Ellura Sanctuary, Swan Reach, SA, 5354
We started identifying wildlife just for fun to see what strange things I had photographed. Once we bought Ellura it seemed imperative that we know what species we were looking after, what were weeds (for removal), and what was rare (requiring extra vigilance). We have done so much identification & photographic work now this web site has turned into a Characterisation Research Project.

Please note: Our tools menu above (in the "Other" menu item). These are also resources we use to help maintain our Sanctuary.

Local Sanctuary Web Sites
Entwood Sanctuary:
Wayne & Cheryl Donald are caring for a large property in Sandleton. Their site provides valuable information about and insight into conservation.
Ken & Sue Sarkies are doing a similar thing to us nearby (about 10kms North). Their site offers more photos of similar wildlife.
Wombat Rise Sanctuary:
Jan & Bob Cleaver do a great job in caring for injured and orphaned animals over on Halfway House Road.
Yookamurra Sanctuary:
Run by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, this is a large Sanctuary offering school education and accommodation.

Other Reference & Resource Web Sites
Atlas of Living Australia:
A government site to collect all Australian sightings of all living things. It's huge, with over 35 million records. Sightings records & photographs are provided by individuals, museums & other biological collectors. It's growing! We find we use it more and more. And the taxon description is up to date.
Australian Faunal Directory:
A great site to confirm the currency of fauna names.
Australian Plant Name Index:
A great site to confirm the currency of a plant name, and quite a few confirmation photographs.
If you are serious about Australian wildlife identification, you should join this great site and add your sightings to help citizen science along.
It's equally valuable to help beginners find identifications of their species by using the search feature. It's helps if you have the family name first. The above link takes you to a search that shows our 1,000th species on the Ellura website. From there you can easily search any species you are interested in.
Brisbane Insects:
A good Australian insect site.
Caterpillars of Australia:
Not only does this site describe butterflies & moths, with photo's, but also their lava (caterpillars) & food sources. Very extensive site by Don Herbison-Evans.
Census of South Australian Plants, Algae & Fungi:
The definitive resource to find if a plant should exist in SA, along with excellent fact sheets noting diagnostic features, etc.
Entomological Society of Victoria:
A very active group that has regular newsletters & articles. There are a lot of crossover species between our region & Victoria.
Esperance Wildflowers:
While a WA site, its soil & climate are similar to the Murray Mallee, so we find a lot of crossover in species.
Friends of Private Bushland:
This is a small group based in South Australia that provide Private Bushland owners, like us, a wealth of knowledge, camaraderie and site visits. For a very low membership fee. If you own a Sanctuary or Heritage block join up for a year and try it out.
It can be useful to enter a characteristic of the species to be investigated and then hit the image button to scan images people have loaded.
Insects of Tasmania:
Insects of Tasmania is an amazing resource, we have come to depend on to identify our insects; even though we are in SA. Many insects on the Ellura website have been found due to this site. Run by volunteers Kristi & Tony
Irongrass Environmental Rehabilitation Services:
We haven't promoted businesses here, but when someone like Andrew Allanson is so dedicated to our environment, and taught us so much, we are only too pleased to promote his business here. With a history in Trees For Life, founder of their Bush for Life program & finalist in the Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year, it's clear he's well respected; and a hell of a nice bloke to boot.
Mid Murray Landcare SA:
This local organisation does great work to improve the environment.
Murraylands Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010:
This is the document we've used to classify the rarity of the wildlife on Ellura.
Native Orchid Society of South Australia:
If you are into Orchids at all, then this is the place you need to go. With links, journals, information, etc.
NSW Flora On-line:
Good descriptions and drawings, but short on photos. The NSW outback has similar plants to SA Murray Mallee.
Seeds of South Australia:
Contains a full list of all SA plants, along with a number of diagnostic photo's.
South Australian Butterflies (archive):
This site has been down for years, but thankfully with the magic of the internet we are still able to access it through a web archive site. It is slow though. Very good for local butterflies. It also has identification keys & a conservation status list. This is the first time we've been able to get an idea of the status of a group of insects.
We find we use this less and less, with the other sites above providing more useful and complete information.

Field Guide to Australian Birds, Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe
ISBN 1740215591.
This book draws pointers to the varying parts of each bird, making it easier to understand & to learn. We have used books from other authors, but keep coming back to this one.
Field Guide to the Plants of Outback South Australia by Frank Kutsche and Brendan Lay
ISBN 9780759010529.
This has been an excellent book for our area. It's not extensive, which makes it easier to get close to a species id; narrowing down searches in other resources. It does have many of the more common varieties lists.
It's Blue with Five Petals by Ann Prescot, 2nd Edition (2012)
ISBN 9780646592985.
We've been after this book for years, but the extortion by eBay sellers charging $200 prevented us. Now Ann has released the 2nd edition available from Trees for Life for only $58 delivered. It lives up to it's name of easily finding species. It does tend to relate to Adelaide species more than the Murraylands, but there are still a lot of cross over species making it a valuable resource.
Moths of Victoria (Parts 1-8) by Peter Marriott, Marilyn Hewish & Cathy Powers
ISBN 97809805802.
Each 36 page book comes with a CD of pdf files that expands on each species in the book. Using the photos in the book as a key to then investigate the pdf pages to confirm a species id. Id'ed a new species within an hour of receiving them, and many more since :-) Even more impressive is that they are created by volunteers! You can order them through Entomological Society of Victoria
Native Trees and Shrubs of South-Eastern Australia by Leon Costermans
ISBN 9781877069703.
A recent acquisition after attending a Plant Identification workshop organised the Mid Murray Local Action Planning Committee and run by Andrew Allanson. A very good book with useful keys and diagrams are actual sizes of nuts, fruit, flowers, etc. Only $40 delivered.
Plants of Western New South Wales by GM Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe & JH Leigh
ISBN 9780643103634.
Even though we are in SA this book is considered "The Bible" for our region. It is large, extensive and expensive. It doesn't have a key, so the only way to use it to identify species is to sit down of an evening and flick thru it's 700 pages.
Wildflowers of Australia, by Denise Grieg
ISBN 9781864363340.
This is a good book for unusual flowers, but doesn't show the leaf or plant.

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