Feather Map Artwork
Feather Map Artwork by Pamela


The Feather Map of Australia project aims to collect waterbird feathers from wetlands around Australia. These feathers will be analysed using nuclear techniques, such as mass spectroscopy and high resolution X-ray fluorescence, to identify stable isotopes and minerals that are incorporated into feathers through the ingestion of food.

These analyses will identify the differences in feathers from diverse parts of Australia, creating a Feather Map.

A joint project of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Feather Map will be used to track the movement of waterbirds around Australia from wetland to wetland based on feather analyses.

Wetlands around Australia are under threat from reduced river flows and flooding, drought, climate change and land use changes. Wetlands are habitats that are crucial for Australia’s waterbirds. They provide places for nesting, feeding and roosting. For many species of waterbirds, flooded wetlands are essential for nesting. Without floods and river flows many waterbirds don’t bred. This project will collect information on which wetlands waterbirds use, how they use them, and wetland health.

Pamela’s familiarity with many birds which have featured in both her paintings and prints provides the opportunity for imagery which will promote this innovative project.

Feather Map PosterThe Feather Map Poster by ANSTO
Feather Map Wall Display
Feather Map Wall Display by ANSTO
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