Blog: Citizen Science for Spring Fun

We love Citizen Science here at HQ, and indeed all across the Landcare landscape, so that’s why we have compiled some great Citizen Science Projects to keep the spring holidays ‘I’m bored’ comments down to a minimum and help our community explore, appreciate and contribute to great projects across NSW and Australia!

Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Fairy Wren by John McLoughlin

18–24 October 2021

Taking part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is easy! Just spend 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space (and within government restrictions) and tell us about the birds you see during that period. By taking part you’ll help Birdlife Australia understand our local birds, distribution, pests and important insights into their daily lives. The best thing, even if you don’t know much about birds the Birdata web portal and app automatically gives you a list of 30 birds (including pictures!) from your region to get you started.

More here

Great Southern BioBlitz

Whian Whian Landcare Dunoon Tree Planting c. Emma Stone

22-25th October 2021

The goal of the Great Southern Bioblitz is to provide a platform for groups, associations and individuals to encourage engagement in citizen science across the southern hemisphere. Through the online platform iNaturalist, the projects hopes to increase biodiversity awareness and encourage citizens to contribute to the understanding of where plants, animals and fungi occur their distribution.

​All you need to do to contribute is to download the iNaturalist application to your handheld device and make observations within your LGA or within current COVID-19 restrictions over the collection period 22-25th October 2021. More here


Boobook Owl c. David Clode (1)

Closes February 2022

Find owls without leaving home! Listen to audio from the wild across Australia and see if you can hear any owl calls. Hoot Detective is a digital interactive project where anyone around Australia with a connected device can become a citizen scientist.

What does it involve?

Citizen scientists listen to a short 10 second grab of audio that has been pre-selected as having a ‘sound of interest’ in it.  They will then choose the ‘sounds’ found in the audio from a short list, say owl, frogs, insects, koala and more.

More here




CoastSnap is a global citizen science project to capture our changing coastlines. No matter where you are in the world, if you have a smartphone and an interest in the coast, you can participate!

CoastSnap relies on repeat photos at the same location to track how the coast is changing over time due to processes such as storms, rising sea levels, human activities and other factors. Using a specialised technique known as photogrammetry, CoastSnap turns your photos into valuable coastal data that is used by coastal scientists to understand and forecast how coastlines might change in the coming decades.

More here

Landcarers asked to report frog deaths in eastern Australia

Photo courtesy of Sophie Hendry – Brown Skin L. Caerula

Since June 2021, people have been coming across sick and dead frogs in eastern Australia from Rockhampton south, through eastern NSW and down to Victoria. A number of species have been affected including the Green Tree Frog and Peron’s Tree Frog, both species that are commonly seen close to or in our homes.

Initially, it was surmised that this was a result of the cold snap at the start of winter and frogs were succumbing to another wave of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus which has been the cause of frogs deaths and extinctions around the globe since the 1970s. However, with reports of deaths still coming in scientists have realised this outbreak has the potential to severely affect frog numbers around eastern Australia and are investigating further. Outbreaks of similar magnitudes to what we may be seeing have previously altered food webs permanently in other parts of the world, impacting reptile and bird populations through loss of prey.

The Australian Museum and Australian Registry of Wildlife Health are leading the investigation with help from vets, regionally based amphibian researchers and frog-lovers around Australia. However, they are calling upon help from all Australians to report frog deaths, and uncover the cause.

There are two ways you can assist these efforts. If you see a dead frog, then you should report it. You can send information on dead frogs to the national citizen science project FrogID (run by the Australian Museum) using the email Include details of the location and any photos that you have. If possible, please bag the specimen and freeze it, and let the Australian museum know in your email. When lock downs ease, the team hopes to organise collection of these for microbial autopsies to be performed, to better understand the cause of these deaths. Sick frogs should be taken to your local vet. Signs of sickness include being slow to move, thin, and having discoloured skin (lighter or darker than usual). Some frogs have been observed with red bellies, red feet and sloughed skins. Remember it’s always important to wear disposable nitrile or latex gloves when handling frogs regardless of their health.

