Wednesday 12th August 3:30pm - 7:30pm
Council Meeting - 12 August 2020
Thursday 13th August 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Bushfire Recovery - Environment
Are you interested in contributing to science and discovery?
Are you interested in biodiversity and conservation?
If you answered yes to these questions, then this page is for you!
Citizen science provides a unique opportunity for individuals to participate in data collection and/or analysis activities, particularly in relation to environmental issues or questions, but also in many other fields of endeavour. It is about citizens contributing to scientific discoveries. It is also about developing science as a hobby, as much as you may enjoy art, or literature.
April is Citizen Science month, so now is a great time to think about what citizen science projects you might want to get involved with. There are many local opportunities to participate in citizen science and details on these are found below.
The Southern Highlands Nature Map (SHNM) is an exciting new citizen science tool to help you discover what is around you and for you to contribute to biodiversity monitoring in Wingecarribee and Wollondilly shires.
Data collected by citizen scientists through NatureMapr helps to educate the broader community including the next generation of scientists and activists, and it can be used in the development of local biodiversity projects. Verified data is shared with the Atlas of Living Australia and work is progressing on sharing data with BioNet (NSW Wildlife Atlas). The project also has the potential to guide strategic land use planning, biosecurity planning and management and local and regional decision making.
To get started
It is initially better to record photos and upload them from your camera or phone to the SHNM web site before you familiarise yourself with the NatureMapr app.
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The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on again 19-25 October 2020, to celebrate National Bird Week. This annual count provides an understanding of the birds that like to live near us.
During the week, participants count birds for 20 minutes and can do as many surveys as they want over the week. Visit Aussie Backyard Bird Count for more information, or download the reports listed below.
The top ten birds counted during the third week in October 2019 included the Crimson Rosella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian Magpie, Australian Wood Duck, Galah, Noisy Miner, Little Corella, Australian King Parrot, Common Myna and Magpie Lark, with the Pied Currawong and Eastern Rosella slipping down a few places compared with 2018. The Crimson Rosella retains the top spot since counts began in 2015.
Interestingly, the reporting rate for the Crimson Rosella, Australian Magpie, Australian King-Parrot and Pied Currawong was greater in Wingecarribee when compared with NSW and nationally. The reporting rate is the percentage of surveys where a species was recorded.
The numbers of introduced bird species recorded were highest in the more populated parts of the shire.
Summarised findings include:
There are data limitations which are described in the report.
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What better way to get involved in citizen science month than to record the biodiversity that visits or resides in your backyard. This could be birds, insects, plants and other animals.
To contribute to a Backyard BioBlitz, we recommend that you try to photograph all your observations and submit them to Southern Highlands Nature Map. That way we can get a better idea of what’s inhabiting the urban and regional areas of the Southern Highlands.
Backyard BioBlitzes are flexible in how they can be structured, but here are a few tips:
Join with us in looking out for and recording our iconic animals including the Koala, Platypus and Glossy-black Cockatoo.
There are many and varied projects that you may find interesting, and the best way to start is to go to a project finder site such as the Atlas of Living Australia Citizen Science Central.
There are many projects that run at the same time each year, and in addition to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, take a look at Frog week and Australian Pollinator Week. The Australian Citizen Science Association is another great place to find additional opportunities.