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Everyone can be a citizen scientist

There has never been a more important time to monitor our birds and animals. Now is the time to don your environmental warrior cape and launch into citizen science.

We know our wildlife has been hit hard by drought and bushfire, but how are they coping right now? We need to find out so we can better focus our help.

The region around Eurobodalla already had many species of animals and plants listed as being vulnerable to extinction and the fires have worsened this situation.

With weeks and months passing since the bushfire emergency, we are all in recovery mode – our wildlife too. Like other land managers, Eurobodalla Council have put environmental programs in place to assist wildlife, things like strategic weed and pest control, nest-box installations, wildlife water and feed stations, sediment and erosion control, and other ways to help the natural environment recover.

But nature is big. And no one knows the full impact of the Black Summer.

Citizen science can help and happens when people like you get involved in the collection of data for scientific monitoring programs, with plenty of platforms and apps for you to join. Some are more general, while others focus on a particular regions, time period or species – it pays to do a bit of your own research to determine if your interests match the scientists you’ll be helping.

If you’re new to the game, NatureMapr is a good place to start. NatureMapr is used by biodiversity experts, environmental groups, and governments – including local councils – across Australia to develop a broad picture of what is going on in the environment. It’s also user friendly, just visit the website naturemapr.org and away you go.

With pandemic restrictions still in place, it is more difficult to get out and about to collect data but the beauty of citizen science is that nature is everywhere. Your backyard, the local bush reserve, the golf-course or even spotlighting with the kids … just keep an eye on what is happening; what animals, what plants, and how they interact. Take photos and notes, then upload to your chosen platform or app.

Mission accomplished!

To learn more about native wildlife and threatened species in our region visit https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/living-in/natural-environment/animals,-the-bush,-and-the-coast/threatened-species-and-endangered-ecological-communities. For more information contact Council’s sustainability officer Natalie Foster on 4474 1000 or natalie.foster@esc.nsw.gov.au


Above: The greater glider is one of our regions unique species listed as endangered. Photo G Tedder.

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