Are you koalified to report wildlife sightings?

NSW communities are being asked to share where they have seen wildlife around New South Wales, over the last 2 years, as a new online Community Wildlife Survey launched 24 May.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

"We want to know about your sightings of brushtail possums, foxes, platypus, wombats, koalas, spotted-tailed quolls, kangaroos, deer and dingos," said Dr Tom Celebrezze, Science Director, Office of Environment and Heritage.

"Whether you see a possum, a wombat whilst out working, or a koala during your holiday, every sighting helps to understand where in New South Wales these animals are living and how their populations are faring.

"Community wildlife sightings are hugely valuable to researchers and they give local communities a chance to share what is happening with the wildlife in their area.

"This rich data source helps scientists to get a better view of wildlife across New South Wales and gain a clearer understanding of where these animals are, their health, and any threats," said Dr Celebrezze.

The survey, conducted by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), asks contributors to record sightings of 10 key animals, over the last 2 years, wherever they have been seen across New South Wales.

Mr Celebrezze said the survey also draws on community knowledge, asking contributors if they think populations are increasing, decreasing or staying the same in their local area.

"Scientists will use the data to look at how the populations of the 10 animals have changed since the last survey in 2006," said Dr Celebrezze.

"Back in 2006 more than 16,000 people shared their wildlife sightings and the data generated played a vital role in understanding more about the location and status of animals in New South Wales, helping to shape research and conservation priorities for the State.

"We are keen to get a similar number of survey participants this year, if not more.

"The survey is being funded as part of the $44.7 million NSW Koala Strategy, that will help secure the future of koalas in the wild. Data from this year's survey can help identify sites for priority action under the NSW Koala Strategy as well as forming part of koala monitoring across the State.

"I encourage every NSW resident who has seen one of the 10 animals over the past 2 years in New South Wales, to share their sightings and wildlife information through the survey.

"It only takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete. It's a great opportunity to help build knowledge about wildlife in your local area," said Dr Celebrezze.

Access the new wildlife survey here: Community wildlife survey

Photos for media: Flickr