Last day to count

Thank you to everyone who has already submitted observations for the spring 2017 Wild Pollinator Count! We’ve had over 200 submissions so far, with plenty more rolling in.

Sunday November 19th is the last day to count. If you haven’t had a chance to count yet, hopefully the rest of the weekend is warm and sunny in your part of the country!

The observation form will remain open until November 25 to give you time to enter your counts. We will post the results here on the blog in early December.

Hope you found something interesting in your backyard during this count! You can join in again for the autumn count in April 2018.

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Only a few days to go!

The spring 2017 Wild Pollinator Count starts this Sunday 12 November and runs until the following Sunday 19 November. You can count pollinators anywhere in Australia, on any warm sunny during that week! Find more details on how to count here and some answers to common questions here.

We have plenty of resources to help you identify the insects you see (and remember, we don’t need to know species). Have a look at our printable brochure of common pollinators and our handy guide to distinguishing between different types of insects.

Once you’ve finished a count (you can do more than one!), please submit your observations via our online form. The form will stay open for submissions until 26 November, but we can’t accept any counts done after November 19. Results will be posted on the blog in early December.

And don’t forget you can share your photos and counting tips with us on social media using the official hashtag #ozpollinators.

Happy Counting!

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Springtime pollinators

The spring Wild Pollinator Count is on again from 12-19 November 2017. All you need to do is watch a flower for 10 minutes on any warm, sunny day during that week and submit your observations via our website. You can find the simple instructions here. And don’t forget you can use our official social media hashtag #ozpollinators to share interesting pollinator sightings and information about Australia’s wild pollinators all year round.

The pattern of seasons this year has been unpredictable, to say the least. It was the hottest winter on record for Australia, so you may have seen some pollinators out and about during the winter months, even in cooler temperate regions. Bees are lot less tolerant of cold than flies, so it’s always interesting to note if you see any native bees flying on winter days. Continue reading

Thanks for counting!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 Autumn Wild Pollinator Count. We’ve broken our autumn record for number of observations submitted!

The submission form is now closed and we will post a results summary on the blog soon.

The spring count will be on from 12-19 November.

Final countdown!

We hope you’ve had fun counting pollinators this week. The cold snap across the south-east early in the week wasn’t ideal weather for pollinator spotting! But luckily, it warmed up again quickly, with ideal pollinator sampling conditions across most of the country for the rest of the week. We even got our first ever observation from the Northern Territory, despite the cyclonic weather they are battling up there!

The Autumn 2017 National Wild Pollinator Count ends Sunday April 16th. So if you haven’t done a count yet, there’s still time! You can conduct a 10 minute observation of any flowering plant, anywhere in Australia, at any time until Sunday evening.

The submission form will remain open until April 23rd to give you time to enter your observation data online. But remember, we can’t accept any observations that were conducted after the 16th.

A results summary of this autumn count will be posted here on the blog at the end of April.

If you missed out on counting this time, don’t worry…the spring 2017 count will run from November 12-19.

See you next time!

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Autumn 2017 count starts

The autumn 2017 Wild Pollinator Count starts this weekend!

You can count pollinators anywhere in Australia at any time between the morning of Sunday April 9 and the evening of Sunday April 16. All you need is 10 minutes to watch a flowering plant in your backyard or neighbourhood. The submission form will remain open for a few days after the count period, if you find it easier to count first and submit your data later.

Please follow the instructions on our How to Count page and submit your observations here. If you need help identifying the types of insects you are seeing, please have a look at our Resources page and read our Wild Pollinator Count FAQ.

If you’re new to Wild Pollinator Count, this blog post from last year details what we’re about and this page explains who is behind this independent citizen science project.

Please share your pollinator count experiences on social media, and don’t forget to include our official hashtag #OzPollinators to connect with us.

Happy counting!

 

What pollinators will you see this autumn?

The autumn 2017 Wild Pollinator Count is on soon! The next national count runs from April 9 to 16.

