Blackbutt Nature Reserve Concept Posters

A concept series of posters promoting 4 Australian animals kept at Blackbutt Reserve, a nature themed location with animal exhibits, owned and operated by Newcastle Council in NSW, Australia.
Media – Acrylic on Canvas

blackbutt kingfishersTodiramphus sanctus, Sacred Kingfisher

blackbutt koalasPhascolarctos cinereus, Koala

Blackbutt Red KangarooMacropus rufus Red Kangaroo

blackbutt zebra finches

 Taeniopygia guttata, Zebra Finch

blackbutt poster concepts

Poster Concepts

Blackbutt Reserve has a long history of exhibiting captive wildlife. The first enclosures were built in the 1960’s.

Blackbutt Reserve contains a number of multi award winning wildlife exhibits. The exhibited animals and the interpretative signage located along the boardwalk provide an opportunity for visitors to observe the fauna and learn about each species.

History of Blackbutt

Blackbutt Reserve grew from an ill-fated Kotara subdivision which floundered during the depression. When the price of the subdivision had fallen from five pound a foot to ten pound an acre in 1932, two gentlemen of the Newcastle Abattoirs and the RSL were the only takers. The two lots purchased by the RSL were for farmlets which proved uneconomical. It was decided to sell them. Through the efforts of New Lambton Council, it was
decided to buy the RSL land for a public reserve. By 1938 an area of whathad been private land, acquired by the Department
of Lands and gazetted as a public recreational reserve was added. The land was placed in the trusteeship of Newcastle City Council on its inception in 1938. Around late 1963 the Council embarked on its Blackbutt program. The Reserve was then far from a natural piece of bush.It had for years suffered the ravages of lantana and other imported weeds. The area was restored and with the guidance of the Newcastle City Council, grassed banks were sloped to a bridged waterway flowing into two large ponds. Trees, barbecues and picnic tables now cover the area that was once an active,dirty coal mine. Captive animal displays were introduced to the Reserve in the mid 1960s. The maintenance and development of Blackbutt as a natural park within an urban environment is continued by Newcastle City Council.

Poster Animals – Standard Common Name

Sacred Kingfisher

The Sacred Kingfisher is a medium sized kingfisher. It has a turquoise back, turquoise blue rump and tail, buff-white underparts and a broad cream collar. There is a broad black eye stripe extending from bill to nape of neck. Both sexes are similar, although the female is generally lighter with duller upper parts. Young birds are similar to the female, but have varying amounts of rusty-brown edging to feathers on the collar and underparts, and buff edges on the wing coverts.19 cm to 24 cm.The Sacred Kingfisher is common and familiar throughout the coastal regions of mainland Australia and less common throughout Tasmania. The species is also found on islands from Australasia to Indonesia and New Zealand.


The koala is a well-known and popular animal, endemic to Australia but recognised around the world. It is a tree-dwelling marsupial with large furry ears, a prominent black nose, long sharp claws adapted for climbing and no tail. Fur colour varies from pale grey in north Australia to grey-brown in the south. Koalas also vary in size across their range. Adult males weigh between 4 to 14 kg and adult females weigh between 4 to 10 kg. Despite being called ‘koala bears’ for many years, koalas are actually marsupials. While bears give birth to well-developed young, newborn koalas are tiny enough to fit on your thumbnail, and are raised in their mother’s pouch. The closest relative of the koala is the wombat – both animals have pouches which open towards the rear. This is fine for the wombat, but koalas need strong muscles ringing the pouch to keep their young from falling out.

Red Kangaroo

The Red Kangaroo is a large kangaroo with a body length of up to 1.4m and tail up to 1m. Males tend to be orange red in colouring while females are often blue grey. Both males and females are a lighter whitish colour underneath. Red Kangaroo’s can be distinguished from other species of kangaroos by the black and white patches on their cheeks and the broad white stripe that extends from the corner of the mouth to ear. Male Red Kangaroos are double the body weight of females and can weigh up to 92kg while the females can weigh up to 39kg.

Zebra Finch

10cm. Zebra Finches are most commonly found in the drier areas of Australia, living year round in social flocks of up to 100 or more birds. Their favoured Habitat is dry wooded areas with opengrasslands and neraby waterholes. Zebra finches are very widely spread across australia, covering most of the continent. Exclusion areas are the wet coastal areas and the Island of Tasmania. Zebra Finches feed in large flocks. They mainly eat ripening grass seeds and insects. Livefood is favoured during breeding season as a stable source of nutrition for their young. The nest is a dome shape structure with a little entrance tunnel to the main chamber. Both male and female participate in construction of the nest. The external of the nest is constructed with strong grass and lined internally with feathers and softer grasses.

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