Illawarra wildlife has been put under the microscope in an attempt to determine how the region's wallabies, wombats and winged creatures are faring against pests and environmental changes.
Dharawal State Conservation area, Budderoo National Park and Gerroa's Seven Mile Beach National Park have been fitted with motion-sensitive cameras, aiming to capture animals and examine their habits.
The initiative, dubbed "WildCount" by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), kicked off last year in almost 150 parks and reserves across eastern NSW.
Last week, the NPWS released the preliminary results of the project, which has already captured almost 400,000 digital images of animals in the wild.
While the 2013 data is yet to be fully assessed, the 2012 photos recorded 109 species, including 45 mammals, 60 birds and four reptiles.
Research scientist Dr John Porter said the project was designed to examine the more common and widespread animal populations, rather than just species under threat.
"This was developed in response to a report that showed major deficiencies in data on small to medium-sized mammals," he said.
"We didn't know a lot about their status and we realised it was pretty important to find out where these animals are in order to manage them properly."
Dr Porter said the images would be examined to identify long-term changes in animal populations and whether they were connected to shifts in land management, water use and weather patterns. The research would also help determine growth in pests, new colonies and species, and threats to animal numbers.
"We can look at animals that might be really vulnerable and take extra steps to protect them," Dr Porter said.
While it was too early to see trends in the region's wildlife, Dr Porter said the cameras had shown "healthy populations" of swamp wallabies, possums and kangaroos in the Illawarra.
Field teams and volunteers intend to repeat the monitoring annually over the next 10 years.