Thank you for counting!

Thank you for joining in the spring Wild Pollinator Count! As usual, the submission form will stay open until November 28, to give you time to get your counts in – but remember we can only accept counts that were conducted during the count week 14-21 November.

This is our last coordinated count for a while, as we take some time to analyse the data we have all collected so far, and to focus on other commitments. We’ve really appreciated your support over the last few years as we’ve grown from a small local count in Albury NSW in spring 2014, to Australia’s only nationwide citizen science project collecting plant-pollinator interaction data! We’re so happy that so many people got excited about wild pollinators through out counts, and we’re excited to take some time to analyse the data so far and see what it can tell us about wild pollinators in Australia. Stay tuned for the results.

We will not be faciliating coordinated counts or accepting data submissions, but we hope that you remain just as excited about wild pollinators as we are! Happy pollinator spotting whereever you go!

Hoverfly by Kay Muddiman

Last chance to count

Spring Wild Pollinator Count finishes this Sunday November 21, so it’s your last chance to do a count this weekend! Thank you to everyone who has contributed a count already.

As usual, we will leave the submission form open for one week, to allow you time to get your counts submitted. But remember, we can only accept counts that were done during the count week 14-21 November.

After submissions close on November 21, we will start collating the data and hope to have results posted by the end of the year.

Remember, we are taking a break after this count, so there will be no coordinated counts in 2022 – we hope you still enjoy looking out for wild pollinators wherever you go!

Thanks for joining in and happy pollinator counting!

Native bee by Georgie Smith

Time to count!

Spring 2021 Wild Pollinator Count starts now – you can join in any time between Sunday 14 and Sunday 21 November.

If you’re new to the count, read this page to find out the standardised method you need to follow to do a count. It’s simple to do and only takes 10 minutes!

Once you’ve done a count, you can submit your observations here. You can do as many individual counts as you want within the count week, but each one should be submitted on a seperate form.

Check out our resources page for identification tips and resources, including an updated version of our Pollinator ID guide.

Happy counting!

Geron sp. fly by Jane Frost

Spring 2021 count

It’s almost time to join in on a Wild Pollinator Count. The spring 2021 count runs from 14-21 November.

This will be the last chance to contribute to our count data! We are taking a break after this count to analyse the data so far and to focus on other commitments. We hope you continue looking out for wild pollinators in your backyard, even though we won’t be running coordinated counts for a while.

During the count week, you just need to take 10 minutes to watch a flowering plant and count the number of different flower visitors you see. Find out more about How to Count here. Remember, you should only watch a single flowering plant – we cannot accept observations that have observed multiple different plants at once within a garden.

Submit your observations via our easy online form here on the website.

You can connect with us on social media via our hashtag #WildPollinatorCount, or #Ozpollinators.

Happy counting!

Grass Blue Butterfly on Jonquil 18.4.21 by Kay Muddiman

How good is your wild pollinator ID?

Spring has sprung and the November Wild Pollinator Count is almost upon us! You can join in any time between 14-21 November.

If you have done a Wild Pollinator Count in the past, we would love it if you could complete this simple anonymous survey testing your identification skills relative to our standard count categories.

Click here to do the survey.

Why do the survey?

It will help you test your own identification skills (you will be provided with the answers at the end), and get you into practice for the upcoming spring count! Don’t forget to also check out our resources, including Identification Tips and Our Guide to Pollinator Insects.

It will also help us as a verification tool to assess the Wild Pollinator Count observation data you have all contributed to over the years. We are in the process of analysing the existing database of observations with the aim to publish the results in a peer reviewed journal and make the anonymised data publicly available for scientific research purposes. The survey will be important to help us provide some statistical verification for the data we analyse.

Some related news

After the November count, we will be taking a short break for a few reasons. As we’ve mentioned before, the Wild Pollinator Count is a volunteer-run unfunded project and we need a short break to focus on other work and family commitments for the immediate future.

We also need some time to analyse the data we have collected so far and contribute this valuable knowledge to the scientific community. The Wild Pollinator Count is Australia’s first and only national citizen science program focused on documenting plant-pollinator interactions, and we’re so grateful to have shared the experience of collecting this valuable data with so many of you.

