Thank you for counting!

Thank you for joining in the spring Wild Pollinator Count! As usual, the submission form will stay open until November 28, to give you time to get your counts in – but remember we can only accept counts that were conducted during the count week 14-21 November.

This is our last coordinated count for a while, as we take some time to analyse the data we have all collected so far, and to focus on other commitments. We’ve really appreciated your support over the last few years as we’ve grown from a small local count in Albury NSW in spring 2014, to Australia’s only nationwide citizen science project collecting plant-pollinator interaction data! We’re so happy that so many people got excited about wild pollinators through out counts, and we’re excited to take some time to analyse the data so far and see what it can tell us about wild pollinators in Australia. Stay tuned for the results.

We will not be faciliating coordinated counts or accepting data submissions, but we hope that you remain just as excited about wild pollinators as we are! Happy pollinator spotting whereever you go!

Hoverfly by Kay Muddiman

Last chance to count

Spring Wild Pollinator Count finishes this Sunday November 21, 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 14-21 November.

After submissions close on November 21, we will start collating the data and hope to have results posted by the end of the year.

Remember, we are taking a break after this count, so there will be no coordinated counts in 2022 – we hope you still enjoy looking out for wild pollinators wherever you go!

Thanks for joining in and happy pollinator counting!

Native bee by Georgie Smith

Time to count!

Spring 2021 Wild Pollinator Count starts now – you can join in any time between Sunday 14 and Sunday 21 November.

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.

Happy counting!

Geron sp. fly by Jane Frost

Spring 2021 count

It’s almost time to join in on a Wild Pollinator Count. The spring 2021 count runs from 14-21 November.

This will be the last chance to contribute to our count data! We are taking a break after this count to analyse the data so far and to focus on other commitments. We hope you continue looking out for wild pollinators in your backyard, even though we won’t be running coordinated counts for a while.

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

Grass Blue Butterfly on Jonquil 18.4.21 by Kay Muddiman

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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