Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.
Citizen Science

Citizen Science

From time to time the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club is asked if members can send observations or carry out more active research into a topic about the natural world.

This page provides contact details and some descriptions for citizen science opportunities. They are listed in chronological order as they are received.


 NatureTrackers Call for Bat Roosting sites

The Bookend Trust, through the NatureTrackers program, has recently launched the CallTrackers project – so anyone in Tasmania can help monitor bats through recording their calls. To build software able to identify bat species from recorded calls, they need lots of recordings of calls where bats have been identified. They are looking for bat roosts! They can identify the species of bat in the roost, and then record them when they head off in the evenings.

If you’ve noticed somewhere where, at least sometimes, bats shelter during the day, They would love to hear from you: Email: hello@naturetrackers.com.au .

IMPORTANT: The bats may not be very active at the moment and may not always be in the roost. Please don't risk disturbing any to check for them!

•        HOW DO I KNOW IT’S A BAT ROOST? Hearing chittering, seeing mouse-like poos on walls or on the ground, hearing noise at sunset and sunrise mostly.

•        WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH MY ROOST? Talk to you; maybe come and check if the bats are there at the moment and which species they are; if it suits our needs well, and you are happy, we may set up equipment in spring/summer to record the bats as they come out of the roost.

•        There is more information on Tasmania's bats here:  https://nre.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/fauna-of-tasmania/mammals/bats

Posted 1 February 2024


 

Threatened Species Strategy Discussion Paper

The current Threatened Species Strategy​ lists more than 700 species as being threatened. It has been in place for more than 20 years and needs to be updated.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) is developing a new Threatened Species Strategy to guide Tasmania’s actions to support our plants and animals in surviving.  The discussion paper is the first step in developing a new strategy that will consider how the department can improve knowledge, tools, and understanding of emerging threats including climate change, invasive species, and new diseases. The discussion paper is available from Developing a new threatened species strategy for Tasmania - Discussion Paper (nre.tas.gov.au) .

NRE Tas encourages us to have our say in how Tasmania can protect, recover, and value our threatened species now and into the future.

Feedback on the discussion paper can be done through either a written submission or a survey form and is open until 5 pm, Friday 22 December 2023.

More information is available from Threatened Species Strategy Discussion Paper | Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (nre.tas.gov.au).

Posted 24 Nov, 2023


 

Great Southern Bioblitz 2023

The 2023 Great Southern Bioblitz will be held 24th to 27th November 2023.

More information is available from https://www.greatsouthernbioblitz.org/about-1 .

Results from the 2022 survey are available from (https://www.greatsouthernbioblitz.org/gsb2022highlights).

Posted 21 June 2023


Bumble Bees - Bombus terrestris

Message from Researcher James Mackinson

I am a bee biologist from Western Sydney University. I am currently in Tasmania until the 9th of May studying the nesting requirements of the large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). I'm looking for help finding nesting colonies. I would like to describe the nesting conditions of this non-native species in Tasmania, as well as look inside these colonies to determine their parasite load and reproductive output in Tasmanian ecosystems.

In addition, in October last year my colleagues and I used radio telemetry to follow young house hunting bumblebee queens to their new homes. We made a unique discovery, following one bumblebee back to a young colony she was building at the woolly base of fronds in a soft tree fern (Dicksonia antarctica). We want to see whether this is a common strategy for bumblebees in Tasmania, and are looking to find as many tree fern colonies as possible. If you have any such ferns on your property, please check them for signs of bumblebee activity. You may notice bees flying around the tree, or even here a low humming around the tree itself.

Please call or text me on 04 9112 4016 if you know the location of a bumblebee colony and are happy for me to come and study this colony.

Posted 29 April 2023


 

Pacific black duck and Mallard hybridisation

Members are invited to take part in a project that aims to monitor the distribution of hybridisation between native Pacific black ducks and introduced mallards.

There is concern that the genetic integrity of Pacific black ducks in Tasmania may be threatened by introgressive hybridisation. The combination of high levels of hybridistion in human landscapes and Pacific black duck (PBD) shooting in remoter areas has led to PBDs becoming critically endangered in NZ, and they are either threatened or extinct on several Australian Islands. 