But we will be back! We have lots of plans for the future, watch this space! In the meantime, please do keep watching out for wild pollinators, wherever you are.

Lesser Wanderer butterflies, Danaus petilia, by Philippa Gillett

Results are in: Autumn 2021 count

Thank you to everyone who participated in our autumn count this year. The weather during the count week was less than ideal for pollinator spotting in many parts of the country, with our great continent living up to its diverse nature! This is a great example of how unpredictable field-based science can be – the best laid plans can be dashed at the last minute by bad weather.

We received just over 580 usable records this count from over 200 unique postcode locations (click on the image below to view interactively in Google Maps). Records came in from all states and territories.

Over 4,500 individual insects were observed in our count categories. Again, the European honey bee was the most commonly observed flower visitor, followed by our native bees.

Count categoryNumber of individualsPercentage of all categories
BEES – European honey bees2,28450.6%
BEES – Blue-banded bees1804.0%
BEES – Other bees77817.2%
BEETLES – Ladybird beetles581.3%
BEETLES – Other beetles410.9%
BUTTERFLIES and MOTHS4149.2%
FLIES – Hoverflies2756.1%
FLIES – Other flies3648.1%
WASPS – European wasps831.8%
WASPS – Other wasps350.8%

Most of the flowering plants that were observed were exotic (67%), with the remainder being native (33%). Similar to other counts, this is likely because many people are doing counts in their gardens where we tend to find a higher proportion of exotic plants.

Only a few records were not able to be included in our data, as they didn’t meet the reporting requirements – the most common issues were counts that entered estimated numbers in the categories (e.g. ‘over 100’) instead of actual counts, and counts that observed multiple flowers or whole sections of a garden, rather than focusing on a single plant species.

Thank you again, we really appreciate you participating and hope you enjoyed counting as much as we did!

Check out the photo gallery from this count, with thanks to people who gave us permission to share their photos showcasing our diverse backyard pollinating insects. You can also find our project on iNaturalist as usual – and don’t forget you can continue adding your iNat pollinator observations to our project year round.

Look forward to seeing you again next count!

Lesser Wanderer butterflies, Danaus petilia, by Philippa Gillett

Submission form closes Sunday

Thank you to everyone who joined in the Wild Pollinator Count last week!

Just a reminder the submission form will remain open until this Sunday 25 April to give you time to enter your observations – remember we can only accept counts conducted during the count week 11-18 April.

Once the submission form closes, we will start cleaning and collating the data. Results will be posted here sometime in May!

The Spring 2021 count will run again in November.

Thanks for counting!

Last chance to count

Autumn Wild Pollinator Count finishes this Sunday April 18, so it’s your last chance to do a count this weekend! Thank you to everyone who has contributed a count already.

As usual, we will leave the submission form open for one week, to allow you time to get your counts submitted. But remember, we can only accept counts that were done during the count week 11-18 April.

After submissions close on April 25, we will start collating the data and hope to have results posted by end of May.

Thanks for joining in and happy pollinator counting!

Photo: Virginia Shepherd

Time to count!

Autumn Wild Pollinator Count starts now – you can join in any time between Sunday 11 and Sunday 18 April.

If you’re new to the count, read this page to find out the standardised method you need to follow to do a count. It’s simple to do and only takes 10 minutes!

Once you’ve done a count, you can submit your observations here. You can do as many individual counts as you want within the count week, but each one should be submitted on a seperate form.

Check out our resources page for identification tips and resources, including an updated version of our Pollinator ID guide (thanks to Victorian Department of Environment Land Water and Planning).

Happy counting!

Photo: Eric Sinclair

Citizen science research published

Last year, we asked our Wild Pollinator Count network to contribute to some research conducted by colleagues in Germany, looking at why people participate in biodiversisty citizen science programs and what they gain from it.

The research has now been published in the British Ecological Society journal People and Nature. Survey respondents reported positive changes in all the target outcomes, including environmental behaviours and scientific interest and knowledge. The paper is open access, and you can read it here:

Biodiversity citizen science: Outcomes for the participating citizens

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this research – out of more than 60 different projects around the world, Wild Pollinator Count recorded the second highest number of respondents to the survey!