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Environment Centre NT - protecting nature, living sustainably, creating climate for a change

Field Guide to Wildlife of the Top End

Our fantastic new Field Guide to Wildlife of the Top End is around 80% written, and now we are seeking your support to finalise this invaluable resource. Can you help? Donations are tax deductible. We aim to finish the text and species distribution maps by the end of 2014, then to layout the guide for printing in April-May 2015.


The Environment Centre NT is producing the first ever comprehensive Field Guide to Wildlife of the Top Endand we are seeking partners to be involved and support this exciting project. Australia’s Top End is home to an amazing array of unique and rare wildlife, and many of Australia’s most iconic National Parks and other protected areas.

But there is no single, user-friendly and comprehensive field guide to the animals that live in one of the world’s wildlife hotspots, or the special places visitors can go to see them. Comprehensive identification of Top End wildlife can only currently be achieved by purchasing a number of Australia-wide identification books, and several of these are currently out of date. We want to work with other organisations and stakeholders to fill this gap.

This resource will be very popular with tourists, land managers, conservation agencies and organisations, Park and Indigenous Rangers, scientists, students, and nature lovers in general.

The easy-to-use full colour guide will allow users to identify many hundreds of species of wildlife, with quality images, information on species’ taxonomy, habitats and ranges in non-technical language.

Download the flyer for the field guide below.

What will be in the field guide?

  • 600 species
  • 300-400 pages
  • Commonnly encountered, threatened, unique, dangerous and amazing wildlife
  • Mammals, Birds, Frogs, Reptlies, Fish And Insects
  • Image: 1-2 per high quality images for each species.
  • Indigenous uses, cultural values and names for selected species.
  • Description of key threats to wildlife, and conservation opportunities.
  • Case studies on topical wildlife issues with key conservation agencies, Aboriginal land and sea managers, environment organisations, pastoralists, landcarers, ecologists and naturalists.

The field guide will feature wildlife at our best known and most visited National Parks and other public iconic areas in the Top End.

In addition, information regarding about approximately two dozen National Parks and other types of protected areas (eg, Marine Parks, and with the owners’ consent; private wildlife sanctuaries, potentially Indigenous Protected Areas, and Territory Conservation Agreements) would be provided, including maps, information on Indigenous and other cultural values, camping areas, wildlife viewing sites and tracks.

We are using field guides published for wildlife of Greater Brisbane and Melbourne as models for the willdife component of the field guide.

Who is already supporting production of the field guide

So far we have secured funding, or in-kind support, from the Australian Government (Caring For Our Country Community Action Grants, and National Environmental Research Program’s Northern Australia Hub), Northern Territory Government’s EnvironmeNT Grants, City of Darwin, and NT Airports Pty Ltd. We are also seeking to partner with others who want to help raise awareness of the Top End’s amazing wildlife, including wildlife ecologists, taxonomists, field naturalists and photographers in the Top End.

We want to work with a broad range of partners to help them contribute text, ideas and images to ensure the field guide is comprehensive, accurate, user-friendly valuable.

Want to get involved?

About the author

Lindley McKay has 20 years experience as a wildlife ecologist including over a decade working in government and university in the Top End. He is an accomplished wildlife photographer and has authored two wildlife books,Frillneck! and A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Bali.

For more information, download the investment partnership flyer below, or call or email Lindley on

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