Spring 2020 results are here!

It took us a little longer than usual to collate results this year, for understandable reasons! It’s been a challenging year, and we hope you’re all keeping safe and well.

The spring count happened 8-15 November 2020. We received just over 1000 submitted observations (1028 usable records, 18 were removed for incomplete data) representing over 12,000 insects! This is a drop from our all-time submissions record in autumn 2020 (in the midst of the first COVID lockdowns!), but still well above last spring’s count. Thank you to all who participated during what has been a difficult year for all of us.

Continue reading “Spring 2020 results are here!”

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.

More ways to share your insect observations with Wild Pollinator Count

The Wild Pollinator Count is on again this spring from 10 to 17 November across Australia.

We invite you to spend ten minutes watching a flowering plant and let us know the insects you see visiting, using our simple reporting categories. You can conduct one count or many during the week, on the same plant or different plants, in your garden or elsewhere. Simply enter your totals for each count via our online form. The spring count will be our 11th event collecting data about the insects observed across Australia during the two count periods each year. We hope you’ll join in!

Additional ways to contribute pollinator insect observations

If you’d like to take a step beyond our simple count methods, please also consider joining our Wild Pollinator Count project on iNaturalist.

We know the timing of our count periods doesn’t suit everyone, every insect nor every plant (but it does provide a point of comparison across the years and seasons!). Many participants in our counts take photos of the insects they see and are keen to have them identified. Participants often include additional details about their sightings and many have great identification knowledge. Through iNaturalist we’re offering additional ways to contribute your observations and knowledge, including outside our count periods.

What is iNaturalist?

iNaturalist a tool for submitting nature observations either via an app or website. You might think of it as a social network for nature spotters. You can submit records that others can see; seek confirmation or assistance with the identity of the species you saw; join projects and follow people, places or species!

There are many apps and platforms for sharing nature records. Some are for specific groups (like eBird and FrogID) while iNaturalist enables records of any wild organism, from animals to plants to fungi and more.

Why add my photo to the Wild Pollinator Count project on iNaturalist?

When adding your record to our project, you’ll be prompted to answer some additional questions about your observation, including the name of the plant you were observing and whether your observation was during a ten-minute survey in our count period. The project also makes it easier for our team to access photos (in one location rather than across emails and social media) and allows others on iNaturalist to contribute to the identifications. Records from iNaturalist that meet certain criteria are automatically shared to the Atlas of Living Australia – the national biodiversity database.

iNaturalist has lots of information and guides to help get you started. We’ve also added this page as a starting point for joining and using our Wild Pollinator Count iNaturalist project.

Should I still complete a ten-minute count during the Wild Pollinator Count week?

Yes, please! We’re using iNaturalist to extend the ways you can contribute observations of pollinator insects. We are still focused on comparing results for our nominated count weeks each spring and autumn and we’d love your help to do that.

The instructions for how to count, tips for identifying the insects you see into our count categories and submission form are all available on our website.

With two weeks until the official start of the spring Wild Pollinator Count, we hope you’ll join in – whether by completing a ten-minute count, by adding your sightings to our iNaturalist project, or perhaps both!

 

Comparison of ways to contribute to the Wild Pollinator Count

Table comparing Wild Pollinator Count 10 minute surveys and iNaturalist records

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Spring 2018: Results are in!

Thank you to everyone who submitted observations to Wild Pollinator Count for Spring 2018.

We broke all our count records! Just over 600 observations of more than 6700 insects were submitted to Wild Pollinator Count from 182 unique locations. We covered all states and territories, except the Northern Territory. Continue reading “Spring 2018: Results are in!”

Springtime Count 2018

It’s almost time for our Spring 2018 Wild Pollinator Count! This year, the count will run 11-18 November. Connect with us on social media with the official hashtag #OzPollinators.

It’s really easy to join in, wherever you are in Australia – just pick a warm, sunny day during the official count week, find a flower to watch for 10 minutes, and then submit your observations via our online form. Just follow the instructions on the How to Count page. As usual, the form will stay open for one week after the 18th, to allow you time to get your observations in.

The sprinter weather here in Armidale hasn’t been ideal for pollinator spotting so far. But there have been plenty of fly pollinators active on all the early-spring flowering plants. I’m looking forward to seeing what insects are out and about visiting flowers in a few weeks.

Here are some handy tips for how to tell the difference between bees, flies and wasps visiting flowers. And don’t forget you can download our Pollinator Guide here, as well as plenty of other resources and answers to some FAQ.

Happy Spring Counting…And if you miss out this time, we’ll be counting again in April 2019!

If you’re new to Wild Pollinator Count, we are an independent project run by scientists focused on pollinator conservation in Australia – find out more about us here.

Nov18 WPC tag

Autumn 2018 count begins

The autumn 2018 Wild Pollinator Count starts this weekend across Australia!

You can count pollinator insects on flowers at any time between the morning of Sunday April 8 and the evening of Sunday April 15. It only takes 10 minutes to complete a count. It could be at your home or in a park, reserve or elsewhere.

We know autumn can be a challenging time to find both flowers and insects, particularly in areas that are cool or dry. But that makes this season’s count all the more interesting – often the insects seen are quite different to those from our spring counts! Don’t forget that if you complete a count without seeing any insects we’d still like to know about it as an observation, so please do complete a submission.

As usual, the submission form will remain open for a week after the count period, in case you find it easier to count first and submit your data later. You’re welcome to complete just one count, or many!

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 pages for our ID tips sheet and printable guide to pollinator insects. Rest assured it’s not necessary to be able to identify insects to species to join in; we make it way easier than that! And we’ve even noted some Wild Pollinator Count FAQ.

We invite you to share your pollinator count photos and experiences on social media. Our official hashtag is #OzPollinators, please feel free to use it, so we can see your content and share it, too!

Happy counting!

cuckoo

 

 

One week to go

We hope you’ve been out spotting wild pollinators in your local area over the summer!

The autumn count is fast approaching (one week to go!). So if you participated in the spring 2017 count, this is your chance to see what’s changed in your backyard.

The next count runs from 8-15 April 2018same rules apply, watch a flower for 10 minutes on a warm sunny day and tell us what you see via the form on our website.

Also have a look at some of our previous blog posts on how to make sure your garden is an attractive spot for pollinators, especially over winter (hopefully you don’t have to go to Queensland to find some).

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