Sea Slug Census

April 1st and 2nd from Greencape to Tathra and April 8th Bermagui and April 9th around Narooma and north.

We are inviting everyone to explore our coast for the jewels of the sea which are most often seen at this time of year.

See or webpage above for details and keep up to date with what’s happening on the Sapphire Coast Sea Slug Census Facebook page

Noumea laboutei? Blue pool, photo John Southern,

Noumea laboutei? Blue pool, photo John Southern,

Canberra Nature Map and successful citizen science

We invite you hear about a real success story of community engagement of fun, learning and scientific achievements – NatureMapr and Canberra Nature Map and now the Atlas of Life is linked too.

Dr Michael Mulvaney, ACT government senior conservation officer has many stories to tell about how and why the biodiversity recording tool – Canberra Nature Map was developed and how it is being used by community, scientists and government agencies.

The Canberra Nature Map hub is now being used daily, not just by the community, but also by government officials, environmental consultants and industry when making development, planning and land management decisions. It has already led to the identification of new species and doubled the number of known rare or threatened species locations. The site has become the authoritative sources of wildlife information across the ACT. The website receives in excess of 500,000 visits a year, with visitation rate almost doubling each year.
In time, contributing citizens progress from being novices to naturalists and finally experts assisting in the confirmation of new records and helping educate others. Existing experts range from a 16 year old school kid to retired internationally recognised taxonomic experts.
The engagement of community members in a shared task of survey and data collection has social and health benefits, providing an enjoyable means of connection both to other people and to the environment around them.
You are invited to join us at the Local Land Services offices in Bega, rooftop carpark Sapphire Market at 10:00am – 12:00 Wednesday March 8th. Places are limited so please RSVP

Dr Michael Mulvaney, with a green comb spider orchid in Aranda Bushlands. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Dr Michael Mulvaney, with a green comb spider orchid in Aranda Bushlands. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Lennard’s Island rock pool search

Happy new year from everyone on the Atlas of Life team.
The water’s good for snorkelling now and there are lots of sea hares in the lagoons. Do let us know of any interesting finds that we can put on the website and Facebook page and do keep adding your sightings to the Atlas’ new recording platform – it’s easy and looks great.

We are fortunate that Michael McMaster has offered to lead a rock pool reccie at Lennards Island next Thursday January 12th at 2pm.
For those of you who are interested in talking about what things we would like to do this year as a Marine Group, please join us at 12 noon at the main Eden road Tip, turnoff (for car Pooling, the track is only suitable for 4 wheel drive cars) and we will set off at 12:10 for Lennards with a 2pm start for the rock pool exploration.

Ascidian, Botrylloides magnicoecum, sighting Liz Allen, photo Libby Hepburn

Ascidian, Botrylloides magnicoecum, sighting Liz Allen, photo Libby Hepburn

Red Bait crab, Plagusia chabrus

Red Bait crab, Plagusia chabrus

Lennards is our favourite rocky shore as it always turns up interesting and unusual things. Last year we found a soft coral so who know what we might find this year. This is a low tide, so we will be able to reach places that are usually inaccessible.

The track down is rough and the walk down to the beach steep, so please wear appropriate shoes and clothes /hats etc and bring sunscreen and insect repellant as usual. Please contact Libby with any queries. 02 6495 0917. There will be a map on the Atlas Facebook page.
All good wishes,

Atlas of Life AGM Saturday December 3rd

Scarlet on Scarlet

Scarlet on Scarlet

You are invited to the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness AGM on Saturday 3rd December at 10.30am at the Merimbula Wharf Restaurant.

We have had an exciting year with the launch of our new NatureMapr recording platform, our recent very successful Four Winds BioBlitz and another Atlas Photocompetition with extremely high quality and range of entries – thanks to all who entered and our three expert judges. This lovely image of Scarlet honeyeaters by Maggie Clowes.

We are ready to plan our activities for next year and would like everyone who is interested in the local natural world, on land and along the coast to join us.

As an entirely community  project we welcome anyone who has time to contribute in areas they are interested in whether that is suggesting and running field trips, snorkels and walks, helping with the website, database and social media or helping through the committee. There are many things we could do and we offer the things that people are interested in helping with, so your passion will be welcome.

2016 Atlas of Life AGM Agenda

10.30am – Welcome to country

Minutes of the 2015 Atlas of Life AGM

Chair’s report

Treasurers report

Election of Office bearers and Committee

Any other business


Christmas Celebration Supper – December 15th

It’s that time of year again and we would like to get together to celebrate what we love about nature and how we explore it.
We invite you and your friends to the Atlas Christmas Supper on Thursday December 15th at the Wharf Restaurant Merimbula, 6pm for 6:30.

Sally and Anthony are offering us a splendid festive menu and we have sparkling entertainment for you. We will have the exhibition of images and records from our recent BioBlitz at Four Winds, and the superb winning pictures of the 2016 Atlas photocomp.
This year the theme for our Celebrations is “the New Science” and we have the story told in pictures and words of the young Poyner family and we also welcome Stuart Harris to share his exploration of the small but exquisite Maratus, or Peacock spiders which have become the centre of his life’s journey in the last decade.

