What Is The Field Naturalists Society Of South Australia?

It is South Australia's first conservation group, founded in 1883 and incorporated in 1959.

What Are Its Aims?

They are:

Pygmy Possum on Banksia

Pygmy Possum on Banksia
Photo: Graham Medlin

Who May Join The Society?

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How Can You Join?

If you are interested in joining the Society, please contact us at:

The Field Naturalists Society of SA Inc.
GPO Box 1594
Adelaide SA 5001
Phone: 0428 188 318 or President (Peter Matejcic) on 0400 292 311

or complete the following Membership Application form (10 kB PDF).


Setting out a trapline below Mt Stuart

Setting out a trapline below Mt Stuart
Photo: Graham Medlin

The Society was founded as a Section of the Royal Society of South Australia in 1883.

It was instrumental in helping establish the Belair National Park in 1891, Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island in 1919, as well as Ferries McDonald, Spring Gully, Clement Gap, Piccaninnie Ponds, Monarto, Deep Creek, Black Hill, Cox Scrub , Mount Taylor, Nixon Skinner, Kaiser Stuhl and Charleston Conservation Parks and Para Wirra Recreation Park. .

Properties Owned By The Society

The Society owns a number of Nature Reserves which are held for future generations and are all covered by Heritage Agreements. These are:

Manning Reserve, 45 ha of dense natural vegetation near McLaren Vale:
Forest Range Reserve, 15 ha of sclerophyll woodland of the higher Mount Lofty Ranges;
Nicholls reserve, 58 ha of coastal scrub at Carpenter Rocks in the South East;
Tookayerta Marsh, a section of natural swamp near Nangkita.

Working Bees are regularly held to remove weeds at our properties. See Program (1.1 MB PDF) and here (940 kB PDF) for details.

Sample front cover

Recent issue

"The South Australian Naturalist"

The South Australian Naturalist is our half-yearly journal. Its aims are to promote the study of, and interest in, natural history, and to promote the establishment of reserves for the preservation of our native flora and fauna.

Articles in recent issues are available for online purchase. A list of issues, tables of contents and abstracts of articles can be viewed here.

Some very early issues are being made available on the Biodiversity Heritage Library. They are entered as "books", each containing one or more volumes, all issues. You may need to click each "View book" button in turn to find the volume you want, or try the ADVANCED SEARCH link and type "South Australian Naturalist" again. Start here.

If you wish to submit an article for publication, please follow the guidelines (24 kB PDF) and use the Harvard referencing guide (131 kB PDF)

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Associated Clubs

For details of meeting places and contacts see here (940 kB PDF)

What we did in 2014-15

Our 2014-15 Annual Report is here (206 kB PDF)

Nature Conservation Award

This award is made annually to honour outstanding contributions to natural history and nature conservation in South Australia , and to raise public awareness of the Society and its aims and objectives. Details (42 kB PDF)

Road sign to Witchelina

Photo: Peter Matejcic

Survey activities

The Botany Club, Mammal Club and Fungal Studies Group participate in surveys of flora and fauna in parks and reserves, working with the necessary State Government permits for taking plant specimens and handling animals.

At Easter 2011, members joined with the South Australian Herpetology Group to survey a small part of the Witchelina property recently acquired by Nature Foundation SA. Witchelina is located west of the ghost town of Farina at the north end of the Flinders Ranges, and good rains in previous months ensured that the arid land was at its best. See the survey summary (700 kB PDF).

Field Naturalists Society Program

See Program (1.1 MB PDF)

For details of excursion contacts see here (940 kB PDF) .

Constitution and Guidelines

Copies of the latest versions of the Constitution and Guidelines (formerly know as Bylaws) are available to members through the Membership Officer

Lirabenda Endowment Fund Research Grants

The Fund has been created from the proceeds of the sale of Lirabenda Reserve with the purpose of making available annual research grants to selected applicants.

See the Invitation (10 kB PDF), Guidelines (20 kB PDF) and Application Form 20 kB PDF or 65 kB Word 2003 (Note: Forms for the approaching calendar year are available here from September.)

TurtleSAT logo


The Society has partly funded software development for the TurtleSAT freshwater turtle survey being conducted by several organisations as a Citizen Science project. The public are invited to record their sightings of three turtle species anywhere in Australia, through the Web or mobile Apps to be available for Apple iOS or Android.

For more details, visit the survey's site here..

Other Field Naturalists Clubs

Clubs around Australia are listed by the Australian Naturalists Network.

Meet us on Facebook

Click here for our new page. f You may need to set up a Facebook account to browse fully.

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Page updated 23 March 2019