Summer is a great time to explore the rocky shores of our region. Rock pools and crevasses are home to many marine species. They can also provide a temporary refuge during wild seas, or be a trap as the tide recedes. For the observer, such pools provide an easily accessible window into the marine environment. During January and February, Atlas of Life encourages the community to record their sightings of rock pool life. The annual Sea Slug Census is also on during January - even more reason to take your camera and explore your part of the Atlas of Life coastline. Sea Slug Census: 12TH TO 20TH JANUARY, 2019 It's on again in 2019, and Atlas of Life encourage you to get involved in this important project. Whether you are a diver, snorkeler or like hunting in rock pools, join the census! Take a walk along the shore, or undertake an underwater search. You'll be contributing to a valuable scientific study.
There are various ways to take part:
1. Come along to a presentation by Matt Nimbs
Atlas of Life are very pleased to have marine researcher Matt Nimbs joining them for this Census. Along with Dr Stephen Smith, Matt has been involved with this large-scale survey since its inception in 2013. Matt will be giving the following presentations during the SSC week.
12th January, 12:30 start Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre, Eden.
13th January, 12 noon to 1:30pm, followed by an organised dive in the afternoon. Hosted by NCMG, Narooma (venue details coming soon), (also, 14th January, Bermagui - to be confirmed)
2. Join a group survey
Atlas of Life are planning several opportunities for group surveys, led by experienced volunteers. Groups will be on foot, surveying shores and rock pools, or snorkelling.
The images above provide a small glimpse of what you might find. All these sightings were made in the Atlas of Life region. You can view sightings and the field guides (ie species lists) for the various marine invertebrate groups on NatureMapr. To get started, take a tour of the sightings: Coastal Wilderness or Budawang Coast PHOTOGRAPHY While a waterproof camera is a wonderful asset for rock pool photography, but it is not essential. If the animal or algae is in shallow water, and there is not too much wind rippling the water surface, you can get good shots with a regular camera or phone camera. Whatever type of camera you use, try to take several shots, and from different angles. OTHER DETAILS Add value to your sighting by recording other information, such as: the size the water depth an estimate of the number of individuals you see any ecological or behavioural interactions, such as what an animal was resting or feeding on SNORKELLING SIGHTINGS ARE WELCOME TOO If you snorkel or dive, we welcome your sightings too. You’ll have access to many species that never - or only rarely - appear in rock pools.