Everyone is very welcome. Tickets are $50 and $17 for children. Please reserve your places with Libby or Alan. We will be please if you can pay directly into the Atlas bank account. Please put your name in the reference box so we know who has paid what.

BSB 032 704  Acc no. 209626  Many thanks, Libby

White flowers – photo by Harrison Warne – can anyone identify them? Harrison is a herpetologist and hasn’t got his flora ID up to speed yet. Thanks Harrison, it’s a lovely image for Christmas

Birds, Butterflies and Moths – a workshop with Julie Morgan

New Holland honeyeater

New Holland honeyeater

Learn to identify local birds and some of the most common butterflies and moths on the Far South Coast with Julie Morgan. Find out about their role in pollination and in maintaining a balanced ecosystem and what you can do on your property to support and encourage them.

When: Friday 25 November, 9.15am-1.00pm

Where: Tanja Hall followed by a field walk at Bithry Inlet

Presenter: Julie Morgan is a land manager from the Eurobodalla with an extensive knowledge of and passion for the natural world, specifically birds, frogs, insects, spiders, mammals and plants. She has been a field naturalist for over 25 years, is a committee member of the Eurobodalla Natural History Society and conducts bird surveys for a range of environmental agencies and organisations. She regularly presents and leads nature walks for community groups.

Cost: Free. Morning tea provided. BYO picnic lunch for after the workshop.

For further information and bookings, contact Ali Rodway on 0417 246 896 or

Local Film Premiere – Alexandra Seddon

Alexandra Seddon, Being Change

Alexandra Seddon, Being Change

Invitation  to the Opening Night of ‘Alexandra Seddon – Being Change’

Made by acclaimed local filmmaker Toni Houston, with music composed by Kate Burke and Pete Wild, the documentary tells the inspiring true life story of Alexandra Seddon, the philanthropist and conservationist who gave us wildlife sanctuary Potoroo Palace, the stunning community wetlands Panboola and the community farm, Cowsnest.

It would be fantastic if you and your guest could join us at this special red carpet fundraising evening which celebrates one of our region’s most inspiring women. Thanks to the support of the Merimbula Picture Showman Cinema, all money raised on the night from ticket sales will be donated to Potoroo Palace.

For Opening Night on 7th Nov 6:30pm, please book direct here:

The film will go on to screen at the cinema 10-13 & 15 NOV also.

We’d love to see you all at the opening. It would be fantastic if you could spread the word about the film opening, and screenings to your networks, colleagues and community.

Atlas/Four Winds BioBlitz registrations open now

Harrison getting up close and personal with a Mustard - bellied snake

Harrison Warne and a Mustard bellied snake at last year’s BioBlitz

We’re getting organised now and you can choose your surveys and register for the Four Winds BioBlitz November 11/12th. This year our BioBlitz will be a festival of nature with music and art mixed in so it will be a lot of fun for everyone. See this website for more details and go to the Four Winds website to sign up for the  music concert and photography/botanical illustration masterclasses.

2016 photocomp open

Competition closes on November 1st It’s that time of year again and we are happy to invite everyone to send us your best images of the wild nature that you have been exploring in our region.

Overall winner Georgia Poyner

Overall winner Georgia Poyner

Great prizes and a chance to have your work exhibited at the Four Winds BioBlitz

It’s that time of year again and we are happy to invite everyone to send us your best images of the wild nature that you have been exploring in our region.
Open to all Members. Everyone who Registers on our new NatureMapr recording platform is a Member. This competition is to celebrate the wonderful biodiversity in our region. Your entries create a gallery of great images for us all to enjoy. You are all taking wonderful pictures to add to your sightings on the Atlas, so this is your chance to share the best of them!
Overall first prize is two nights in a luxurious Tanja Lagoon Camp safari tent, other prizes are a $150 voucher for Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant , kindly donated by Jacqui Smith, and a further Voucher for $100 so it’s well worth you entering.
Winners will be announced on November 10th and all the winning images will be displayed at the Four Winds BioBlitz November 11/12th and at the Atlas Christmas Supper December 15th, after which time they will be exhibited at libraries around the Shire.

2016 BioBlitz at Four Winds near Bermagui

This year’s BioBlitz will be at and around the Four Winds site near Bermagui November Friday 11th and Saturday 12th and it will be exciting and different with arts and music as well as all the varied biodiversity surveys.

BioBlitz waterbug survey

BioBlitz waterbug survey

This year we are partnering with Four Winds to help them gather information to develop plans for their Arboretum.

Four Winds are creating an Arboretum on their site so they need good baseline data about what biodiversity is there now and what lives in surrounding habitats, so they can track how the ecological communities develop as the trees and shrubs of the arboretum become established.

Put the dates in your diary and let us know if you would like to lead a survey or volunteer as a survey leader’s assistant or help us as a volunteer at Basecamp or with data input.

Elisabeth Larsen helps participants ID small mammals

Elisabeth Larsen helps participants ID small mammals

Contact Libby Hepburn: 0458 798 990 for more information.