top of page

Burrow & nesting dome prototypes for the Greater Stick-nest Rat

Wed 20th July - Sun 24th July, 2022


Desert Park, 871 Larapinta Dr, Alice Springs NT 0871
See Desert Park website for opening times


Can art help to conserve threatened species? Ceramicist, Jane Bamford, and CEO at Arid Recovery, Dr Katherine Tuft, explore this idea in their work with greater stick-nest rats.

Stickies are very cute native rodents that build truly impressive stick castles as homes to shelter and raise their families in. The stick-nests are built up over successive generations of rats, and sometimes expanded to form granny flat stick-nests nearby. Known to the Adnymathanha people of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges as ‘Wopilkara’, Stickies were once widespread across southern Australia, but they steadily contracted in range and disappeared from the mainland as rabbits and introduced predators invaded the continent.

Recently, Stickies have been knocked around by a combination of factors and the population has suffered a major decline. With heatwaves being a major contributor, and one that’s only set to increase over coming years, Dr Katherine and Jane set about to mitigate their impact.

Temperature logger data shows that unshaded nests experience extremes ranging between 3⁰C and 47⁰C. Additionally, shaded nests doesn’t make a great deal of difference. However, calcrete warrens make an enormous difference, reducing the temperature range to 12 – 35 ⁰C. This is where Jane’s ceramic burrows come in!

Come and see the ceramic burrow tubes and nesting dome prototypes that Kath and Jane have been working on. They will be on display in the nocturnal house at Desert Park throughout the Triennale.

Additionally, you can hear more from Kath and Jane about their project at the Bones, Bees and Birds panel within the main conference event, exploring ceramics in the age of the Anthropocene. More specifically, how transdisciplinary practices can open up new worlds, collapse the boundaries between old ones and help us to co-exist more holistically.

Follow this link to learn more about our sweet “Stickies” and the project this dynamic duo is working on to keep them from extinction.

Why not check out Desert Park’s Nocturnal Tours too? Things can get a bit wild out there at night! Step inside a large predator-proof enclosure for an evening of adventure and discovery. Join your guide in small groups as you walk through a rich desert habitat full of life. Stopping to spotlight endangered animals of Central Australia showcasing their natural behaviours.

See you there!

Stickie ceramics display_Alice Springs Desert Park
Download PDF • 1.17MB

Download PDF • 6.92MB

bottom of page