Autumn 2020 count results

Thank you to everyone who participated in our biggest count yet! A total of 1959 valid observations were submitted this count. Our previous record was 736 observations, in spring 2019, so this is a huge increase! The autumn 2020 count coincided with COVID-19 lockdowns around the country, so we hope you enjoyed the opportunity to take some time with nature in your backyard.

We were so overwhelmed with the number of records, it has taken us much longer than usual to summarise the data! The huge number of submissions also caused some technical issues for our website, so we apologise if you received delayed confirmation of your submissions. We are working to fix these potential issues for future counts. For those new to Wild Pollinator Count, we are an unfunded project run by two people (Manu & Karen) and we thank everyone for their patience as we work through the responses. We really appreciate the many contributions and positive feedback we get at every count!

So, what were the results? Continue reading “Autumn 2020 count results”

One week until Autumn Wild Pollinator Count

It’s almost time for our next Wild Pollinator Count! The autumn 2020 count starts next Sunday 12 April and runs until the following Sunday 19 April.

If you’re new to the project, you can find out details on how to contribute here. It just takes 10 minutes: find a flower to watch and record what you see. You can do as many counts as you want, any time during that week, on fine weather days (most insect pollinators don’t like poor weather, especially high winds, heavy rain, or frosts). Observations must be submitted via our online form.

Read more about the project here, and also check out some Frequently Asked Questions and other resources to help you identify what sort of insects you see. You can share your pics with us via our iNaturalist page, or on social media with the #ozpollinators hashtag.

You can join in anywhere in Australia, if you have a backyard, a pot plant, or a balcony garden. You can even watch a dandelion in your footpath if that’s all you can find! We ask you to tell us the name of the plant, but you don’t need to know its scientific name.

We understand that some people won’t be able to join in this time, because your safety is a priority while we are all staying home. Please make sure to follow your state or territory’s COVID19 restrictions and don’t travel to parks or reserves to look for flowers. If you are unable to contribute this time, our next count will be on again in November, so please join us then.

Happy counting! Stay safe and well and hope you enjoy getting to know the insects in your neighbourhood.

Autumn 2019 results: our biggest count yet!

Big thanks to everyone who participated in our 10th Wild Pollinator Count in autumn. With 629 submissions from 266 localities, this was not only our biggest autumn count (previous record was 363) but it surpassed our all-time record as well (600 submissions from last spring).

See the locations from which submissions came on this interactive map. We’re delighted to note all states and territories are represented.

In total, 5,806 insects were recorded across our submission categories:

Number as %
Bees – European honey bees 3,283 56.5%
Bees – Blue-banded bees 274 4.7%
Bees – Other bees 865 14.9%
Beetles – Ladybird beetles 128 2.2%
Beetles – Other beetles 103 1.8%
Butterflies and moths 340 5.9%
Flies – Hover flies 199 3.4%
Flies – Other flies 468 8.1%
Wasps – European wasps 34 0.6%
Wasps – Other wasps 112 1.9%
Total 5,806

Insects reported

As well as recording more insects than previous rounds (thanks in part to the increase in observations submitted), this count included more honey bees as a percentage of sightings (57%) than previous autumn counts (for example, they were 46% of last autumn’s observations). Blue banded bee percentages were fairly similar this autumn (about 5%) to last (at 6%). However ‘other bees’ came in this year at about 15%, yet made up 27% a year ago. These are mostly, but not always, native bees. We again had some bumble bee records from Tasmania this round, and they fall in this same category. Continue reading “Autumn 2019 results: our biggest count yet!”

It’s autumn count time!

The wait is over…Autumn Wild Pollinator Count starts this weekend. You can do a count anywhere in Australia, any time between 14 to 21 April 2019 (Sunday to Sunday). Please submit your observations via our online submission form.

If you’re new to Wild Pollinator Count, find out how to count here. Also check out our frequently asked questions and don’t forget the identification resources page, including our guide to identify the differences between bees, flies and wasps.

Looking for some inspiration or reminders of what you might see during a count? Be sure to check out some of the photos contributed during our recent counts (spring 2018 and autumn 2018).

If you use iNaturalist, we’ve started a project for Wild Pollinator Count on that platform so feel free to join it and add any photos to the project. Note that you should still submit your observations via our website to be included in the results for this count period.

And don’t forget to tag us on social media with the hashtag #OzPollinators!

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Autumn Wild Pollinator Count: our 10th count anniversary!

It’s almost time to count pollinators again! The autumn 2019 Wild Pollinator Count is on from 14-21 April 2019. The rules haven’t changed – take a 10 minute break any time during the count week to watch some flowers and record what you see. You can submit an observation from anywhere in Australia.

After the hottest summer on record, it’s still pretty hot and dry in many places. This might be good weather for cold-sensitive pollinators, but it also means there may not be much flowering in your part of the country. Remember, we don’t care if the flower you watch is a native species or a weed, as long as you can tell us what it is (common name is fine). If you’re not sure of the plant but still want to submit the observation, you can describe it in the notes, or email a photo so we can try and validate it when we summarise the data.

We can only take observations that happened during the count week (14-21 April). But if you don’t get to a computer that often, we will leave the submission form open after the 21st to give everyone time to submit observations. Results will be posted here on the blog in early May.

This April is also our 10th count! We started off in November 2014, with only 33 observations submitted. And we’ve been overwhelmed with how quickly people have jumped onboard for wild pollinator conservation – our most recent count in November 2018 had over 600 observations. Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the years, whether once or many times!

If you’re new to Wild Pollinator Count, we are an independent non-profit citizen science project run voluntarily. Our main objectives are to raise awareness about native pollinators and insect conservation. Your observations are contributing to long-term data on plant-pollinator interactions around Australia and we really appreciate you taking time to contribute! We hope you enjoy spending time with nature and learning more about the little animals that we overlook every day!

Check out How to Count and the Resources page for more information and identification tips, as well as the Frequently Asked Questions. And don’t forget our official social media hashtag is #OzPollinators!

If you’re curious about how Wild Pollinator Count started, you can read more here.

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