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Welcome to our news update from the Corangamite CMA's citizen science program.

Here you will be kept up to date with environmental volunteering in the Corangamite region including the Waterwatch, EstuaryWatch and Western District Ramsar Lakes Photopoint monitoring programs. This is a place to find out about actions being undertaken to discover more about the health of waterways and catchments across the region, as well as community engagement events and opportunities to get involved.

In light of the current and rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Corangamite CMA will be continuing the operation of our services and delivery of our programs where possible however will be restricting public access to our Offices from 22nd March 2020. Please direct any queries to 1800 002 262.

Citizen science at home

The Corangamite CMA is encouraging you to think about your health and safety and review the Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) we released last week. Click here for the link to the SWMS. The risks associated with travel and working closely together are best managed through postponing Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch activities for now.

We can’t predict when you’ll be able to do your regular Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch activities again, but we can bring you positive stories about citizen science in the Corangamite region. In this newsletter we will be suggesting citizen science activities you can do while at home. 

Here are some projects Kristen and Deirdre really like that can be done just outside your back door. You can find many more projects on the Australian Citizen Science Association’s website too. Visit https://citizenscience.org.au/2020/03/21/citizen-science-and-covid-19/

Citizen science outside your back door

Stop and smell the flowers
 

Wild Pollinator Count, 12-19 April

Wild Pollinator Count is underway these school holidays on 12-19 April. We know that Australia has around 2,000 native bee species, all of which are important pollinators. Other insects such as butterfly, wasp, fly, moth, beetle, thrip and ant species are also important pollinators, but we don’t have a lot of information on the ecology of these creatures, what flowers they pollinate or where they are found. If you spend 10 minutes watching your favourite flowers in your garden and taking note of what you see, you can contribute to the database too. Visit https://wildpollinatorcount.com/
 

Do you like to spot platypus?
 

Australian Platypus Monitoring Network

The Australian Platypus Monitoring Network (APMN) makes it easy for volunteers to monitor both platypus activity and upload standardized sightings records in the field. Both the APMN website and app saves information in a database and summarised with a map and charts. The APMN aims to empower community members to keep track of their neighbouring platypus populations. Platypus love good water quality and burrowing habitat, so if you are walking beside your local waterway near dusk or dawn spend 5-10 minutes to look for the wonderful platypus. Visit https://www.platypusnetwork.org.au/home.

platypusSPOT

Another citizen science platform is platypusSPOT. It offers wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to contribute to a community-driven database on platypus distribution, post photos and videos, view platypus sightings in your area, and interact with other ‘platypusSPOTters’. Visit http://platypusspot.org/

Information from both these programs can then be used to help assess the status of platypuses and develop appropriate conservation strategies.  

Do you like to listen to frogs?
 

FrogID

While frogs generally call in springtime after rain, you may still hear autumn croakers. If you hear frogs, you can add information about the identify, location and date to a scientific dataset.

The Australian Museum hosts the Frog ID app. This awesome mobile phone-based Citizen Science program involves recording a frog call and following the apps instructions to load the call and location. Frog experts at the Australian Museum have species calls recorded and match your recording with known species cross checking with your location to give an accurate idea of which frogs you have in your area. As well as letting you know who your neighbours are your samples will be fed into the Atlas of Living Australia our leading Biodiversity database. Visit https://www.frogid.net.au/

Frog Census

In the Melbourne region the Frog Census app provides a description of the 16 species of frogs commonly found in the Melbourne region and enables community members to submit frog calls easily and efficiently to the Frog Census program - a community frog monitoring program that has operated since 2001. Frog Census aims to engage the community around the value, importance and threats to frog species throughout Melbourne. The census seeks to collate data gathered by volunteers to provide further information on frog species’ distribution across the Port Phillip and Western Port region. The program encourages community members to get involved by becoming citizen scientists and recording frog calls at their local waterway.  Visit Frog Census app

Do you like bird watching?
 

BirdLife

BirdLife Australia, is the country’s largest organisation devoted to the future of our native birdlife. They are an independent, not-for-profit organisation with a single aim: creating a bright future for Australia’s birds. Through BirdLife, volunteers can partake in activities such as bird watching, which involves observing birds whenever and wherever you like, and keeping a track of the species of birds you see. Volunteers can also be a part of numerous projects which help with the protection of our bird life. Data such as what birds are in the area is used for research into how to protect these species.  https://www.birdlife.org.au

eBird

eBird transforms your bird sightings into science and conservation. Plan trips, find birds, track your lists, explore range maps and bird migration—all free. Your sightings contribute to hundreds of conservation decisions and peer reviewed papers, thousands of student projects and help inform bird research worldwide. https://ebird.org/australia/home 

Are you a nature photgrapher?
 

City Nature Challenge, 24-27 April

Get ready for the City Nature Challenge in Geelong and district April 24-27. Join in with people from 250 other cities to discover and record as many plant, animal and fungus species as possible. Start practicing now by visiting the iNaturalist website to register and download the app. Embrace the healing power of nature and make your observations from the safety of your own home or local park. Visit https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-geelong

ClimateWatch

ClimateWatch is a program seeking to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behavior of Australia’s plants and animals. You can make observation of living things on land or in the sea using a simple app. Record what stage of budding and flowering your jacaranda or flame tree is at or even what butterfly species are active now. Visit https://www.climatewatch.org.au/

Atlas of Living Australia

The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) provides free, online access to information about Australia’s amazing biodiversity. It is collaborative, open infrastructure that pulls together biodiversity data from multiple sources and makes it accessible and reusable. The ALA is Australia’s national biodiversity database. Founded on the principle of data sharing – collect it once, share it, use it many times – the ALA provides free, online access to millions of occurrence records to form the most comprehensive and accessible data set on Australia’s biodiversity ever produced. By aggregating biodiversity information and making it more available online, the ALA is assisting scientists, planners, managers and others to create a more detailed picture of Australia’s biodiversity. The ALA is used for research, environmental monitoring, conservation planning and management, education, and citizen science activities. https://www.ala.org.au

Fluker Post

The Fluker Post Project is a community based environmental monitoring project which encourages people to capture photos of waterways and landscapes at specific sites, and then upload these photos to the Fluker Post website. The photos uploaded allow for data collection on the changing environment, which is used to improve the health waterways and catchments in Victoria. http://www.flukerpost.com

Do you need to talk to us?

Do you need to contact us to talk? Phone Kristen Lees on 0408384016 or Deirdre Murphy on 0418145818.
And you can send us an email kristen.lees@ccma.vic.gov.au and deirdre.murphy@ccma.vic.gov.au

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“We wish to Acknowledge all Traditional Owners of the Country on which our Citizen Science programs take place and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging”

Delivered by Corangamite CMA and funded by Victorian Government.
Supported by Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water and City of Ballarat

Enquiries to Corangamite CMA (03) 52329100 or email info@ccma.vic.gov.au 

Copyright © 2019 Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
64 Dennis St, Colac, Vic, 3250

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Corangamite CMA · 64 Dennis St · Colac, Vic 3250 · Australia

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