Citizen science projects are a fantastic way for our community to contribute to the data gathering required to build scientific understanding. We have identified two useful projects that families can contribute to, and we encourage you to see these as exciting opportunities to help our habitats:
WILD POLLINATOR COUNT:
The Wild Pollinator Count is a fantastic project where people spend 10 minutes observing a small 1m square space to identify as many pollinators as possible. This information is valuable because it provides data to Australian researchers on the distribution of native pollinators (particularly native bees) and also paints a picture of the health of our eco-systems.
Whilst there are specific dates for the actual pollinator count each year, there is a terrific bank of resources to help identify pollinators as well as fact sheets and tally sheets so people can keep their own records of pollinators at any time of year.
Fungimap is an online mapping project where citizens can take photographs of fungi, identify fungi and upload this information to contribute to a database of fungi sightings around Australia.
The project encourage users citizen scientists (us!) to use iNaturalist (app) as a tool to photograph, label/comment and upload your sightings. The fungimap website has helpful resources for identifying unfamiliar fungi.
The site also has helpful information for families around identifying and avoiding contact with poisonous fungi.
We encourage children to contribute to this project only under the guidance and supervision of adults to avoid the risk of ingesting poisonous fungi and the website has a sensible disclaimer: Fungimap does not encourage eating wild Australian mushrooms because so little is known about their edibility and many poisonous species are virtually indistinguishable from safe varieties.