We are creating a new citizen science project called NatureWatch Sunshine Coast.
Our goal is to provide opportunities for our community to participate in nature programs, encourage environmental stewardship and connection to our local environment.
NatureWatch will also help council to monitor and collect data on plants and wildlife in Sunshine Coast environmental reserves.
Through this survey, we hope to gain an understanding of the people who would like to take part in these opportunities – their interests, participation motivations and any possible barriers. This will help us develop future citizen science activities.
Citizen science programs help to:
- build community ownership of the region’s natural assets
- create opportunities to expand the scope of research and monitoring
- ignite and sustain active community interest in local conservation efforts
- immerse citizens in the scientific method and the value of scientific research.
Have your say
We invited you to complete our confidential survey before it closed on 28 Feburary, 2023.
Your feedback will inform how NatureWatch Sunshine Coast moves forward.
We will use your feedback to identify which Citizen Science activities to facilitate within our natural areas and provide a brief understanding of what possible research interests may be viable heading into the future.
In the Assessment of Australia’s Terrestrial Biodiversity, (Australian Government, 2008) a series of case studies representing a range of institutional responses revealed that a lack of effective and systematic monitoring systems for evaluation was one of the two most significant issues for biodiversity in Australia. Effective monitoring is based on reviewing goals and outcomes in relation to specific management actions.
Across the Sunshine Coast there are 682 environmental reserves with 7173 hectares of land. To effectively manage the biodiversity within these areas, regular monitoring is required to ensure management aims are being achieved and the biological assets within these habitats are protected and flourishing.
A citizen science program can help.
The goals for NatureWatch Sunshine Coast are to:
- establish a consistent and scientifically defendable citizen science methodology
- establish an overarching nature-based citizen science program to consolidate all the environment reserve, coastal, natural, and constructed waterways monitoring citizen science activities to facilitate easier access to activities for everyone
- develop new and diverse opportunities for community involvement through Council programs that align with current volunteering trends
- work with local groups, scientists, and land managers to ensure natural areas management outcomes are of community value, scientifically valid and match local management priorities
- improve the awareness of the impacts of climate change on local flora and fauna
- inform council policy development and review on matters relating to wildlife and conservation.