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

Nearly time for Spring 2019 Wild Pollinator Count

Our spring Wild Pollinator Count starts this Sunday November 10 and runs until the following Sunday 17 November.

Remember, your 10 minute count must be done during the count week, but the submission form will remain open the following week for you to get all your observations submitted. And you can do as many counts as you want during the count week!

We’re currently in the worst drought on record here in the New England region (and much of eastern Australia). The spring flowers in my garden are mostly dandelions. But there are still quite a few wild pollinators around if I look hard, including lots of beeflies, hylaeine bees, caper white butterflies, and some cute colletid bees I found roosting on our dying cherry tree. Fingers crossed for rain soon! Continue reading “Nearly time for Spring 2019 Wild Pollinator Count”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!”

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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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.)

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!

p1090670

Media Release: Spring 2016 Wild Pollinator Count

wpc-nov16-releaseThe fifth national Wild Pollinator Count runs from 13-20 November and the count organisers anticipate more than 400 observations will be submitted from around Australia.

The Wild Pollinator Count is a national citizen science project that provides an opportunity to step outside and enjoy spring in your backyard, while also contributing to science. The project encourages people to record local pollinators by watching a flower for 10 minutes during the count week and recording what insects land on the flower during that time. Continue reading “Media Release: Spring 2016 Wild Pollinator Count”

April 2016 Count Results

Thank you to everyone who participated in the April 2016 Wild Pollinator Count! Just over 200 observations were submitted from 86 locations, all the way from Buckleboo in South Australia to Cairns in North Queensland.

April 2016 map

Participants counted almost 2000 insects during flower observations. Some people included insects that flew past the flower without landing, but we haven’t included those numbers here. We also haven’t included ants, as these are often more likely robbing nectar rather than pollinating. European honey bees were the most abundant pollinator insects, followed by our native bees, butterflies and moths. And don’t forget the flies and wasps! Continue reading “April 2016 Count Results”