October 12, 2021

What's the difference between Bush Blitz and a bioblitz?

Bush Blitz is a specific program that takes expert taxonomists, from national institutions, to remote parts of Australia where they record species that are poorly known (or even unknown) to science. While remote expeditions are the main focus of Bush Blitz's work, following many requests from members of the public who wanted to join our expeditions, last year we set up this virtual Bush Blitz expedition for citizen scientists.

A bioblitz is a general term for a community-led survey that invites citizen scientists to record as many species as possible, usually in their local area and within a short time frame. The 2021 Great Southern BioBlitz (GSB) will be held across the Southern Hemisphere from 22 to 25 October. It aims to increase biodiversity awareness and encourage people to contribute to the understanding of their local biodiversity. These aims are close to our hearts at Bush Blitz and we encourage you to get involved. Check out the GSB umbrella project on iNaturalist to see if there's a project in your area. If there's not, just continue to add your observations to the Backyard Species Discovery project, as all observations made during the GSB event will automatically be included in their umbrella project. Alternatively, if you'd like to organise a GSB event in your area, check out how to register as an organiser on the GSB website.

We know that many of you will be involved in GSB events across Australia and we can't wait to see what you find!

Posted on October 12, 2021 01:39 by bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 10, 2021

Bush Blitz badge

📸 H McHugh

Bush Blitz is launching a nature challenge that encourages young people involved with the Scout and Girl Guide movements to record the plants and animals in their local area. Scouts and Guides who complete at least one of the three Bush Blitz challenges, will earn the badge for addition to their camp blanket. The challenges involve uploading observations to our Backyard Species Discovery project on iNaturalist.

A 'Challenges and Worksheets' booklet is available for youth members to help them achieve their Bush Blitz badge and a 'Leaders' Guide' is available to assist the facilitation of the challenges. Both these booklets can be found on the Bush Blitz website: https://bushblitz.org.au/bush-blitz-badge/

The challenges can be used in face-to-face group meetings but can also be completed by members earning their badge from home.

Youth members can earn the badge at any time over the next 2 years.

Posted on September 10, 2021 05:21 by bushblitz bushblitz | 2 comments | Leave a comment

August 30, 2021

Scavenger hunt competition extended

After receiving lots of interest in our scavenger hunt, we have decided to extend the competition until Friday 10 September.

You can find details on how to enter on the Bush Blitz website.

Posted on August 30, 2021 06:27 by bushblitz bushblitz | 1 comment | Leave a comment

August 27, 2021

Amazing opportunity for South Australian teachers!

So far this year, teachers have taken part in Bush Blitz expeditions to Stony Head in Tasmania and Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. We are now looking for 9 South Australian teachers to join scientists on a species discovery expedition to Fowlers Bay at the end of November.

If you know anyone who might be suitable, please tell them about this once in a lifetime opportunity. Applications close Monday 13 September.

Further information, including application details, can be found here.

Posted on August 27, 2021 05:32 by bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 10, 2021

National Science Week Scavenger Hunt

Our Bush Blitz team have been very busy on an expedition to Groote Eylandt and exploring Australia's Indian Ocean Territories on CSIRO's research vessel, The Investigator.

But we're back in time to celebrate National Science Week 2021 with another Backyard Species Discovery Scavenger Hunt!

You can take part just for fun or enter our competition to be in the running to win prizes, including Bush Blitz caps and t-shirts worn by the scientists who take part in our expeditions (not ones that have actually been worn, of course!). A group prize pack is also up for grabs, including a live chat for your class or community group with a Bush Blitz scientist.

Upload your findings to our Backyard Species Discovery project with the hashtag #BB21 in the notes field and email us your iNaturalist username for a chance to win. To find this year's scavenger hunt checklist visit our Bush Blitz website.

Happy hunting!

Posted on August 10, 2021 05:34 by bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 18, 2021

Bush Blitz back in the field

Our first Bush Blitz expedition since COVID-19 is currently taking place at the Stony Head Training Area in Tasmania. The Bush Blitz team is super excited to be out in the field, on the 40th expedition run since the program started in 2010.

To minimise the impact of any last-minute travel restrictions, the scientific team is almost completely made up of taxonomists from Tasmania - Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. You can see a little of what the team is up to on the Bush Blitz Facebook page.

While the scientists' findings will enter the Atlas of Living Australia via their institutions' databases, Helen, from Bush Blitz HQ, has been putting her citizen science findings into our Backyard Species Discovery project. Check out this gorgeous Feather-horned Beetle (Rhipicera femorata).

