An exciting citizen science opportunity in the Grampians awaits You!

An exciting citizen science opportunity in the Grampians awaits You!

We are in the early stages of developing a volunteer-based wetland monitoring program to learn more about the ecological responses of two restored wetland systems in the southern Grampians.

The Walker, Gooseneck, and Brady Swamp wetland complex, and Green Swamp, have undergone significant hydrological changes over the past few years, with support and involvement from the community playing a key role. These works, which straddle Parks Victoria reserves and NGT’s wetland restoration reserves, have supported the recovery and conservation of a range of wetland dependent species such as fish, frog and birds, many of which are threatened. Equally, the transformation of these systems has provided new opportunities for the community to enjoy the local flora and fauna.

This citizen science monitoring program will allow community members to connect to these wetlands in a new way, and collectively learn more about their rich ecology. The data collected will complement and build on existing knowledge gained through conventional monitoring methods of fish, frogs and birds.

Remote technologies will be used to record data on key fauna groups: acoustic loggers called AudioMoths will be aimed at recording frogs and birds, while field cameras will focus on recording wading birds. Equipment will be deployed in early May, with data retrieval and downloads occurring each month. This monitoring program will provide new opportunities for people to volunteer, as many activities can be completed from home on a desktop (e.g. sorting through images, identifying birds and frogs). There will however, still be opportunities for people to get out in the field, and assist with the monthly data downloads.

Interested volunteers will be invited to join us in a tour of the wetland sites in mid-May. This will be a chance to see the equipment deployed, learn more about the history of the sites and the monitoring program. For more information and to register, please see flyer below.

We look forward to working with the volunteers and seeing these incredible wetland systems from another lens (literally)!  

The “New Tech Volunteering: Novel citizen science for Grampians wetlands” is supported by the Victorian Government through the Volunteering Innovation Fund.

Lauren Brown