Take a look at the amazing wildlife and plants in our National Parks.
National Parks are a valuable refuge for our unique Australian flora and fauna. However fauna surveys are not regularly performed in National Parks. Often it isn’t until a species is classified as threatened that resources are available to monitor and try and work out how to save them from extinction. But if you don’t know what you have, how do you know what you have lost?
We can help the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service by recording on citizen science apps like iNaturalist what we see in our National Parks. This could be a flowering plant, a spider or insect, reptiles such as snakes, lizards and lace monitors, mammals such as wallabies, possums, bats and gliders, even birds and fish.
How it works
You spot an interesting insect and you pull out your phone and open up iNaturalist and add an observation. To create a verifiable observation it must have the following data.
- A date
- Be georeferenced (i.e. has lat/long coordinates)
- A photo or sound recording.
It cannot be a captive or cultivated organism. You simply take a photo from within the app and save the observation. It will now have all of the requirements for a verifiable observation. Another way to do it is to take some photos and then add the observation within the app later. It will use the photo settings to determine the date and location and you just add the photo from your phone or camera.
The observation is labelled as ‘Needs ID’ and a community of people will help ID the observation. When 2 out of 3 identifiers agree on the species it then attains Research Grade status and is shared with the Atlas of Living Australia.
The Atlas of Living Australia is a central database managed by the CSIRO. Data is sourced from many places and iNaturalist is just one of many.
If you are really keen then you can use a clip-on Macro Photography Lens for your mobile.
- Ideally the plant should be flowering, so once a year.
- Take a picture of the plant in situ to give an idea of its size and surrounding area.
- Take a picture of the flower and leaves.
- Take a photo at any time.
- Scats, feathers may be accepted if they can be identified.
- Calls may also be used.
The Frogid app is the best way to record frog calls and also to identify them. Their data ends up in the ALA as well.
More Information is available at https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help