Queensland Natural History Award 2006 – Margaret Thorsborne

The Queensland Natural History Award for 2006 was presented to Margaret Thorsborne.

Margaret , with her late husband Arthur, initiated the long-term monitoring of the Pied Imperial Pigeon on the Brook Islands, north-north east of Hinchinbrook Island about 30 years ago. This helped in the recovery of the southernmost breeding colony of these birds. This was also a long distance project since it involved annual trips from their home on the Gold Coast. Since then Margaret has made her home in the north and become very involved in natural history and conservation in the Hinchinbrook – Cardwell area. Together with her husband Arthur she has informed and educated the public by actively promoting the natural history values of this region. She is the collector of more than 200 botanical specimens from the area in the Queensland Herbarium. Her involvement in some of her many organizations has required courage as well as commitment as she has lead the fight to protect the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. This has included bearing the costs (both financial and emotional) of dealing with court cases. As we all know, without habitat, there is no natural history, and while this award is not a conservation award as such, it recognises that her work in this area makes a considerable contribution to future as well as present day natural history in Queensland. As well as her own research and organizational contributions, Margaret has contributed to our understanding of natural history through funding of other people’s research into key species such as the mahogany and squirrel gliders, and the gifting of her property to extend the Edmund Kennedy National Park. The ripple effect of these gifts will be felt well into the future.

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