By Pete Crowcroft (@possumpete), GSB organising team
This year between the 22-25th October, join Australia and 13 other countries in the largest scale citizen science biodiversity survey in the southern hemisphere!
Using the iNaturalist platform, the Great Southern Bioblitz (GSB) is an annual opportunity to participate in a large, global biodiversity survey. Until recently these bioblitzes have always been centered in the northern hemisphere during their springtime, meaning that those of us south of the equator and coming into winter didn’t always have the greatest amount of biodiversity on show! So the GSB was born from the desire to have a springtime survey of biodiversity for us, down south, during a time of year we know is abounding with emerging life.
Flowers are blooming, insects take wing, and birds call for mates. Each time an observation is made, it will be identified and used as a data point for that species, existing in that place, at that time. A valuable piece of scientific data which can be accessed for all sorts of important biological research.
We were astounded by the participation in this project last year. Our humble expectations of perhaps just a few locations around Australia getting involved were blown away, with many more people from around the world joining in to observe their local biodiversity.
Now for our second year we are anticipating an even stronger participation in the GSB, with 96 local areas already signed up from across 14 countries. There is still time to register an area, however, if you would like to become a coordinator for your region please follow our website here.
We promote the idea of backyard biodiversity surveys. Given the ongoing global pandemic we place participant safety as a priority. The beauty of the GSB is that you can participate when restrictions are in place, and long distance travel is not possible. You can do it either solo or in a group. All you will need is an iNaturalist account, a device to take photos of wildlife, and all the enthusiasm you can muster.
To find out more information about this project, please visit https://greatsouthernbiobl.wixsite.com/website.