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

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

Autumn 2021 count

Wild Pollinator Count time has rolled around again. The autumn 2021 count runs from 11-18 April.

This has been another challenging summer in many parts of Australia, with fires on the west and floods on the east, so you may see a change in your local pollinators. Hope you are all safe.

During the count week, you just need to take 10 minutes to watch a flowering plant and count the numbers 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!

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!

WPCApr19_mosaic

 

 

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.

Apr19WPC_hover