Next UniSA online workshop is on the birds of Kangaroo Island

A female scarlet robin on Kangaroo Island. Photo David Potter
A female scarlet robin on Kangaroo Island. Photo David Potter

The UniSA Vice Chancellor Bushfire Fund for KI winter online Zoom workshops continue with the next being bird identification on Wednesday, May 20.

Meanwhile. the online workshop on the fungi of Kangaroo Island held on the evening of May 6 plunged a large and enthusiastic audience into the magical world of fungi.

Assisted by striking photographs by David Catcheside, Pam Catcheside explained that there could be over 900 species of fungi on Kangaroo Island.

Many species held fundamental roles in ecosystem functions, such as, for example, symbiosis with plants (90-95 per cent of plants use relationships with fungi to survive), soil structure and health, soil reconstruction and pH neutralisation after fires, food webs for animals, habitats for invertebrates, decomposition and nutrient cycling.

"Pam and her team have found species that are unique to KI, and some are threatened with extinction," Associate Professor Topa Petit, the convener of the workshops, said.

"I think that eco-tours that integrate fungus interpretation could value-add to the tourism experience in winter, and appeal to many Australian visitors."

The winter workshops continue, with the next taking place Wednesday, May 20 at 5pm.

"Principles of Bird Identification for Kangaroo Island" will be presented by Jean Turner.

Ms Turner, a KI resident, was a stewardship officer for BirdLife Australia and has an excellent knowledge of birds in coastal and bush habitats.

The workshop will cover how to use binoculars, tips to identify birds, and will feature some of the lovely bush birds encountered on the island, and how they can be monitored scientifically by volunteers to assist with wildlife recovery efforts.

The Zoom workshop is open to all, including children, but it is recommended to book with in case of last-minute change.

All that is needed is to download Zoom and join the meeting on the day: ID 981-1377-4214, password 0123456. Bring your binoculars!