Bushcare volunteers and Blue Mountains community members can now contribute to building knowledge about our local freshwater crayfish species, as part of an exciting new citizen science project, the Blue Mountains Crayfish Count.
Council’s Healthy Waterways Team runs annual crayfish surveys in three areas and waterbug surveys at more than sixty sites, but we are unable to conduct formal surveys in every stream- that’s where you come in!
By collectively gathering more data on crayfish, this helps us to get a better picture of the health of our crayfish populations, and in turn, the health of our waterways. It may also allow earlier detection of possible pollution incidents that are impacting on crayfish and waterway health.
As part of the launch of the project, we’ve made some short videos about crayfish. These summarise the differences between our native spiny crayfish and yabbies, their importance, and some things you can do to help protect them. There’s also some great underwater shots of some beautiful Giant Spiny Crayfish (Euastacus spinifer). Check out the videos at Council’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/BlueMtnsCityCouncil/videos
By collectively gathering more data on crayfish, this helps to get a better picture of the health of our crayfish populations, and in turn, the health of our waterways. It may also allow earlier detection of possible pollution incidents that are impacting on crayfish and waterway health.
Follow these simple steps to contribute to the crayfish count:
Register for iNaturalist through the app or website
Search for and join the Blue Mountains Crayfish Count project
When you next see a crayfish, take a photo of it
Upload the photo to iNaturalist (through the app or website), and add it to the Blue Mountains Crayfish Project.
People-powered science will play a role in Australia’s bushfire recovery, with more than 20 projects underway involving citizen scientists of all ages.
Projects on the website include:
Australian Museum project Wildlife Spotter enables users to identify animals in photos taken by camera traps around Australia, assisting researchers in monitoring the effects of bushfires on Australian fauna.
South Australia’s Department for Environment and Water are using camera traps to monitor the flora and fauna recovery on Kangaroo Island.
There are several projects which people can contribute their sightings of plants and wildlife returning to fire affected areas.
Some projects also collect information about the intensity of fire impacts, observed fire behaviour, effects on water quality running off of fire grounds, and impacts of the smoke on people’s health.
The Project Finder also features a geographic filter enabling users to identify available projects in their area. It can be accessed at www.csiro.au/bushfireprojects.
Are you wanting to be part of this “Blue Mountains Frog Search” citizen science project?
The ‘Blue Mountains Frog Search’ citizen 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 Alana.L.Burton@uon.edu.au or on 0448 462 004.
Light pollution is the fastest growing pollutant around the globe, with scientific research showing an average increase year-on-year of more than 2%. This excess light, or wasted energy, is: increasing greenhouse gasses and our carbon footprint, endangering ecosystems, altering biochemical or circadian rhythms and losing our connection to cultural heritage.
Be part of this exciting Dark Sky Week program and get the chance to participate in webinars (registration required), family friendly activities plus view on demand videos.
There is also a chance to be involved with citizen science projects – a family friendly Globe at Night to measure & submit their night sky brightness observations or be part of NASA Amateur Astronomer Parrallax Program – April 23.
The Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia. We invite you to count wild pollinators in your local environment and help us build a database on wild pollinator activity.
You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes sometime in our count week.
Come along and be part of ‘citizens tackling antibiotic resistance in the wild’.
Scoop-a-Poop is a citizen science project coordinated by scientists from Macquarie University, in collaboration with Taronga Zoo and the University of Sydney. You will learn the ecology of urban brushtail possum, antibiotic resistance in the environment and how antibiotic resistant bacteria are moving from humans to wildlife. Participants will receive a collection kit so they can participate in the study – and then later will get the test results.
Local WIRES will come along as well. Suitable for ages 12+ – must be accompanied with an adult.
Over the past century, average land surface temperatures have risen by almost 1° C across the Australian continent. Models suggest this may have already had significant impacts on Australia’s ecosystems and biodiversity in some areas, but these impacts have not been systematically investigated.
CSIRO Land and Water and the Department of the Environment and Energy are undertaking an exciting project to collect stories and anecdotes that will help build a national picture of ecological change (or lack there-of) that has been observed in the past 10-20 years or more. We are looking for people with strong links to Australian environments (e.g. farmers, natural resource managers, ecologists, naturalists) to share their stories for an area they know well, including perceptions of the presence or absence of different types of recent ecological change.
To participate, you would need to be able to select a natural area (e.g. your local region or farm, a Nature Reserve, urban bushland) that you have been familiar with for at least the last 10 years. Note that we are interested both in areas where change has been observed and where change has not been observed.
The survey will take about 30 minutes – please click here to undertake the survey.
Western Sydney University and Greater Sydney Local Land Services would like to invite you to attend the Citizen Science in Action symposium. Held at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury campus in Richmond, NSW, this one-day event will highlight the importance of research and how you can get involved with citizen science. In our interactive workshops you will learn about relevant technologies and be provided with the skills to participate in the latest citizen science programs more effectively to make a real impact in your community. You can find full program details on the website: www.westernsydney.edu.au/rcegws/csia
Lower Blue Mountains Bushcare, Landcare, Swampcare and Bush Backyards Volunteers:
How healthy is the biodiversity of your Bushcare site? Do you want to know more about the fauna that lives in the lower mountains bushland?
To learn ways to find out, you’re invited to t attend this free survey workshop with renowned ecologists, Judy Smith and Peter Smith.
We will meet early on Friday afternoon for a briefing on the ethical protocols of monitoring and learn about methods and equipment you can use to monitor wildlife living on your bushcare site, then do some fieldwork surveying in Sun Valley. You’ll contribute to a survey using techniques such as hair tubes and sand traps, owl call recordings, and spotlight for other fauna.
Light refreshments provided. Please advise of any special dietary requirements.
Registration before Tuesday 20 June is essential – use the ticketing option below or contact Monica Nugent on 4780 5623 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You will receive more information about the location and what to bring after you register.
The Biodiversity Near Me Survey is funded by the NSW Office of the Environment and Heritage and brought to you by Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare.