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Beginner Rainforest Plant ID Workshop

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Event description

Rainforests once covered much of Australia. Today rainforests cover only 0.25% of the continent, 17% of which occurs in NSW.  In the Mid-North Coast, we are blessed with high rainfall and a warm climate that allows a diverse array of rainforest communities to exist.  Away from the salt-affected rainforest communities of the coastal fringe, rainforests can reach towering heights, and with their characteristic closed canopy, it can be very difficult to differentiate tree species within these wonderful ecosystems.   

We are honoured to have Dr Bill McDonald, retired rainforest botanist from Queensland, present his vast knowledge of and experience with rainforest plant ID.  

Participants will start by learning how classical botanical identification techniques, such the morphology of flowers and fruits, are not very practical when identifying Australian rainforest trees and shrubs.  Bill will guide participants through the process of differentiating rainforest species according to easily collated information about habit, bark type and texture, and leaf arrangement and morphology, as outlined in the famous "Red Book", which he co-authored.  With reference and reverence to the late Alex Floyd, Bill will give an overview of local rainforest ecology, composition and distribution in NSW, particularly with respect to underlying geology.

We will work with live plant samples in a 'laboratory' setting in the morning, and after lunch we will take a wander through the local rainforest and turn our hand at field observation. 

 This a is beginner workshop, and no prior botanical knowledge is necessary.  It will also be suitable for those people who have dabbled in a little plant ID, but who have limited knowledge of rainforest species.

There will be some hand lenses available for communal use on the day, but participants are encouraged to bring their own if possible.  "The Red Book" will be available for purchase on the day.

This is a very special opportunity to meet a highly respected rainforest scholar and learn from one of the very best in the field.

To find out more about Dr Bill McDonald and his publication go to this link: Rainforest Trees and Shrubs

Rainforest Trees and Shrubs and will be available for purchase on the day.

This event is possible thanks to the shared work of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust and Landcare NSW under the Private Land Conservation Matters project, supported locally by MidCoast Council.


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