Natural Resources valuing citizen scientists

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula is taking on board the contributions of the wider community through its Citizen Science Strategy for Eyre Peninsula.

The strategy will guide Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula in a range of future projects as well as existing ones including EP Goannas, EP Birds and FrogWatch.

In the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board’s Annual Report 2015-16, one of the successes highlighted was in having more than 200 people completing its Introduction to Bird Identification course.

This allowed these people to assist Natural Resources in monitoring native birdlife and contribute to baseline biodiversity studies on Eyre Peninsula.

Monitoring evaluation and reporting officer Ben Smith said citizen science provided an opportunity for people across Eyre Peninsula to engage in environmental monitoring programs.

“We have a large number of knowledgeable and passionate community members that actively engage in managing our natural resources,” he said.

“Facilitating ways for them to capture and record this data through citizen science is something Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula is very supportive of.”

Mr Smith said the board acknowledge the importance of citizen science participation in ‘Goal 2: Healthy and resilient land, sea and water ecosystems’ in the Regional Natural Resource Management Plan.

Citizen science projects that Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula has promoted included EP Goannas, which tasks people to report sightings of the Rosenberg’s and Heath species of goanna across Lower Eyre Peninsula.

Through EP Birds, Dr Greg Kerr has delivered 10-week bird identification courses across Eyre Peninsula and has led to nearly 10,000 sightings through the EP Birds portal.

Mr Smith said Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula supported a range of citizen science projects and the strategy would help guide future projects.

Details on citizen science projects are available at www.epcitizenscience.com.au.

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