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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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.

 

Wild Pollinator Count Starts!

Wild Pollinator Count starts this weekend, on Sunday November 13. You can do a pollinator count in your backyard or local park any time until next Sunday November 20. All you need is a spare 10 minutes to watch a flower!

All the instructions you need to do the count are here. And you can find some answers to some of our frequently asked questions here. You can submit your observations via the online form here. Also check out our helpful resources and links on these pages.

The submission form will remain open until November 27, but only observations conducted during the count week (13-20 November) can be accepted.

Happy Counting!

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The next Wild Pollinator Count is on soon. What’s it all about?

Spring has well and truly arrived! Have you seen any of the new season’s wild pollinators in your local patch yet?

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We’re only two months away from the next National Pollinator Count – it runs from 13-20 November 2016. If you’ve missed the first few and are wondering what this event is all about, here’s a brief recap:

What’s it all about? The national Wild Pollinator Count started in November 2014. We started the count to raise awareness about Australia’s thousands of wild insect pollinators…not just our gorgeous native bees, but all the flies, butterflies, wasps, moths, and beetles that are so often overlooked. (There are plenty of birds, mammals and reptiles that also pollinate, but we just focus on insects). Many of these insects aren’t just full-time pollinators – they are also important to ecosystems in other ways, for example by providing natural pest control services. The count runs biannually, in the second full week of April (autumn) & November (spring), every year. We hope that participants will join in regularly, as this will give them the opportunity to keep track of seasonal patterns of wild pollinators and flowers in their local area.

Is this a citizen science project? There are many different definitions of a citizen science project. We think any project that encourages non-scientists to engage with scientific methods on a regular basis is a citizen science project. Our count protocol is based on standard scientific methods that pollination ecologists around the world use to collect data on pollinator insects. Having a standard counting method, which can be conducted at multiple locations within a set period of time, enhances the quality of our data. Continue reading

Thank you for counting!

The autumn 2016 count is now over. Thanks to all who contributed observations!

The submission form will remain open until Sunday April 24 for you to submit your observations. From a quick glance through the observations we’ve received so far, residents from at least 5 states have participated. We’re looking forward to finding out what wild pollinators they’ve seen!

The next spring count will be on between 13-20 November 2016. In the meantime, you can still share any wild pollinator sightings and resources on social media using the #ozpollinators hashtag. We also have a Bowerbird project and a Flickr album you can view all year round.

Happy wild pollinator spotting!