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The Great Southern BioBlitz 2021

Great Southern BioBlitz logo

More than ever we are appreciating the benefits of getting outdoors, so we are inviting you to join us in the Great Southern BioBlitz 2021 (GSB) across four days running from Friday 22 October to Monday 25 October.

Come delve into, explore and learn about the rich biodiversity that Maroondah is home to.

The Great Southern BioBlitz is part of a global movement to recognize and practice citizen science all whilst enjoying natural areas. As part of the BioBlitz people are asked to head out into their local areas to capture the range of biodiversity in Spring.

Earlier this year, Council competed in the 2021 City Nature Challenge, partnering with seven neighbouring Councils (Boroondara, Greater Dandenong, Knox, Manningham, Monash, Stonnington and Whitehorse); the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria and the Entomological Society of Victoria. This was our first foray into the world of citizen science, and the results were amazing! You can read more about the results on the City Nature Challenge page.

To build on the success of the City Nature Challenge we are encouraging community participants to get involved in the BioBlitz event.

Your involvement increases the quality and the amount of data available to local environmentalists, scientists and natural resource managers. The more that is documented through photographs helps to provide an idea of what occurs in our local area in terms of flora and fauna, which increases our ability to protect it.

Find out more about the Great Southern BioBlitz.

How the BioBlitz works 

The iNaturalist platform will compile statistics on: 

  • the numbers of species observed 
  • the number of observations 
  • the number of observers 

These numbers are compared across the participating project areas from across the southern hemisphere.

To keep track of how the Maroondah community is going against the other participating areas, visit the iNaturalist project.

With your help we can continue to build a record of the stunning biodiversity found in Maroondah and make a great contribution to the scientific and wider community with the information collected.

Maroondah is planning to host several nature discovery activities at local reserves during the BioBlitz period (22-25 October).

Led by people with local expertise and/or knowledge, the nature discovery activities will showcase selected reserves across Maroondah and the nature they support. Participants will be encouraged to log their nature observations on iNaturalist as they go.

Keep an eye on here for more details closer to the date. Registration for the nature discovery activities will be taken online as numbers will be limited.

These activities will be run in accordance with covid restrictions at the time.

However, you do not need to attend an activity to be involved! Walk your local street, nearby reserve or even backyard to see what you can discover and record your observations of nature on iNaturalist as you go. You may be surprised what you find!

To get involved, download the free iNaturalist app (from Google Play or App Store) on to your smartphone and create your profile. Then head out to your local creek, reserve, or even your own backyard and keep an eye out for wild plants and animals. Using the app you can then record an image or two of each different plant or animal you can find (your phone’s GPS will record the date and location), identify them to the level you are confident with, then share your observations on the iNaturalist online platform.

Alternatively, once back home on your computer, you can log into the iNaturalist website and record the locations (by dropping a pin on a map) and upload your photos of the observations. The main benefit of this method is that you can be more selective with the photos you upload. 

To help with learning how to use the iNaturalist app and website, here are some online options that cover different levels of interaction with the platform.

The Great Southern BioBlitz organisers are running two online webinars presented by Thomas Mesaglio, a curator and forum moderator on iNaturalist, and the leading identifier in Australia

Advance tips for using iNaturalist

An expert introduction to more advanced use of the natural history platform iNaturalist by Thomas Mesaglio.

Watch now

A beginners guide for using iNaturalist

Tuesday 28 September 2021

8.30pm – 9.30pm

Register online

Watch a prerecorded tutorial

A detailed presentation on how to use of the iNaturalist platform by ecologist Dr Luis Mata delivered earlier this year for the 2021 City Nature Challenge

Watch now - iNaturalist Webinar Recording 20 April 2021

The iNaturalist website also provides a number of detailed video tutorials.

Identifying your observations 

iNaturalist is very user friendly and allows you to build your identification skills as you go! When you upload your observations, you are encouraged to make an identification to the level of your knowledge. This could be the specific species name or just the type of animal. Once uploaded, iNaturalist users from everywhere can see them, and provide their own knowledge to further refine, or confirm the identifications. So, you may only know what you have observed as a ‘moth’ or ‘plant’, but once uploaded it is very likely someone from the iNaturalist community will be able to tell you the full species name of what you saw. 

Any observations you log within the Maroondah municipality during the four days of the BioBlitz, will be a contribution to the Maroondah Great Southern BioBlitz 2021 project and can be compared against other participating councils, cities and regions across the Southern hemisphere.

You can track how we are going by visiting the Maroondah page on iNaturalist, and you can join the project to see how you are faring against other observers in Maroondah.

But you don’t need to wait until the BioBlitz - you can start right now!  You can log nature observations in iNaturalist anywhere, anytime.

Interested in hearing about future activities? 

If you wish to keep informed for this event and similar citizen science activities that we may run in the future, please register your interest.   

Register your interest.

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