Melbourne BioBlitz is one of the City of Melbourne’s major citizen science programs, where experts and members of the community work together to discover, document, and learn about the species that call our city home.
Melbourne BioBlitz is one of the City of Melbourne’s major citizen science programs, where experts and members of the community work together to discover, document, and learn about the species that call our city home.
Timeline item 1
Melbourne BioBlitz 2014
October to November 2014
Timeline item 2
Urban Ecology Discussion Paper Engagement
January to March 2015
Timeline item 3
Melbourne BioBlitz 2016
3 March to 28 April 2016
Timeline item 4
BioBlitz findings released
Melbourne BioBlitz is the City of Melbourne's first major citizen science program, where experts and members of the community work together to discover, document and learn about the species that call our city home.
The species discovered during Melbourne BioBlitz will contribute to the implementation of our Urban Ecology and Biodiversity Strategy, the City of Melbourne's plan for maintaining a strong and diverse eco-system.
For the expert-led events, yes please! Although all events and activities are free, by registering you’ll help us with planning. There is no need to register for BioBlitz participation outside of City of Melbourne facilitated events.
When reporting what you discover, we need to identify your location so we can record the sighting specific to its position in our urban landscape. We also need you to send us a photo so that our team of experts can identify and record the species.
By sharing your photo and location with us you consent to the use of this data for the specific research purpose of creating a species inventory and species richness maps for the city.
We encourage you to consider the full spectrum of biodiversity that we have in the City of Melbourne to increase the diversity of what we document. Think about all of the different kinds of nature that we find in an urban environment and see how many different things you can find by recording:
We encourage you to explore the range of great information available to us all and do your best, but don’t worry, as long as you send in a photo we can have our expert team help to work out what it is.
You can always use the following online tools:
We’d like you to document what you find within the boundaries of the City of Melbourne municipality. Some locations we encourage you to explore that weren't included in the 2014 BioBlitz are:
Other places to visit include:
Melbourne is rich in biodiversity; however the current biological diversity of the city is undergoing rapid change as a result of habitat loss, population growth, cultural change, climate change pressures, and governance decisions.
The greater Melbourne area supports some 1,864 indigenous plant species, of which 178 are considered threatened, and 520 indigenous animal species, of which 136 of are currently considered threatened.
We’re expecting to gain a better understanding of what species inhabit the City of Melbourne municipality. While BioBlitz events are primarily an inventory of known species in a geographic area, it is not uncommon for these events to discover new species!
You will be outside, so you should dress accordingly. Use sunscreen to protect you from potential sun exposure. Wear appropriate footwear for your selected BioBlitz location. Always take drinking water with you for any excursion
Nature happens despite the weather. The BioBlitz will take place rain, hail or shine.
Bringing your dog will limit where you are able to go in the parks. Bringing your dog could also limit other participants from walking on the surveys, for example, those with children. For these reasons, it not recommended to bring your dog on the survey events.
Updates on BioBlitz will be posted here on the Participate Melbourne BioBlitz page. We encourage you to check this website regularly to keep up to date with the latest and engage with other keen urban naturalists.
Mammals that live in the city include those you might see often like possums or rats, but there are also many mammals we rarely see, such as micro-bats and native rats. A good way to find animals like these is to look in places where they might eat or sleep; watch tree hollows at dusk, look for burrows or holes under your deck or in your garden, or look out for other signs that these mammals live in your area.
Tracks, scats and signs
Look for tracks in the mud or dirt. Notice the shape and arrangement of paw-prints or footprints, and follow their trail. Some key things to look for: Do you see two feet or four? Are the footsteps close together (maybe indicating a smaller animal) or far apart (a bigger animal)? How many toes are there? Where did the tracks come from and where do they lead? Can you see any other signs that animals have been around? Can you find any feathers, fur, nests or scats? Different animals leave scats of different shapes! For example, possum poo looks very different to bat, or bird poo.
During spring, many birds start singing very early in the morning. Dawn is the best time to sit quietly somewhere and listen to the birds waking up. Grab a pair of binoculars and look in shrubs, in branches of trees, or in other sheltering sites. If you hear a bird, follow the sound and try to see who is making all of the noise. You might be lucky to find birds nesting in tree hollows, in nests they have built in trees, or in shrubs around your garden. A good way to attract birds to an area is to have a bird bath.
Different types of skinks, turtles, snakes and lizards might inhabit our city. Watch out for reptiles seeking shelter in leaf litter, under logs and rocks and in long grasses. A good way to find lizards is to look under piles of material in your backyard: look under tiles, bricks and wood to see if there are any lizards hiding there.
We have ground frogs and tree frogs in Melbourne. Many of our frogs live in or near aquatic environments, such as dams, ponds, wetlands and creeks, and areas with native rushes and sedges. Look out for tadpoles in water in local parks and in your garden. Many frogs are heard before they are seen, and many of them spend the night calling to each other. The best time to look for frogs is after dusk, if you hear a frog follow the noise and see if you can see them on reeds or on the banks of wetlands.
Scientists have identified about a million species of insects so far, and estimate that there may be up to 30 million. Insects differ from other animals in that they have three pairs of legs. With or without your magnifying glass, scour the ground, under bark, in leaf litter, search among the flowers or even look in your compost bin for insects.
A good way to see which insects are using your yard is to place biscuits in a jar lying down in the garden on a sunny day, return in a few hours and see what has been attracted to the bait! Another good way to watch for bees and butterflies is to sit and watch flowers on a sunny day, as these insects need to visit flowers to get nectar for food. We don’t know a huge amount about the insects in our city, so you might even discover a new species.
Life depends on water. Look around you. Do you see a waterway, pond, lake or the ocean? What varieties of plants and animals do you see in or near the water?
The first Melbourne BioBlitz was held in 2014. More than 700 people participated, helping us record more than 3000 sightings and photographs. We are thrilled that so many people were interested in connecting with biodiversity in the City of Melbourne. Thank you to all who participated.
Melbourne BioBlitz is an event run by the City of Melbourne in partnership with Museum Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Water, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Monash University, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Entomological Society of Victoria, Wild Melbourne, Friends of Westgate Park, Friends of Royal Park, Birdlife Australia, and Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, Deakin University, School of Ants, Fungimap, Royal Park Protection Group.
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