A cluster of usually unseen critters exists just beneath the bark in the rows of trees that pepper the Murrumbidgee River.
But there is something unusual about this bark. It's certainly not naturally occurring.
In fact, Charles Sturt University field surveyor Dr Damian Michael describes this bark as resembling more of a "foil back yoga mat" than bark.
"The method has been around for a while mostly for wetas in New Zealand, which is sort of like a giant, flightless cricket," Dr Michael said.
"About eight years ago, a team I was in used the method, but it's not been used in floodplains."
The technique involves wrapping the 1 metre by 60-centimetre mat around the tree like a collar and fastening it with a couple of octopus-straps.
Thinking its natural bark, tree-dwelling creatures crawl beneath the collar and make their home, ready for the surveyors to come by and count them.
"Normally to find them we'd be using a spotlight in the dark," Dr Michael said.
"We assume they're living under the trees, but to actively search for them means peeling back the bark. We don't want to interfere with them because once that bark is gone, the lizards leave."
The artificial bark coverings have a tree-life of about five years, but throughout the teams six surveys so far, a few have already fallen into disrepair - torn to shreds by goannas and possums mostly.
Since beginning the Murrumbidgee-based project in August 2019, Dr Michael and his team have located all four known species of tree-dwelling lizards, as well as a few surprising finds.
"We've also found a lot of Murray huntsmen, which are the size of a dinner plate," Dr Michael said.
"It seems the huntsmen and the lizards live on the same tree, but occupy it at different times, which makes sense.
"We knew it lived out there, but we weren't sure of the interaction between the species. It turns out they mostly avoid each other and keep out of each other's way."
Along with the geckos, tree skinks and extraordinarily large spiders, the team have also found another friendly critter.
"When it's been particularly wet, we find a lot of tree frogs, including the threatened bell frog which is mostly a ground-dwelling frog," Dr Michael said.
"In one spot, we peeled back the [artificial] bark and 15 frogs jumped out."
Now that the team has finished the first year of the project, over the next four years, they will return to the trees to mark the creatures with a small "non-evasive tattoo" that is visible under UV lights.