Shoalhaven residents have been invited to learn how to better their citizen science skills at a National Parks Association of NSW workshop.
The NPA is helping private landholders use infrared cameras to survey wildlife to answer the question who’s living on my land?
Landholders from the Shoalhaven region can attend a free workshop in Ulladulla on August 6 to learn how to use and then borrow infrared cameras.
Landholders have an opportunity to become a citizen scientist for two weeks and put up an infrared camera on their property.
Infrared cameras work by detecting heat in motion; it gets triggered to take a photograph whenever a warm-blooded animal walks in front of it and works both day and night.
These cameras are a new tool used to survey animals because they are non-intrusive and can be easily used by anyone.
NPA citizen science officer Margot Law said people who had previously participated in the wildlife survey were surprised to discover native fauna such as koalas, spotted-tailed Quolls and deer “they didn’t know” were there before.
“It’s hard to conserve a species or create a pest management plan if you don’t know what’s there,” Ms Law said.
The ‘Who’s living on my land?’ project is working with the Atlas of Life on the Budawang Coast, a local biodiversity database, to help Shoalhaven landholders discover their species.
“Most of our species records come from public land and road sides – so this is an exciting opportunity to find what species may be persisting on private land,” Ms Law said.
“It can be overwhelming when you first start to learn about all the species that occur in your local area.
“The Atlas of Life on the Budawang Coast is a fantastic resource to help you identify species from photographs. You can upload photos of plants and animals from your property and local naturalist experts will identify them for you.”
Ms Law said she hopes participants can use the information to change some of their land management practices.
“Whether it is working with Landcare or Local Land Services or initiating their own monitoring program with the Atlas of Life on the Budawang Coast. Conservation on private land can make a huge difference to the environment,” she said.
The workshop will run from 10.30am to 2.30pm at the Ulladulla Civic Centre on August 6.
RSVP is essential. Visit whoslivingonmyland.org/future-workshops/ or call 02 9299 0000 and ask for Margot Law.