© Helen Cross

Posted on March 18, 2021 00:09 by bushblitz bushblitz | 3 comments | Leave a comment

February 26, 2021

First Flight 2 Light observations

We've enjoyed looking at your Flight 2 Light observations, and are excited to have introduced a few new users to iNaturalist too.

If the following observers contact us at bushblitz@awe.gov.au, we'll arrange to get a Flight 2 Light cap to you - @thwindsor, @r_shofner, @tamzin_ward_kucurs, @victoria919. Thanks for taking part!

In case you missed the last post, Bush Blitz is partnering with the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance to raise awareness of the impacts of light pollution on the night time environment. While the launch period has now finished, you can still take part in any or all of the Flight 2 Light activities. We plan to keep Flight 2 Light going for the foreseeable future. One of the activities is simply to record any creatures you find attracted to your outside lights. If you have a go, please add your observations to the Backyard Species Discovery project and write "F2L" in the Notes section so that we can find your observations.

Observations to date have covered a wide range of species. Not surprisingly, there have been quite a few moths and other insects demonstrating flight-to-light behaviour. Other creatures were probably attracted to the easy meal the insects provided, and some may have just been passing through on their way to a veggie patch!

© thwindsor

© Ryan Shofner

© victoria919

Posted on February 26, 2021 05:13 by bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 12, 2021

Flight 2 Light Challenge

We are over the moon that more than 10,000 species have now been identified in the Backyard Species Discovery project - but we know there are plenty more out there!

As part of our Flight 2 Light event, we're asking people to record the animals that are attracted to lights at night. It can be tricky getting good photos of small creatures at night but you have shown us that you can do it. From now until 19 February, if you make an observation of something attracted to lights, in addition to adding it to Backyard Species Discovery, type "F2L" into the notes section of the observation. We'd also love to hear your tips for taking photos of insects at night. Our favourite "F2L" observations and tips will get an exclusive Flight 2 Light cap.

We suspect that some of you are using homemade light traps in order to make your after dark observations. We'd love to see photos of these too! You can email them to bushblitz@awe.gov.au.

© Ryan Shofner

© Christoper Burwell

Posted on February 12, 2021 04:50 by bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 08, 2021

Introducing Flight 2 Light

If you're looking for a new challenge, take part in our latest free activity - Flight 2 Light. The citizen science data you contribute will help us understand the impact of light pollution on animals that exhibit flight-to-light behaviour, and you may even win some cool prizes!

Record what you find attracted to your outdoor lights in the Backyard Species Discovery project, collect data about light pollution where you live, and learn about the impact light pollution has on wildlife and the simple things you can do to save the dark.

Bush Blitz is partnering with the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance to raise awareness of the impacts of light pollution on the night time environment.

Click here for more details. If you decide to give it a go, follow the simple process to create an account and sign in to access the online materials. There is even a version of Flight 2 Light designed especially for schools.

While Flight 2 Light officially ends on 19 February 2021, your data will be welcome at any time.

© Nick Lambert

Posted on February 08, 2021 04:26 by bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 24, 2020

Wrapping up 2020

With all of this year's expeditions postponed, 2020 could have been a complete write-off for Bush Blitz, but through the Backyard Species Discovery project we have continued to raise awareness and help collect data on Australia's biodiversity. Thank you to everyone at iNaturalist, who allowed the project to happen, and all the project members, curators and others who have added or identified observations.

One of the unexpected positive outcomes this year is that we've been able to reach people all over Australia, not just those living in the few remote areas that we planned to visit. A highlight was working with a teacher and young students at Kongwak Primary School in Victoria. They unknowingly uploaded images of a woodlouse infected with a rare virus. The viral taxonomist who spotted their observations visited them, once travel restrictions had eased, to collect specimens and answer their questions. They even made the ABC news.

Discovering nature has helped many of us through difficult times and some of you also told us that you've enjoyed our challenges. So here's one last challenge for 2020. For our Summer Sounds Challenge, listen to the video and tell us what kind of animal made each of the 6 sounds. Hint: 2 are cicadas. There are bonus points if you can identify them all! Comment by midday 4 January for a chance to win a Bush Blitz cap.

Bush Blitz is excited to recommence expeditions in 2021, starting with Stony Head (Tasmania) in March. To reduce the risk of disruption due to travel restrictions, we've put together a team of Tasmanian scientists and are looking for two Tassie teachers to join them. If you know anyone who might be suitable, please let them know about this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Bush Blitz team will be taking a break over Christmas and New Year. We hope you are able to get out and discover nature, wherever you are. We look forward to seeing what you've added, and will respond to any messages, when we return on 4 January.

Posted on December 24, 2020 00:52 by bushblitz bushblitz | 4 comments | Leave a comment