Join or run a BioBlitz

As a form of citizen science, a BioBlitz is a concerted effort to discover, identify and record as many living things in a set location over a limited time period.

The collaborative efforts of specialists, naturalists and participants can establish an important biodiversity list while promoting environmental stewardship and engagement in nature.

Our hope is that BioBlitzes can be used in the future to help protected area managers track change over time.

Brogers Creek BioBlitz 2016­­–2017

Spotted-tailed quolls (Dasyurus maculatus) and other threatened species, including the long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus), eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) and eastern pygmy-possum (Cercartetus nanus) are found in the Barren Grounds and Budderoo reserves. Their presence indicates these reserves are part of a significant threatened species hotspot.

Nestled between Barren Grounds and Budderoo reserves is Brogers Creek, an area managed by many different landholders. To ensure the survival of threatened species and other native wildlife in Brogers Creek and the adjacent reserves, it is vital that all landholders and the local community take action to preserve and manage the valuable habitat.

As part of the Saving our Species Quollidor project, a BioBlitz was held to survey the Brogers Creek area.

The BioBlitz

Between December 2016 and January 2017, the Brogers Creek BioBlitz conducted surveys across 15 participating freehold properties. Local landholders volunteered alongside OEH ecologists to set ground dwelling marsupial traps, spotlight for arboreal mammals and birds, conduct diurnal reptile and bird surveys, record microbat echolocation calls, and undertake nocturnal streamside searches for frogs. Remote infrared cameras were also set for a 6-week period to detect spotted-tailed quolls.

Survey results

The fauna surveys resulted in the detection of 24 (five exotic) species of mammal, 56 species of bird, 10 species of reptile, eight species of frog and three species of fish. Two of those species, the large-footed myotis and the eastern bent-wing bat are listed under the TSC Act, while the greater glider is listed under the EPBC Act. Flora surveys identified six plant community types, with 135 component plant species. No threatened plants were found.

Unfortunately, no spotted-tailed quolls were detected, but the BioBlitz provided a valuable opportunity for local landholders to learn more about the species on their land and how to manage feral pests to help local quolls and other native wildlife.

Fox control

Many participating landholders have now been trained in fox control methods with support from the South East Local Land Services. They are involved in a coordinated fox control campaign to enhance and buffer quoll habitat around the Barren Grounds and Budderoo reserves.

For more information about spotted-tailed quoll monitoring and to read the BioBlitz report, see the Quollidor projectSaving our Species page.

World Parks Congress BioBlitz 2014

The World Parks Congress BioBlitz was a celebration of science working with the community to create a species audit of the Sydney Olympic Park site. The event was held on 16 November during the World Parks Congress Public Festival 'Planetfest' was a free all-ages event.

This citizen science event involved children, congress participants, scientists, naturalists and community members to create a snapshot of urban biodiversity in the area. Over 500 people joined in on the day visiting the BioBlitz tent filled with interactive hands-on displays from Taronga Zoo, the Frog and Tadpole Study Group, Society of Insect Studies, Living Data and the Australian Museum.

Between 8am and 5pm, approximately 250 survey participants helped experts compile a census of species in Sydney Olympic Park spotting birds, spiders, insects, water bugs and a plethora of other species using the iNaturalist app on their mobile phones.

As a result of their efforts, 227 species were recorded. Many of the invertebrate species identified had never previously been logged in that area, adding valuable information to Sydney Olympic Park Authority records. Our pick for most weird and wonderful observation on the day would be the dog vomit slime mould (Fuligo septica), a strange plasmoidal organism which appears after heavy rain often in bark mulch in urban environments and is tolerant to environments with heavy metal toxicity.

A crew from National Geographic was there on the day capturing all the excitement and interviewing participants about their experience which can be watched in the BioBlitz summary below.

This event would not have been a success without the support of our many partners and also the volunteers that helped out on the day to ensure things ran smoothly.