Citizen science project focused on six Eyre Peninsula birds

RARE: A Little Penguin, one of six bird species people are encouraged to keep an eye out for as part of a new citizen science project. Photo: Sam Everingham
RARE: A Little Penguin, one of six bird species people are encouraged to keep an eye out for as part of a new citizen science project. Photo: Sam Everingham

The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board is encouraging people to get involved in citizen science projects to help locate threatened bird species on Eyre Peninsula.

The board has started a new citizen science project around six bird species on the Eyre Peninsula that have been identified as threatened.

The project involves the monitoring of the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, white-bellied sea eagle, osprey, little penguin, bush stone-curlew and Australian bustard.

The board's monitoring and evaluation officer Michelle Clanahan said these have been called 'iconic birds' and people are being asked to keep an eye out for them and use the citizen science website to inform of where they had been seen.

"These are birds that are easily identified, so it's a great project for people to get involved in and contribute to the conservation of these birds," she said.

"The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is actually critically endangered on the Eyre Peninsula.

"By getting a better understanding about how the populations of these birds are tracking we can adapt how we manage them and take conservation actions where needed."

A website has been created where people can log what species they had seen, how many, when and where it was seen and if there was any behaviour worth noting.

The board also has citizen science projects focused on koalas, echidnas, goannas, malleefowl and other bird species , as well as king tides and long-term changes in the environment through PixStix sites.

Ms Clanahan said the EP echidna citizen science project was started last year and there has only been four sightings recorded so far so people were also encouraged to keep their eyes out for them.

"Echidna are difficult to monitor, so any data we can get adds to our knowledge of the distribution of these species," she said.

"Citizen science is really about gathering data so that we can better manage these threatened species.

"Participation by the community is invaluable in helping us collect data that we couldn't otherwise get."

People can report sightings of the birds at www.epiconicbirds.com.au and for echidnas at www.epechidnas.com.au.

For more information on citizen science projects visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/get-involved/citizen-science.

This story Project to help locate threatened birds first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.

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