You can count pollinators using our standardised 10 minute observation methods at any time during that week and submit your observations through our online form. Check out our identification resources if you need some help identifying insects. Remember, you don’t need to give us species names, just general insect groups (see the form for the types of data we ask for).

Our last autumn count in April 2016 collected over 200 observations from 86 localities across the eastern and southern states. But in spring 2016, we extended our records to Western Australia too. Hopefully we will get some observations from the Northern Territory this year!

Autumn is the season for winding down and preparing for the winter hibernation. And it’s an important season for pollinators. Many insect pollinator species are provisioning their last nest cells or laying their last eggs before winter. So plants that flower in autumn can be important resources for the next generation of pollinators we will see in spring.

If you’re not sure what is flowering in your local area, start scouting for potential flowers to observe now. With lots of rain in some parts of the country over summer and early autumn, you may be surprised at what plants are enjoying a renewed burst of colour!

If you can’t contribute this time round, the national count is on again in the second full week (Sunday to Sunday) in November and April every year.

Happy counting!

Native bee on sticky daisy bush (Olearia sp.)

Do you have common ivy in your garden?

Have you seen a patch of mature common ivy (Hedera helix) flowering near you? Do you have a couple of minutes each week to film what insects are visiting the ivy flowers?

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A native potter wasp on ivy flowers.

A new international collaborative research project is looking at what insects visit ivy flowers in its native (UK) and introduced range. Ivy flowers in autumn, so it is an important pollen source for many pollinator insects as the winter months approach. In its introduced range where the plant has become invasive, information on its pollinators could help develop effective control methods.

The citizen science project is led by Fergus Chadwick (Trinity College, Dublin) and Professor Jeff Ollerton (University of Northampton). Dr Manu Saunders and Amy-Marie Gilpin (both University of New England) will be managing the Australian arm of the project.

The project needs citizen scientists to contribute weekly videos of insects visiting their local ivy patch!

Citizen Science Project Monitoring the Pollinators of Ivy

You can use any technology you like, even a smartphone. You just have to film at the same spot once a week during the flowering season and upload your video via the project’s Facebook page with some information about the location. Please make sure to read all the details in manual linked to below before getting started – it’s important that everyone’s contributions are filmed in the same way so we can compare data. We prefer videos to be uploaded on the Facebook page; however, if you are not a FB user and still want to contribute, you can email us your video and data to ivypollinatorsaustralia@gmail.com.

Ivy has already started flowering in some parts of Australia, so you may have missed the first few weeks! But please join in anyway – the project will continue again next year and you will have the opportunity to contribute to the full season then.

Note: Ivy is an introduced species and can be invasive in many parts of Australia. Therefore, we are not promoting planting of new ivy plants. This project is based on observations of established ivy plants.

If you are not sure whether you have found Hedera helix, visit this page for some photos and ID tips.

If you would like to get involved, please visit the project’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/PollinatorsofIvyMonitoringProjectAustralia/. You can find details on the project and how you can get involved in this document. Or you can email the project team at ivypollinatorsaustralia@gmail.com.

And don’t forget the National Wild Pollinator Count is on again soon, at its usual time. You can join in by counting pollinators on any flowering plants (not just ivy!) between 9-16 April.

 

Spring 2016 Results

Thanks to Tori Reynolds and Manuel Lequerica for analysing the spring 2016 data and writing this blog post!

 

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the November 2016 Wild Pollinator Count! Over 350 observations were submitted from 111 different locations, ranging from Kanimbla in North Queensland, Pelverata in Tasmania, all the way to City Beach in Western Australia. We’re still waiting for some observations from the Northern Territory!

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Count locations from spring 2016 Wild Pollinator Count

 

Participants counted over 3500 insects during this spring’s count*. Excluded from this total were insects, arthropods or birds that were counted while flying past flowers without landing. We also excluded ants, as often they don’t come in direct contact with the reproductive organs of the plants (and when they do they are often pollen robbing rather than pollinating!). As with previous counts, the European honey bee was again counted as being the most abundant pollinating insect, followed by our “other” bees, hover flies and “other” flies. Our beetle, wasp and butterfly/moth count was impressive! Continue reading