People can help by recording sightings of mallards, Pacific black ducks and Pacific black duck x mallard hybrids to iNaturalist, eBird or birdata. On iNaturalist, sightings of mallards and hybrids are automatically added to this project: Mallards & hybrids in Australia · iNaturalist. All records are of use. It's good to know where healthy populations of pure PBDs exist in large numbers, and useful to know the range of mallard x PBD hybrids. It's also helpful to know where mallards are commonly fed and/or dumped, as these locations may be the subject of education campaigns and new signage in the future. 

Records on eBird and birdata are also very useful and can be added as incidental records (if sighted outside of a regular survey). Including photos where possible is very helpful. Many hybrids are misidentified as pure PBDs and photos can help confirm species.

Anybody looking for more information on the issue, hybrid identification tips or more ways to help is encouraged to join the facebook action group: Mallard and Hybrid Ducks in Australia | Facebook

Posted 28 January 2023


Coastal Weed Warning - Rice Grass

Spartina anglica
A new and potentially devastating weed has recently been detected in the Huon and D’Entrecasteaux Channel waterway.
Known as an “ecosystem transformer”, rice grass (Spartina anglica) forms dense and impenetrable mats that trap silt and destroy beaches and coastal habitats.
This summer, Huon Valley Council will work with Kingborough Council and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service to search bays and coastlines to try and eradicate the rice grass threat.
With your help, we can prevent this devastating weed from establishing in our local waterway.

Read more here...

Added 22 January 2023


Community Rainbow Lorikeet trapping program

Rainbow Lorikeets are classed as an invasive species, they are not protected and landowners are able to safely and humanely destroy them.

The Environmental and Invasive Biosecurity  Branch of NRE have a community Rainbow Lorikeet trapping program running in the Kingston and Hobart areas, where they have a bird trap near a feeder and euthanise any Rainbow Lorikeets when they are caught.  It is hoped that the same program can be set up on the north of the state, when they can get more traps made.

They are asking if any of our members know of any locations where Rainbow Lorikeets frequently feed AND that the landowners are happy to work in a trapping program,  if so please contact

Toni Furlonge, Environmental and Invasive Biosecurity Program Co-ordinator (NRE) either by mobile: 0439 446 738 or email:  toni.furlonge@nre.tas.gov.au


NatureMapr citizen science platform now Australia wide

Check out the NatureMapr citizen science platform. With the recent inclusion of Tasmania, the NT, SA and WA, it now provides the ability for anyone, via web or smartphone, to quickly upload their fauna and flora sightings from across Australia and shortly thereafter receive expert identification. This in turn provides important knowledge sharing of historic and current records and observations about the presence and distributions of native and introduced species to raise public awareness and to assist organisations that need to know about them.

 Posted 28 April, 2022


Instructions for using iNaturalist

iNaturalist is used around the world to record observations of nature. It is widely used by citizen scientists.

Find out more here: https://www.inaturalist.org/

Here is a pdf of step by step instructions written by Clare Hawkins for using iNaturalist.

iNaturalist for the dubious

Added 24 September 2020


Nature Trackers website

Nature Trackers is the Bookend Trust's overall site of citizen science projects: https://naturetrackers.com.au/


 Flame Robins Survey

Call for observations from Central North Field Naturalists.

To find out and to participate, visit:

https://www.disjunctnaturalists.com/robins/index.htm


BushBlitz Backyard Species Discovery

https://www.facebook.com/EarthwatchAustralia/photos/a.149758055050679/3501333483226436/?type=3

https://bushblitz.org.au/

(Added 25 April 2020)


 Earthwatch Australia

https://www.facebook.com/EarthwatchAustralia/

(Added 25 April 2020)



 Save our Seabirds

Appeal from the Pennicott Foundation    l     Pennicot Foundation website

(Added 17 December 2018, updated 20 August 2019)


 Help to eliminate European Wasps from Mt Wellington Park

Recently while enjoying a walk on Mt Wellington, two of our members met one of the Park Rangers who was eradicating European Wasp nests. The Ranger requests that anyone who comes across a nest should contact him, and provide information on location of the next, by a GPS reading if available.

Wellington Park Ranger:

Ben Masterman

Email: ben.masterman@wellingtonpark.org.au

Phone: 6238 2976,  0408 517 534