An Expert on the Blue Mountains Region – Meet Shane

As we launch into a new year of goals, projects and planning we are again reminded of just how important a role our Science for Wildlife volunteers play within our organisation. Many of our volunteers have grown up in the Blue Mountains area, spending their weekends exploring the national parks and walking trails, making their first-hand knowledge of the area invaluable during field surveys.

Shane Metcalfe is one of our Blue Mountains locals who has been part of the Science for Wildlife volunteering team for the past 3 months. He has lived in the Blue Mountains area since 1970, and grew up exploring and playing in the lower Blue Mountains bushland.

Meet Shane

Featured above: Shane holding a sapling in Bohol, Philippines, as part of a native forest rehabilitation program for visitors at the Bohol Biodiversity Complex. He was part of a University group sent for a study tour in order to evaluate the agricultural and environmental management processes in Bohol.

Currently based in Mount Riverview, Shane grew up in Lapstone and spent many weekends around Glenbrook Gorge. He has always fostered a love and curiosity for the surrounding native bushland which led him to complete his degree in Natural Science at Western Sydney University.

Shane was also previously employed as an interpretive outdoor guide with Tread Lightly Eco Tours, which greatly contributed to his wealth of knowledge on the Blue Mountains area and navigating through the surrounding parks and bushland. He was drawn to Science for Wildlife because he found the goals of the organisation to be in line with his interests and love for the local wildlife.

I chose S4W because their work is at the heart of what I find to be important, the protection and management of our wildlife and the ecosystems they and we rely on.  This is also the reason why I am motivated to keep volunteering and hopefully one day work in a similar role somewhere.”

Shane has been an integral part of our recent surveys to locate koalas after the bushfires and has spent considerable hours in the blue mountains searching for scat and other signs of life. Shane’s enthusiasm for finding local Koalas is inspiring, he recently told us:

I have a camper and a motorbike so I am willing to travel just about anywhere, as long as it is not too physically demanding or I might be the one that needs to be rescued!”

Featured above: Shane’s bike that he uses to explore the bushland areas of the Blue Mountains.

In his first week, Shane and Victoria (another S4W volunteer) spotted a Koala which has been his favourite and most memorable experience volunteering with S4W to date.

I have spent a fair amount of time in the Blue Mountains bush however that was the first time I have ever seen a Koala in the wild. I now realise I have probably walked beneath them on many occasions but was just not looking.”

A huge thank you to Shane who, with his local knowledge has been a great help to the S4W team over the past few months in our efforts to locate and track native wildlife after the bushfires. We look forward to continuing our work together out in the field in 2021!

Featured above: Shane and Carol at Dunns Swamp

How can you help S4W?

Work of this scale requires many hands! We are inviting volunteers from local communities and beyond to assist in the coming months. We are currently running scat surveys around the Kanangra Boyd National Park and surrounding areas from now until mid-February. If you are interested in assisting, please click on the link below for more information.

For other projects updates and to learn more about Science for Wildlife community, visit our website here.