Record your sightings of native flora and fauna

Large Duck-orchid, Caleana major

Large Duck-orchid, Caleana major

A lot of people enjoy finding a new plant or animal and often keep lists of what they see on their property or while out for walk in a reserve.  Where does this information end up? Is it useful if it is just in someone’s notebook?

On our property we  record sightings of different birds and animals that we see or hear. Last week we recorded our first  Grey Butcherbird, it had been calling for weeks but remained unidentified until we had binoculars and the bird in the right place.

If you like to record what you see, perhaps you would like to add your lists to one of the available databases. Your lists  may provide a valuable resource for future conservation and planning. The level of detail required by the various databases varies, but the minimum is the date, species, accurate location, observer and datum used. Bird data may be entered as a bird list or as survey data if you are prepared to be more rigorous  in your data collection.

Apps are being developed to make data collection easier. Regular input of data means that records may be verified and uploaded and used by others more quickly. One new site where your records may end up is on the community resource, Visualising Victoria’s Biodiversity. Databases are used by a range of students, landholders, academics, researchers, government departments and authorities and other agencies

A Brush-tailed phascogale was found in our area this year and after local publicity, other sightings have been recorded. This led to funding being sought and received by the local landcare group to carry out further monitoring and raise awareness of this threatened species. It may lead to new plantings in the area and the provision of nestboxes. It also helps to provide a focus for messages on the importance of not allowing cats to roam free.

Yellow Admiral, Vanessa itea

Yellow Admiral, Vanessa itea

Having current records in the major databases assists in planning when and where ecological burning is undertaken or where a wind tower may be sited for example. Data may indicate where reasonably common birds may have disappeared from an area or where wildlife corridors have encouraged a greater range of species back into an area. Funding is being targeted at where threatened species are located and this is tied to having up to date data.

Some of the commonly used databases are Atlas of Living Australia or NatureShare or the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (DELWP) or Birdata.

You may like to adapt this list to record the plants and animals in your area.

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