Be a Dead Tree Detective and Citizen Scientist

The Dead Tree Detective
Citizen Science to Monitor Tree Health

Have you seen dead or dying trees in your area? Go to the “Surveys” section and choose “Add a record”. You can then upload photos of your trees and answer a few questions to help identify the possible causes. You’ll find some information about each of these causes in the “Resources” section. Here are some photos from B Medlyn.

How tough are Australian trees?
We tend to think of Australian trees as being pretty tough – well-adapted to drought and high temperatures. Research shows, however, that most tree species have a
fairly tight ”safety margin”. That is, their adaptations enable them to survive typical droughts in their native environments, but more extreme droughts are likely to tip
them over the edge. In Australia, widespread tree death has followed intense drought in some places such as river redgums along the Murray, and jarrah forests in WA.

Records needed
For most other forests around Australia, we don’t know what levels of drought they can survive. During the Millennium Drought, there are very few records of trees dying from drought – but is that because few trees died, or because no-one made records? We do know that many of the trees around Cooma died in the years following the Millennium Drought, but scientists are uncertain of the cause because no-one knows when the trees started to die.

How you can help
Taking photos of dead and dying trees to record where and when trees die in your area will help scientists trying to work out the level of drought that different species can
tolerate. You can send in photos via the website or by email. Trees can die for a lot of reasons besides drought, so the survey asks a few questions to help work out the
likely cause of your trees’ death. You might also like to check up on the trees over time to see if they recover.

What will happen to the data?
The data will be stored in the Atlas of Living Australia main database. The records will be freely available, so that everybody will be able to track tree death in their area.
Scientists will combine these data with weather data to work out the severity of drought likely to cause tree death in different areas. Results using the data will be published
on the Dead Tree Detective blog, in scientific publications and in the media.

Post Fire AABR Resources and Links

Giving bushland a chance to recover after wildfires

By Louise Brodie, Australian Association of Bush Regenerators 

The recent bushfires throughout Australia have resulted in a variety of reactions from the community. As the immediacy of the devastating effects on communities and bushland diminish, a genuine concern has emerged for the fauna and flora of our
burnt bushland. Read more

AABR are seeking your seedling photos and expertise!

The post-fire recovery has reached a phase where targeted weed removal is now possible to aid the native flora in gaining a dominant position in the landscape, creating healthy and diverse habitat.

Seedling growth and resprouting is well underway in many areas, seedling recognition resources are now being developed and we need your help! However (because of the COVID-19 restrictions) it now needs to be done by individuals working on their own properties.

 If you use Facebook and have seedling or resprouting images to share, or expertise in identification, please join in and be an enthusiastic participant in AABR’s Seedling recognition Facebook group.  AABR is also seeking quality images for inclusion in video and educational resources to support landowners with post-fire recovery.

Please email photos to or we can discuss uploading to a shared folder.

Photo usage: By posting the images to the facebook group or sending them through to AABR you would be agreeing for AABR to use your images for educational purposes on our social media platforms and website. 

Join our Seedling Recognition Facebook groupJoin our Seedling Recognition Facebook group

Priority Weeds List – Blue Mountains

To see the State, Regional and Local Priority Weeds and their control measures, then go to

For more information on weeds, Council’s obligations and your obligations including how to control them, go to

For more general information on how to identify and control garden plants that go wild in our bushland, go to Weeds of the Blue Mountains

Week 4: Native Animals of the Blue Mountains

Week 4: Native Animal of the Blue Mountains crossword is here now. Most of the animals can be found in Blue Mountains Animals by Margaret Baker and Robin Corringham.


CLICK on the link below and follow the instructions to either fill in online or print a hard copy.

Week 4: Native Animals of the Blue Mountains Crossword Puzzle


  1. CLICK on the clue listed under Across or Down – and this will highlight the corresponding boxes (purple) to fill in on the crossword.
  2. To TYPE in the answer CLICK on the purple highlighted box in the crossword and start typing your answer (a correct answer turns the boxes green). If your answer was incorrect then use the backspace to delete then try again for this answer only!!
  3. To RESET ANSWERS (all answers) scroll down the screen‚  below the crossword and CLICK Reset Answer (red button)

To PRINT a Hardcopy scroll down the screen below the crossword and CLICK Print My Puzzle (purple button)

Answers to Week 3 Native Birds of the Blue Mountains Crossword Puzzle

Across 2. Bandicoot 4. Turtle 8. Skink 10. Frog 12. Wallaby 14. Dingo 15. Dragon  Down 1. Koala 2. Bat 3. Quoll 5. Echidna 6. Crayfish 7. Platypus 9. Snake 11. Glider 12. Wombat 13. Lizard

Blue Mountains Frog Search – Citizen Science Project

Are you wanting to be part of this “Blue Mountains Frog Search” citizen science project?

Litoria Peronii, (common name Peron’s tree frog) on audiomoth

The ‘Blue Mountains Frog Searchcitizen science program aims to monitor three key threatened frog species around the Blue Mountains region using acoustic data loggers. These data loggers will be installed near waterbodies across various sites and allow for the detection of frog species using their unique calls. As part of the project, citizen scientists have the opportunity to manage an acoustic data logger (including installation, maintenance and retrieval), as well as learn how to identify the unique calls for each frog species and analyse the data collected. Training will also be provided in the use of mobile phone apps, such as ‘iNaturalist’ and ‘FrogID’.

