The Wild Pollinator Count is a national citizen science project that provides an opportunity to step outside and enjoy spring in your backyard, while also contributing to science. The project encourages people to record local pollinators by watching a flower for 10 minutes during the count week and recording what insects land on the flower during that time.
Wild Pollinator Count uses standardised scientific methods to ensure the data recorded in multiple locations can contribute to ecological knowledge. The count is held twice a year, in spring and autumn, which enables regular contributors to get to know their local pollinator communities.
Project co-founder Dr Manu Saunders said the count is a great way to raise awareness on pollinator conservation. “The mainstream media tend to promote European honey bees as the key pollinator in Australian environments. But we have thousands of other pollinator insects out there pollinating crop and native flowers, we just don’t always see them.”
Co-founder Karen Retra said the count has been hugely popular in the local community, with a broad range of groups getting on board to promote the count to their members. “Many people are surprised by the diversity of insects they see on their flowers. The count also encourages us to think about the importance and roles of all these insects. You don’t need to be an insect expert, anyone can participate.”
The spring 2016 Wild Pollinator Count runs from 13-20 November and participants can record observations from anywhere in Australia. Observations need to be conducted on sunny, calm days and focus on a single flower, or small inflorescence of flowers. Basic identification resources are available on the website https://wildpollinatorcount.com and observations should be submitted through the online submission form.