Another way people can greatly contribute to the investigation is to get outside and record healthy frog calls throughout spring. We are lucky to have over 240 different frog species in Australia all playing an important role in the ecosystem.  Frogs are also important environmental indicators, providing humans with messages about the state of our water, habitat and even our soil quality.

As we move into Spring and the weather warms up it’s important to know where we still have healthy and diverse populations of frogs. The easiest way for Landcarers to contribute to this knowledge is using the Australian Museum’s FrogID app . This great app has information about all of Australia’s frogs in it.  Using the app, you can record your local frog calls, and upload them to be identified by a frog expert. The records will be saved in a national database, and you will receive an email identifying the frogs you have heard.  It’s also heaps of fun.

Dr Alexandra Knight, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie.

Citizen Science for Summer fun

We love Citizen Science here at HQ, and indeed all across the Landcare landscape, so that’s why we have compiled some great Citizen Science Projects to keep the summer holidays ‘I’m bored’ comments down to a minimum.

StreamWatch & Waterwatch

Waterwatch is a national citizen science program, involving landholders, community groups and schools, and aims to engage communities in monitoring and protecting the health of local waterways.

Streamwater is a citizen science water monitoring program in the Greater Sydney region that enables community groups to monitor the quality and health of local waterways.

Participants can take an active role in monitoring the health of their local catchments by conducting monthly water quality testing and optional seasonal surveys of aquatic macroinvertebrates, to understand and monitor the health of their rivers, and provide quality assured data, which is uploaded to an online database.  With the data they collect, communities can influence the management of their local waterways and take direct action.

If you are in Greater Sydney click here to register your interest

If you are in all other part of NSW click here to register your interest 


WetlandSnap is a photopoint monitoring citizen science initiative designed to engage and mobilise communities in public and private areas to capture to help track environmental conditions at wetlands and rivers and how they change over time. Images and spatial information from WetlandSnap sites and one-off snapshots from other sites are intended to be openly available for visualisation, outreach, research, and other purposes.

You will need a camera

To register your interest click here

Hungry Parrots Project

This project helps collect data on the natural & novel diets of wild parrots in Australia, especially in the aftermath of the recent bushfires, when native food supplies are low.

Whenever you see a parrot feeding on something, stop and take a photo! Also take a photo of the food item (i.e. the tree species) and the foraging residue left behind (i.e. the dropped fruit pieces).

You will need: Something to take photos (phone or camera), something to upload the data (phone or computer), a notebook, a GPS

To participate in this project contact Erika Roper at

Waterbug Blitz Training Survey

If you are interested in rivers, streams, wetlands, ponds, oxbows or even farm dams, then join the Waterbug Blitz as they figure out how many of Australia’s waterways are in good nick, and how many need a bit more TLC. 

Simply using a net and an app to have a closer look at your local waterways.  By identifying the littler animals (waterbugs) that live in them, you can learn a lot about freshwater ecology, and also how healthy these water bodies are. 

To find out more click here

National FrogID

FrogID is a national citizen science project that is helping the Australian Museum learn more about what is happening to Australia’s frogs. All around the country, people are recording frog calls with nothing more than a smartphone.

Australia has over 240 known species of frog, almost all of which are found nowhere else in the world. Some species are flourishing, like the Striped Marsh Frog. But others have declined dramatically since the 1980s, and four have become extinct.

To get involved click here 

Fairy Wren Project

Do you see fairywrens? Fair Wren Project are looking for citizen scientist partners across Australia to help collect observations of fairywrens and their plumages. Whether you’re a serious twitcher or enjoy seeing fairywrens in your garden, your observations help!

When you see fairywrens, submit an eBird checklist to check how many individuals of each plumage type you saw in the species comments, separating codes with a space:

b = bright male, i = intermediate male, d = dull male, f = female, j = juvenile, u = unknown dull

For more information and the register click here