Online training is currently being provided via Microsoft Teams, however this will be extended to include face-to-face workshops and field trips in the coming months. If you are interested in becoming involved in the project or would like to know more, please contact Alana at or on 0448 462 004.

Compost Week 3 May – 9 May

Composting is something we can all do on a day-to-day basis – so help reduce organic waste going to landfill, reduce our carbon pollution and help build healthier soils. See more information below.

International Compost Awareness Week Australia. Better Soil, Better Life, Better Future Sunday 3 May – Saturday 9 May 2020   Compost Week

ABC Gardening Australia Episode on Composting (Saturday, 2 May 2020) – Costa lifts the lid on household organic waste and looks at the growing initiative to put it to good use on a grand scale

Blue Mountains City Council Food/Waste Composting

Blue Mountains City Council Food/Waste Composting/Worm Farming

Citizen Science Projects

Are you wanting to participate in Citizen Science projects to collect information so scientists, ecologists, citizen scientists and natural resource managers can manage their ecological, biodiversity and natural resource management data. Becoming part of these projects may be sorting though data, viewing photos, or physically going in the field to collect data or monitor programs.

Here are a few citizen science projects

Citizen Science for Bushfire Recovery and Resilience

Find over twenty citizen science projects focused on Bushfire Recovery and Resilience in the Biocollect – Atlas of Living Australia

Saving our Species (SoS) is a movement involving volunteers, scientists, businesses, community groups and the NSW Government, all coming together to secure the future of Australia’s unique plants and animals.

Without our passionate volunteers and citizen scientists, many of the projects the SoS team works on wouldn’t be possible. While social distancing measures mean our traditional volunteering projects aren’t possible right now, we’ve rounded up some projects you can do from the comfort of your own home.

From reviewing and tagging images of koalas to wildlife spotting in your own backyard, with a little bit of creativity, conservation in the time of COVID-19 can be made possible.

Conservation from your couch: 5 ways to help animals from home
Whether you’re an armchair detective or looking to inspiring a new generation of ecologists, here are some productive ways to use your time in isolation.

Coming soon: SoS Citizen Science Hub
Our new Citizen Science Hub will launch in May, becoming your go-to for Citizen Science projects, people and data in NSW. Keep an eye on the hub to discover your next opportunity to meaningfully contribute to SoS.

Supporting Wildlife and Restoring Habitat after the Bush Fires

Blue Mountains residents learn about supporting wildlife and restoring habitat after the bushfires Blue Mountains Gazette March 4, 2020

About 150 Blue Mountains residents attended a ‘Recovering Our Backyard’ mini-expo in Blackheath on Saturday, February 29.

The event, hosted by Blue ARC and the Resilience and Preparedness Group, was a response, supported by the Recovery Wellbeing Committee, to concerns expressed by residents interested in helping to restore eco-systems after the fires.

Dr Kellie Leigh, Science for Willdife; Dr Holly Parsons, Birdlife Australia; Sue Cunningham, Blue Mountains Natural Area Operations/Bushcare; Susan Templeman MP; Jenny Bigelow, Blue ARC; Kris Newton, Mountains Community Resource Network at the ‘Recovering our Backyard’ mini expo. Photo: Courtesy – BM Gazette

CLICK here to view more photos

Three speakers gave freely of their professional expertise on how residents can help, even in their own backyards. Dr Holly Parsons from Birdlife Australia spoke on the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of supporting birdlife; Dr Kellie Leigh from Science for Wildlife advised on supporting wildlife; and Sue Cunningham from Blue Mountains Bushcare/Natural Area Operations spoke on habitat restoration.

Participants were then able to browse the expo, to speak with representatives from nearly 20 organisations for more information or to volunteer with local groups. Videos of all three presentations, once edited, will be posted at and on the Blue ARC Facebook group. A workshop on installing nesting boxes was held at Blackheath Community Farm after the expo.

Virtual Insight – Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

Keep abreast with Blue Mountains Cultural Centre VIRTUAL INSIGHT program, a curated selection of digital content, featuring DIY art making activities, staff insights into our collection and exhibitions, book and game recommendations, wholesome food recipes from our café and much more. We will feature local artists, creatives and makers and invite you to contribute with your ideas and stories.

During these uncertain times and with many events and programs suspended, we aim to provide our community with some positive content and activities to keep you sane, busy and inspired – all accessible online and for free.

Blue Mountains Botanica

In 2018 we brought you Blue Mountains Botanica, a stunning and historical exhibition that explored the unique vegetation of the Blue Mountains region. Read more…

Fungi Survey and Print Tutorial (for all ages)

Local printmaker Freedom Wilson has the help of two budding artists Zoe and Pia in this fungi survey and print making tutorial. Explore your local surroundings to find interesting fungi… Read more

Our Favourite Bushwalks

Some of our team members have recommended their favourite bushwalks for you as we dream of exploring the beautiful Blue Mountains again soon. Make sure you check out the appropriate National Parks or Blue Mountains City Council websites to ensure these walks are open before you visit. See more…