|Exploring Springbrook National Park; photo by Leah Mahoney|
Wild BNE is currently a one-man operation, created and produced by myself, Christian Perrin. I am a Brisbane-born and based naturalist with an insatiable curiosity for the natural world, especially as it pertains to South-east Queensland.
What is Wild BNE?
Wild BNE is a wildlife blog with linked social media pages, established in 2013 after I returned to Brisbane from living overseas and
elsewhere for most of my twenties. Coming back to my hometown following such an extended absence allowed me to see South-east Queensland from a fresh perspective, and I realised there is an incredible natural beauty that is often under-appreciated by both residents and visitors alike. Initially, the blog was an attempt to remedy that, but my ambitions are growing.
What does BNE stand for?
BNE stands for Brisbane. If you visit London or New York City, you’ll see souvenirs and slogans saying "I ❤ LDN" and "I ❤ NYC" respectively. I thought Brisbane could use a similar kind of pride!
What’s so special about South-east Queensland’s natural heritage?
South-east Queensland is a subtropical region that captures a mix of Australia’s northern tropical plants and creatures, and their southern, more temperate counterparts. If you look at the distribution maps for all kinds of different animal and plant groups, you’ll find a lot of species are at the limit of their range just to the north or south of Brisbane, usually encompassing the area either way.
|Baby birdwatcher, 1984.|
|Bughuntin' with my Dad at Dowse Lagoon,|
I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t obsessed with wildlife. When I was a baby, my family lived on Lunn Street in Sandgate, a stone’s throw from the glorious Dowse Lagoon. Even though it’s a frowned-upon activity now, my parents and I would feed the waterbirds that lived there, and one of my earliest memories is of being surrounded by a menagerie of geese, ducks and rails that captured my full attention. My parents encouraged my interests further with a decent book collection and weekend bushwalks, and in my early teens, I joined the IBIS Bird Observers, a Sandgate-based birdwatching club led by Mrs Pat Barry. In my twenties, a lot of other life experiences began to compete for my time—travel, nightlife, the demands of work and more—and my life felt a little unbalanced to some extent. Looking back now, I can say with certainty that it was because my love of nature had been pushed to the periphery of my life, instead of being where it belongs as a central focus. I made up for lost time when I returned to Brisbane in 2012, and expanded my area of expertise from just birds initially, to absolutely everything you might find in the bush, sea or backyard. Look through this blog or the linked Facebook page and you’ll see what I mean—I’m fascinated by and eager to share information on local mammals, frogs, insects, marine invertebrates, plants and trees, reptiles, fish and more. There’s a story behind every living thing, and I want to tell it to you!
Where is Wild BNE headed?
When I started Wild BNE, my original goal was for it to be something that helps people grow their own personal connection to the incredible wilderness we all share in South-east Queensland. I wanted people to suddenly look twice at the water dragon at Southbank, to wonder about the mysterious private life of the tiny spider on their garden plant, and to feel the same amount of enthusiasm for our corner of the planet that is so easy to muster up elsewhere when on holiday. It was a side project for me while I considered what career I wanted and how much study I would need to get there.
In early 2015, I was about to start a Bachelor of Science when the brakes slammed on in my head. My class timetable was a terrifying behemoth that absorbed 100% of my time, and I was going to have to let ‘Wild BNE’ go, even though it had become my saviour and main motivation in life. I began to wonder if instead of treating Wild BNE as a side project, perhaps I should be treating it as my own little private University. I made the nerve-wracking but inspired decision to forego the Science degree, and focus on the skills I was already in the process of learning: photography, writing, social media engagement, networking, publishing, blog design and more.
I do believe that once you are on the right path in life, momentum and inspiration begins to do more of the work for you. Now that I have committed myself to a Wild BNE future, the path before me is more brightly lit than ever before. My new goal for Wild BNE is that it becomes a thriving Brisbane-based ecotour company, and the journey to get to that point is something I will be sharing along the way, so watch this space!
|Whistling kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Bribie Island.|