The world is a truly beautiful place filled with complexity beyond our reckoning. We have but scratched the surface of the knowledge we can obtain from the natural world. There is much generalised knowledge available to the public on wildlife and conservation. However, there is less available for those that want that little more so their thirst for knowledge can be fully quenched. As the varied wren, I aim to breach that gap. Each week I will write on a new subject. Topics will range from the insanity that is the kakapo to the love darts of the snails. Discussions may even venture to the semi-automatic rifle that is the four pronged echidna penis or how sap can defy gravity and reach the tops of the tallest trees or the frog that once swallowed its young so the stomach could act as womb. I will teach the techniques required to correctly identify animals and plants not only by their living appearance but by their skulls and skeletons, calls, tracks and scats. Most importantly of all I will discuss strategies on how we, the human race can live more harmoniously with our environment.

Now about the varied wren…. I have a degree in Wildlife Science which focused on not only ecology and the environmental sciences but also agricultural practices and animal anatomy and physiology. The degree has given me a unique perspective into the natural world and how we can best support human civilisation whilst simultaneously conserving the environment.

My degree has given me a huge wealth of knowledge to draw upon but it is during my times as a volunteer that I believe I learnt my most valuable skills. As a volunteer I have: darned aviary netting with an eclectus undoing my every thread; fallen through the roof of a macaw cage trying to catch a concussed sun conure; performed necropsies; noosed crocodiles; given tours; x-rayed an echidna; stepped on far too many elapids (rear fanged snakes) whilst in remote Australia and fallen hip deep in soil with a Julia Creek Dunnart in hand.

This blog will draw on my theoretical knowledge and practical experiences so that you may have the chance to fully appreciate the natural world. If nothing else, perhaps I can justify spending every moment possible running after birds and frogs with my camera and subsequently rolling down the hill….