Back then, science had little to say about the bogong. Aborigines in the high country were known to have feasted on them in summer, Sydney was occasionally invaded by them, and masses of dead bogongs were seen washed up on New Zealand's beaches.
In the summer of 1950, Dr Ian Common began making weekly forays from his Canberra office to the granite boulders of the Brindabella Ranges, seeking clues to mass movement, ecology and lifecycle of the bogong moth.
In 1954, Common revealed the bogong moth as one of the Earth's great migratory insect species.
He joined CSIRO in 1947 after a wartime stint with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and began working mainly on pasture and cereal crop caterpillars, fitting in important taxonomic revisions of various pests groups and work on the bogong moths.