Can you identify these Climatewatch critters?

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These are three common species to be found around Sydney and they are part of a long list of indicator species used by the citizen science project Climatewatch. I have blogged previously about Climatewatch and citizen science projects as I think they are a fantastic educational tool. Climatewatch uses common species to monitor adaptations to climate change. Specifically we are looking for phenological (life cycle and breeding) changes to these species.

IMG_4261 (427x640)We have just set up a new Climatewatch trail here at Brewongle and Normanhurst West Public School helped us road test it last week. Students set off in small groups armed with a handheld GPS, binoculars, field recording and ID sheets and an iPad full of bird and frog noises.

Did we find anything? Of course we did! Students spotted the two birds above – by the way 2. is an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) and 3. is the Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris – what a mouthful…) as well as a bunch of others. Brilliant observing by listening at our ponds identified the frog in the picture above… No. 1. is the Peron’s Tree Fog (Litoria peroni).

Our sightings have now been uploaded to the Climatewatch website – real science!

The feedback from students and teachers was very positive and after we iron out a few little kinks it will be another fantastic lesson available to schools who visit Brewongle.

You can easily set up your own Climatewatch trail at your school or local area or just download the iPhone or iPad app and go looking for critters! Brewongle EEC would he happy to help you set up a trail in your school. Contact us here.

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