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 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 18 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!
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Liz Znidersic - BirdLife Tasmania
Liz started her lifetime passion for animals as a childhood member of the Royal Zoological Society in NSW. She now works as a Discovery Ranger for Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Services, ornithological survey consultant and inspiring leader for children’s education programs. Liz is the north east shorebird count co-ordinator and runs a monthly birding group in the St Helens area. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Ornithology and is currently in a Master degree program.
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Sarah Lloyd - BirdLife Tasmania
Sarah Lloyd is a Tasmanian naturalist who is interested in everything from snipe to slime moulds. 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 life long passion has been birds. Sarah established 'A Sound Idea" which is an approach to monitoring bush and forest birds by using digital sound recording devices. These devices (e.g. Zoom H2) are to sound recordists what compact digital cameras are to home photographers. They require no technical expertise other than the ability to press a few buttons. With a network of willing participants from around the state Sarah hopes to compile an aural record of different habitats. The project will record birds, frogs, and other vocal animals. As well as guiding the woodlands walks Sarah will present a session on bird calls and recording.
For more than 20 years she 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 these passions to their hearts’ content.
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Festival Dinner guest speaker - Sean Dooley
Sean Dooley is a Melbourne-based author, comedy writer, and birdwatcher. He is currently editor of Australian Birdlife, the member magazine of BirdLife Australia. He has worked on such TV shows as Full Frontal, Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks and has written three books, 'The Big Twitch', 'Anoraks To Zitting Cisticola- A Whole Lot of Stuff About Birdwatching' and 'Cooking With Baz'.
In 2002 Sean broke the Australian record for seeing the most species of birds in Australia in the one year, a feat that he wrote about in 'The Big Twitch', thereby establishing himself as Australia's best known bird-nerd. He is a regular on ABC radio and 3RRRFM as their resident Birdman.
Sean relates he has been a keen birdwatcher since childhood when introduced to the pass time by a teacher, but for many years was too ashamed to admit to his hobby. Thankfully he has overcome this and we look forward to an entertaining night as he regales us with tales of his adventures and achievements in birding.
Dr Sally Bryant - Tas Land Conservancy
Dr Sally Bryant gained her doctorate in marsupial physiology at the University of Tasmania in 1987. She worked for 18 years as a wildlife scientist with the Tasmanian Government, including six years managing the Threatened Species Section. She is now Reserves and Research Manager with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and continues to publish extensively on wildlife conservation issues. Her popular ABC Radio wildlife talkback program has been running fortnightly since 1999. Cited from her publication - " Animals of Tasmania: Wildlife of an Incredible Island ", Sally Bryant, Tim Squires, 2009"
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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.
Craig Webb- Raptore Refuge
Craig was awarded the Environment Medal at News Ltd's Pride of Australia awards in November in 2009. He writes " As a humble wildlife carer I decided well over decade ago to build a flight aviary for a couple of birds I had in care, this was the seed of an idea that snowballed, gathered momentum and led to me developing the Raptor & Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Inc. I now have fantastic facilities and a strong commitment to raise awareness and the rehabilitation of Tasmania's Raptors. I encourage membership so as the community can be involved, but I must stress that the Raptor Refuge is just that and not a Wildlife Park."
"The Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Incorporated is committed to securing the future of Tasmania's raptors by reducing human impacts through rehabilitating injured, sick or orphaned raptors, educating the public and supporting habitat conservation."
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Chris Tzaros - BirdLife Australia
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 freshwater wetland ecosystems, particularly birds. Chris has led and been actively involved in a number of conservation and research programs across temperate south-eastern Australia for over 15 years. 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 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, and in 2005 he authored a comprehensive book on the wildlife of Victoria’s box-ironbark forests. Chris is also a regular contributor to a number of magazines, periodicals and books and presents illustrated talks and seminars to a wide audience across southern Australia. Over the past few years, Chris has also developed as an accomplished bird photographer – a passionate hobby that complements his professional career. Currently, Chris is employed with BirdLife Australia where he coordinates a major woodland bird conservation project throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
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