June 8, 2018

Thousands of citizen scientists have sent in photos and samples as part of Echidna CSI, helping researchers find out more about this spikey Australian icon.

Echidna CSI is a citizen science project that aims to find out more about the iconic Australian animal to assist conservation efforts. Citizen scientists can get involved by downloading the Echidna CSI app, which allows them to photograph echidnas they spot in the wild. The location of these echidnas can help researchers determine populations

Participants are also encouraged to look for and collect echidna poo, called scat, which has valuable information about the health of echidnas.

The project has seen incredible growth since its launch in 2017. The app has been downloaded 4000 times, resulting in 2200 photo submissions. Citizen scientists have also sent in 120 scat samples, providing valuable DNA and hormone information about echidnas.

Echidna CSI is an open-data project and all data is made freely available. Citizen scientists can track their contributions by visiting the Atlas of Living Australia repository or by signing up to monthly newsletters. The data received so far has been incredibly valuable to the research team.

‘Our map of where echidnas are found is growing rapidly and we’re seeing submissions from every state and territory around Australia,” says Tahlia Perry, insert title.

While the number of participants is growing each day, Perry is hoping for more citizen scientists in rural areas.

“We’re receiving the most data from areas that are heavily populated by people, such as the major cities, and so we’re now trying to reach as many rural communities as possible to start filling in the gaps towards the centre of Australia.”

For more information about Echidna CSI and to get involved, head to the website.

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