Communication of citizen science is an important element and often difficult to get right. We hope that our efforts are appreciated and that they are effective. On the last weekend of 'Mozzie Month' Larissa Sousa was invited to talk to the Belair Bush Buddies at the Volunteer Centre, Long Gully to talk about her globally important citizen science project Mozzie Monitors. this was a great opportunity to talk about mosquitoes and answer so many interesting questions.
For example, did you know there are over 300 known species of mosquito in Australia?
Apart from increasing our knowledge of nature, our own health is at risk from mosquito-borne diseases. Just like with Covid, work done in advance by scientists greatly enhanced the ability to deal with the virus. Mozzie monitors is a globally significant program and we can all be part of the surveillance and building of knowledge of mosquitoes and deal with problems if they arise.
Stephen Fricker also provided a short introduction to the citizen science application iNaturalist and explained the utility of the platform for such groups. The platform lets you keep track of the amazing biodiversity that you encounter while contributing to open science. The platform is also used as part of the mozzie monitors program to collect data on the distribution of various mosquito species.
During our conversation, we were cutely interrupted by an interloper, a Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus
making the trip all the more worthwhile. The koala came over to say hello to Larissa before her talk, possibly to wish her luck. After 3 years in Australia, she is still in awe every time she sees these magnificent animals.
A combination of their cuteness and charisma makes the Koala the third most observed organism in Belair National Park, on iNaturalist!
check out all the biodiversity discovered within the park but citizen scientists on the platform! If you are a Belair Bush Buddie why not join the Belair National Park project?
following the talks we explored the area around the Volunteer Centre to record some of the biodiversity, while we didn't see ant mosquitoes we did record plenty of iconic species including a Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae, Western Grey Kangaroo Macropus fuliginosus, Yellow-faced Honeyeater Caligavis chrysops, Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen, and an Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae just to name a few.
Please consider joining us in the City Nature Challenge at the end of April or sign up to our mail list to find out about our local activities.
iNaturalist projects worth investigating.