June 7, 2020

Updates from the Australian Citizen Science Association SA Chapter:

We have many updates for the citizen science community this month!
Including new projects launching, messages from existing projects and the success of the City Nature Challenge.

Is your ACSA membership up to date?

Firstly, a friendly reminder to check that your membership to the Australian Citizen Science Association is still valid and to renew if it’s not. ACSA is a volunteer-based association with committee members providing their time for free.  Financial membership will enable us to grow a thriving community that will help to inform and develop citizen science across Australia.

To join ACSA, renew your membership or find out more click here.

Greater Adelaide leads the
City Nature Challenge 2020 in Australia

Although this year’s City Nature Challenge was no longer considered a competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Adelaide region performed amazingly well during this time!

Of the four participating cities in Australia, Greater Adelaide provided the greatest number of observations at 6,701 and also the most observers at 188. The most species were recorded by Geelong at 1,232.

At a global ranking, out of 244 participating cities Greater Adelaide placed 36th in observations, 41st in total species and 53rd in the number of participants. An impressive feat considering our relatively small population and our first time participating.

Click here to read about all the results of the City Nature Challenge 2020 – we can’t wait to run this again in 2021.

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Are you interested in citizen science and over 50? (or know someone who is?)

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In a study funded by the Office for Ageing Well, SA Health, a research team at The University of South Australia are investigating the health and wellbeing benefits of citizen science participation. For this, they are seeking people aged over 50 who either have been involved in citizen science or are interested in learning more, to answer a series of questionnaires about physical activity, social connections, and overall quality of life.

Participants will receive a short book on how to create a wildlife friendly garden, and information on citizen science opportunities in South Australia.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact michelle.rogers@unisa.edu.au
This project has been approved by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Committee Ethics, Protocol 202830.

New Projects Launching!

Wild Orchid Watch

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 Wild Orchid Watch (WOW) is a national citizen science project designed to collect, record and share scientific information about Australian native orchids.

The team are very excited to announce that after two years of development, testing and collaboration between citizen scientists, orchid enthusiasts and scientists the WOW app is ready to use! You can access the WOW app by going to the internet browser on your mobile device and typing www.app.wildorchidwatch.org.

Wild Orchid Watch Australia is a project within iNaturalist and all photos and data collected using the WOW app will be stored, collated and identified on the iNaturalist platform. If you already have an iNat account you can use it to log in to the WOW app, and if not, it is very easy to create one. WOW app frequently asked questions (including details about the WOW app, photo and data copyright, privacy policy and terms of service) can be found on their website: https://www.wildorchidwatch.org/faqs. For guidance on signing up and getting the most out of the WOW app please see the WOW App Instructional Videos on the website.

Don’t forget to follow WOW on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube.

ibandi

Bandi is a new pop-up project for conservation citizen scientists! The project aims to better protect endangered southern brown bandicoots by discovering more habitat. These curious creatures use impenetrable blackberry thickets if there’s no suitable native vegetation. The team are looking for habitat they could use – with a bit of help.

If you know of any pockets of suitable blackberry habitat, these little fellas could really use your help! Free workshops will be held in August for citizen scientists. During the workshop, you will be trained in basic field safety, use of the iNaturalist platform, fundamentals for data collection, and will have the opportunity to engage with the community. Through this workshop, you will also gain insight into the importance of bandicoots within ecosystems and discover how we can work as a team to help protect this endangered species.

iBandi is led by Wendy Warren and Dr Jasmin Packer, on behalf of the Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Communities Environment Program, in partnership with Trees for Life Inc. and Department for Environment and Water, until 31 December 2020.

To register your interest for iBandi workshops, or for more information, contact iBandi Co-ordinator, Wendy Warren at w.sp.warren@gmail.com.

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Eyre Peninsular ‘Iconic’ Birds Portal

Eyre Peninsula has many amazing but secretive birds. There is a real interest among the general community and Natural Resource Management staff in how the populations of many of our bird species are going. This is particularly the case for what we have called ‘iconic’ species like the Australian Bustard and Osprey. These iconic birds have very distinctive features, making it easy for correct bird identification by both novices and seasoned bird watchers. This provides a wonderful opportunity for the use of citizen science in contributing to the conservation of these iconic birds, which are often endangered.

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula staff are therefore asking the community to report their sightings of our iconic birds. This will help them understand where these birds are and what they are doing. To enable the reporting of sightings, a simple reporting portal has been developed so people can quickly enter information in the predetermined information sections. Over time this should give a larger dataset that will help the community as a whole see how these populations are doing. Conservation action can then be undertaken if needed.

SO ….. Have you seen me on EP?  If you have, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula would love to hear about your sightings of any of these iconic birds: Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Little Penguin, Bush Stone-curlew, Australian Bustard, and Osprey. Simply go to www.epiconicbirds.com.au and follow the instructions. Your contribution to our knowledge and understanding of these species is highly valued.

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Projects Updates!

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Two exciting updates are coming from the Mozzie Monitors project this month!

Firstly, Larissa Braz Sousa, PhD Candidate at UniSA, has created a video about Mozzie Monitors that has been accepted into this year’s SCINEMA – the International Science Film Festival! You can watch the video here.

Larissa has also published a magazine-style paper about the ins and outs of Mozzie Monitors in the latest issue of Mosquito Bites, check out the full article here.

EchidnaCSI Bushfire Recovery

EchidnaCSI is expanding their nation-wide citizen science project into bushfire recovery work following the devastating bushfires during the 2019/2020 season. The team have won a $10,000 grant from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife to kickstart this process and focus on Kangaroo Island, in collaboration with leading echidna ecologist Dr Peggy Rismiller. The major aims are to understand how echidnas have survived the bushfires, what impact this has had on their health and diet, and how echidnas are aiding in the recovery of the island.

If you live on Kangaroo Island or know those that do, you can participate by:
Submitting sightings of echidnas through the EchidnaCSI app so that they can see how many echidnas are being spotted in both fire affected and non-affected areas.
Collecting echidna scats (the more the better) from both fire affected and non-affected regions for molecular analysis on diet and microbiome gut health.

For more information email the team at echidnacsi@adelaide.edu.au

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FrogSpotter app update

FrogWatchSA are delighted to report that the iPhone version of FrogSpotter has finally been updated.

The new version is now live on the app store and it should fix the issues that some users had with obtaining site coordinates, random freezing or dropping out of the app. The coding has been upgraded to the latest Apple standard and there have also been some new features added, including displaying the current GPS coordinates and accuracy.

Please let FrogWatchSA know if you continue to experience any problems by emailing:
info@frogwatchsa.com.au

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Please share this e-news.

We want to grow and connect the citizen science community in South Australia.
If you have any upcoming citizen science events or project updates please let us know and we can advertise through this email list.

If you would like to know more about ACSASA or know someone who would like to be added to this email list to receive updates, please email us at: acsasacommittee@gmail.com
All the best,
ACSA-SA committee

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