The Fauna Park is an 11-ha area on the Macquarie campus. It is adjacent to a remnant of endangered Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest which is used in various biology/ecology courses in the department. The main purpose of the Fauna Park is to provide facilities for animal-based research, particularly in animal behaviour.
A vibrant community of animal behaviourists are based at the Fauna Park, where they work on lizards, birds, frogs, fishes, spiders, bees, ants, Q-flies and a range of other invertebrates. The Fauna Park has excellent animal facilities, which are a combination of climate-controlled animal housing or semi-natural outdoor enclosures.
Researchers and students working on fish behaviour have access to an artificial stream, two large ponds, the Seawater Facility, and many large plastic water tanks enclosed under predator-proof netting. Likewise, research on lizards is supported by six large outdoor enclosures that replicate local natural environments. There is also a bird-proof netted enclosure with 40 3-m plastic tubs for experimental work on lizards, in addition to several more netted enclosures with additional facilities for housing small populations of lizards. Finally, there are two climate-controlled sheds for housing amphibians and reptiles for behavioural and cognition studies. A large number of aviaries support work on various Australian finches including zebra finches and long-tailed finches. There are also large outdoor, netted enclosures that could house larger birds. Invertebrates are mostly housed indoors in climate-controlled facilities although seasonal studies are done in outdoor netted enclosures. The Fauna Park also has excellent laboratory facilities, especially for work on the Q-fly.
Robby Miller – Fauna Park Manager
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