoners to rehabilitate eagles), management (trialling raptors as bird scarers in crops), and tourism (developing the devil restaurant concept) to this effect, skills augmented by guiding in Antarctica and local guide training.
Nick was key to starting the official responses to the Devil Facial Tumour Disease, donating his design of a new safe trap for devils to the program. Nick continues to help assess the potential ecological effects of a loss of devils to DFTD; he sees the possible consequent establishment of foxes as the biggest risk to Tasmania’s wildlife including devils.
Nick is an enthusiastic communicator with over 30 peer-refereed publications and literally hundreds of popular articles and media appearances to his credit and guest teaching stints at UTAS, in Indonesia and Ecuador. He is an active practitioner in helping others get established in his fields of interest.
His favourite bird is the brown falcon, our only raptor with an aboriginal ingredient in its Latin name.
Nick will be guiding and presenting at the festival.
Chris Tzaros - Birds Bush & Beyond
Chris Tzaros has maintained a strong interest in natural history since his childhood. Brought up in central Victoria, he has a particular passion for and knowledge of woodland and wetland ecosystems, particularly birds. Chris has initiated and been actively involved in a number of conservation and research programs across temperate south-eastern Australia for nearly 20 years. He has considerable experience in a range of biological surveys, particularly bird surveys, in a range of ecosystems but specialises in eucalypt woodlands and freshwater wetlands.
In 1997, he was awarded Young Australian of the Year in the Victorian environment category in recognition of his commitment to box-ironbark woodland conservation and his dedicated work on threatened birds such as the Grey-crowned Babbler and Swift Parrot. He completed a Bachelor of Applied Science degree at Charles Sturt University in 1998 and a Master of Science degree in Conservation Ecology at Deakin University in 2001, researching bird communities in River Red Gum forests along the length of the Murray River. In 2005 he authored a comprehensive book on the Wildlife of Victoria’s Box-Ironbark Country. Chris is also a regular contributor to a number of magazines, periodicals and books and presents illustrated talks, seminars and workshops to a wide audience across southern Australia. Over the past decade or so, Chris has also developed as an accomplished bird photographer – a passionate hobby that complements his professional career, and he has won multiple awards for his images. He regularly contributes illustrated articles to magazines such as Australian Birdlife, numerous books and web sites. For the past 12 years, Chris worked with BirdLife Australia where he co-coordinated a number of projects including the Swift Parrot Recovery Program, the National Threatened Bird Network, a habitat modelling project on Orange-bellied Parrots and a major woodland bird conservation project throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. In 2013 Chris formed his own company, Birds Bush & Beyond. Chris will be presenting the photography workshops.