Over the weekend I participated as a citizen scientist in the Great Southern BioBlitz. All the images in this post were taken on my property in the last two days. Amazing how much diversity there is! And spring has certainly sprung with an abundance of colour and new life. In total, I contributed 175 observations with 66 species identified to date.
The Great Southern BioBlitz is an international period of intense biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species across the Southern Hemisphere in spring. This year it ran from 28th to 31st October 2022.
As a worldwide citizen science event, scientists and the community work together to survey and record as many species as possible within the 96 hours of people’s local time zone. Any flora or fauna can be contributed except for humans and pets.
By the end of October, the natural world is on full throttle. Flowers are blooming, insects are emerging, birds are singing, and reptiles are coming out of their winter hibernation. The purpose of the event is to highlight both the immense biodiversity spread across the Southern Hemisphere in the flourishing springtime, as well as to engage the greater public in science and nature learning.
The project uses the iNaturalist.org app which is easy to use on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop of desktop computer. It enables users to upload details of species including geographic location, date and time observed, photos, audio recordings, and notes. Artificial Intelligence (AI) assists users to identify observations within their taxonomic ranking, but should the AI not be able to clearly identify a species, scientists and other users are able to offer suggestions.
There are many other apps that enable people to contribute to science such as FrogId, and those that assist with identification of species such as Australian Bird Sounds, Butterflies, and EUCLID (which aids in the identification of Eucalyptus species). So grab your phone or a camera and go out amongst nature and see what you can find!