Varneys Grasslands Bioblitz

On Saturday 11th November 2023, 22 volunteers used the iNaturalist app on their smartphones to record plant and animal life out in the newly restored grasslands on the Yanakie Isthmus. Restoration ecologist Brooke Love explained the work being done on the Isthmus to restore grassland vegetation after decades of domination by Coast Tea-tree in the absence of fire. The volunteers then ventured out into the grasslands and recorded what they saw, with help from several expert botanists.

Most volunteers had little knowledge of what they were photographing; however, their images will be assessed by other more experienced volunteers, and by the large community of iNaturalist users.

The group recorded an amazing number of observations which create a detailed snapshot in time of the species present in the search areas on that particular day. This data set will be used to guide restoration actions and land management decisions into the future.

Here are the statistics from the day:

  • 796 observations were made and recorded on the iNaturalist app
  • 165 different species were observed
  • 87% of observations were of plant species
  • 6% of observations were of insects
  • 2.4% of observations were mammals
  • Birds, funghi and molluscs each made up 1.2% of observations

For anyone wanting to get involved in iNaturalist data collection, at the Prom, in your backyard or anywhere, the phone app is very easy to use and can be downloaded from the iNaturalist website. There are excellent guides to show you how to record your observations.

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