Now we are comfortable with the Naturemapr database and can see how much people like it (50%) increase in records in the 15 months since we moved to this platform! we feel we can now once again encourage more people to record their sightings and help build the database with us. We will be meeting to discuss this on Tuesday January 23rd at the LLS meeting room in Bega.

Kerri-Lee Harris and Paul Whitington have suggested a “Target Species” mini project every month. For details see the proposal for discussion with Moderators and Superusers:

Target Species – discussion document Dec 2017

Monarch butterly
Photo Jennifer Halper

We have already had a good conversation started about this – thanks to those who have contributed. Here are the emails received so far. Please feel free to add further comments as posts on this page.

emails:

Some of you may have received this already, but anyway, Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness are suggesting that it would be a good idea to have a widely publicised monthly target species (in an appropriate month for its detection and identification), to try and get more useful data coming in, and involve/encourage more observers.  The suggestion is attached.  I’ve been racking my brains and not come up with too many plants that would be appropriate.  In the threatened species line, it can’t be so small that no-one is going to see it (so not Viola cleistogamoides or Galium australe for example) or impossible to ID accurately from a so-so photo (so none of the Pomaderris species).  I can think of quite a few regionally rare species that are not listed as threatened, such as Linum marginale, Zornia, Lespedeza, Velleia paradoxa etc etc but most of these (not the first one) are restricted to the farming areas, so likely to only be on private property and inacessible unless the owner of the property is a contributor to ALCW.  There are a few regionally rare things that lurk on the Princes Hwy verges south of Eden, such as Styphelia adscendens and Isopogon prostratus, so that’s an option. I’m sure all those mown verges are worth more of a scrutinise than I have so far given them.

ALCW folk are already putting in quite a lot of records of Astrotricha sp Wallagaraugh, but no other suitable threatened plants come to my mind.

One idea I did have is rare garden escapees, given that the majority of contributors seem to be in towns.  An example would be Cordyline australis, which is widely distributed in wet areas along the coast, but is difficult to send as a herbarium specimen due to its bulk, so photographic records would be ideal.  Ditto Cyathea cooperi. Or if the council weeds guys needed a hand with getting to grips with the distribution of any particular weeds, like St Johns Wort or Crofton weed, that’s another option. All suggestions gratefully received.

If we’re thinking fauna, then there are plenty of birds, but again they need to be distinctive enough to be identified from a so-so photo.  Threatened species that would fit the bill and might sit still for a photo are diamond firetail, scarlet and flame robins, sittellas (maybe), osprey, beach stone curlew, eastern curlew, gang-gang, glossy black cockatoo and the oystercatchers.  Then there’s the species that have only turned up here in the last few years, and whose distibution might therefore be of interest such as Indian myna, koel, spangled drongo, white-headed pigeon, fairy martin, corella and figbird (some more photographable than others in this lot).  And there’s a group that have been around as long as I can remember but are rare and sporadic, and it would be of interest to get a handle on where in the district they are, e.g. double-barred finch, peaceful dove, chough.

Then there are noisy and bell miners, both listed as key threatening processes, so a handle on their distribution might be good.  I was keen to get a map of all the bell miner colonies in the region at one point a few years back but that never came to anything. This could be an opportunity.

If anyone has any bright ideas, can you email them to me and CC Libby (and the rest of the recipients of this if you feel like getting a discussion going – hope that’s alright with everyone).
Cheers, Jackie Miles 29th December

A couple thoughts for now.
Flora
– Exotic: Beach daisy and sea spurge – been noticing these more on local beaches. Maybe Arum lily? Also lantana and bitou – more relevant in the northern part of the ALCW boundary but we’re pulling together funding bids for these in the next month and could integrate a citizen science component.

– Native: Glad Astrotricha is getting interest. Most of the other species we’re working on under SOS (on park at least) don’t readily fit with the criteria, being either too restricted or cryptic. I’ll keep thinking about some options through.

– Perhaps a fungi focus one month?

Fauna
– My main concern with the fauna records, as you already point out below, is that it’s difficult for the average user to get a decent photo of most birds, mammals and reptiles with the smartphone. Perhaps we can make available a stock photo for the ‘feature species’ to supplement the record.
– I like the bell miner idea. Good to encourage users to also look for evidence of dieback (Y/N and photo) when recording miners.
– Feed/scar trees for gliders (rather than the animal itself)
– Roadkill is another option, if a little grisly, that may provide some interesting data.
Cheers, Dean Ansell 29th December

I like all the suggestions.
what about throwing in a few frog species in the appropriate months ? With the museum app id of frogs from calls has never been easier (can the atlas accept a record based on a verified call in lieu of a pic?). 
I can imagine a single species might limit the range of interest.  What about rather that just a target species it could be a suite of taxa each month, to either focus on a similar ecological process, threat or group of species.  Taking a few of the examples suggested eg coastal weeds, miners, regionally rare grassy woodland plant species, garden escapees etc
I am thinking ahead here and reckon that FSCLA and CMN could perhaps partner in this to help promote the taxa of the month…Ali? Josh Durrough Dec 30th
Hi again all,
Yeah, I had thought groups of species might be a better approach than single species too.  Ali wasn’t one of the original recipients, but I’ve copied her in now.  Not sure about frogs.  Some birds could be done on call too (eg koel, far more often heard than seen), but it would mean that ALCW would have to have a link to another website where the call could be checked out, or come up with a way of adding calls to their website.  In my experience frogs are not all that easy to photograph – tend to be nervous of predation and scarper if you approach.  Lizards might be easier.  The Atlas can accept records with no picture, but it involves a good bit of trust, so it would have to be thought about, if we’re encouraging any old bod to put in records.Thanks to the rest of you that replied too.  There’s a moderators meeting, in Bega LLS offices Tuesday January 23rd 10:30am, so if anyone adds any ideas in addition to mine, I’ll take them along to that.  I liked Dean’s idea about including a photo of level of dieback in the trees if recording noisy/bell miners.
The main thing that arises for me is the need to get a way of hearing calls onto the website, or at least links to other places where one can hear them.  Then it would be easier to acept a record with no photo, if you had a reasonable expectation that the person putting in the record had heard a distinctive call and could ID it.  Better yet, a way of uploading calls recorded on one’s phone – I gather making the recording is possible, so just need a way to upload it so the moderator can hear it too.
Jackie Miles January 1st 2018

Thanks for sending this through. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make this meeting, but wish to offer a few comments on the documents. I really like the proposed strategy and it looks a great way to engage with the community. I wonder if it might be worth incorporating one day per month/target species to allow for a quick run-down about the target species followed by a field session, and a chance for the community to meet the relevant moderators in person? I know that previous ALCW field events have been rather popular, and I think it would add to the sense of community for ALCW. I also think a field session would greatly help reiterate the aims of ALCW and help address the existing potential issues.

I’m happy to help out with any butterfly target species of the month, but I do see that ALCW has 7 (!) moderators for butterflies, so no worries if there is someone else super keen to put forward a butterfly target species. Suzi Bond Jan 2nd