Calling all Citizen Scientists

With the weather warming up and longer days, now is the perfect time to get out of the house and enjoy Australia’s great outdoors. And what better way to do it than by joining one of the citizen science events that are taking place this Spring. Not only will you be out enjoying nature, but you’ll be making a valuable contribution to Australia’s biodiversity knowledge as well.

Events include the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, which runs over National Bird Week, 22nd -28th October. To participate you can download an app to your smartphone and record all the birds you see in a 20 minute period. It is a great way to connect with the birds in your backyard no matter where your backyard happens to be — a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach, or the main street of town.  Download the App and more info here;  this is a handy app to have on your phone all year round to help identify birds.

Australia’s biggest frog count will take place this November from 9-18th with the award winning FrogID App. Australia's frogs are under threat - taking part in FrogID Week will help provide scientists with valuable data for the protection and conservation of frogs. You can sign up as an individual or as a group.

The spring Wild Pollinator Count will run from  11th to 18th November this year. This program provides an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia. Participants are invited  to count wild pollinators in their local environment to help build a database on wild pollinator activity. You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes sometime in in the count week. It’s a great schoolyard activity.

'Carp Love 20°C' is on again this Spring! With the weather warming the water temperature rises creating the right environment for our feral carp populations. Carp Love 20°C' takes its name from carp's tendency to display breeding behaviour when water temperature reaches around 20°C. Waterwatch is asking citizens to keep an eye out for carp breeding events. LISTEN for the splashing, LOOK for the carp and LOG your sightings at FeralFishScan   Mapping carp hotspots and where they breed is important for understanding their behaviour and identifying opportunities for control.

Everyone loves echidnas, they are an iconic species but actually little is known about them. A new citizen science program is calling on the Australian public help better understand and conserve our iconic native echidna, by collecting echidna scats (poo) and taking photographs wherever echidnas or scats are spotted. These can all be uploaded to the Echidna CSI Ap. The program will help address important questions about echidna numbers and distribution and to obtain material for molecular analysis. 

And for an intense citizen science experience a 48 hour Bioblitz will be taking place at Jenolan Caves over the weekend of 23-25th November. A BioBlitz is a concerted effort to discover and record as many living things as possible at a particular location, over a set period of time. Citizens of all ages will join ecologists and local guides to complete a range of surveys across the Jenolan Caves area from very early in the morning to late at night. Details available at eventbrite 

Aside from these popular citizen science activities there are a multitude of other projects calling out for citizen science participation. To learn more about citizen science visit the Office of Environment and Heritage Citizen Science web page and or speak with your local Landcare coordinator.