150 eco-tourists helped catalogue and discover local flora and fauna at the annual Cooloola Bioblitz hosted by Cooloola Coastcare and Fraser Island Defenders Organisation.
Some of their many finds were undescribed species, including zombie fungi, rare frogs and elusive parrots. Image Luke Barrowcliffe, Goori Vision
A small army of Citizen Scientists packed the Rainbow Beach Community Hall to its capacity of 150 over the weekend of May 14-16 for the annual Cooloola Bioblitz, hosted by Cooloola Coastcare and Fraser Island Defenders Organisation.
Led by 19 incredible scientists and expert amateur enthusiasts with specialties including tiny mosses, fungi, plants, spiders and other arachnids, frogs and insects, these willing volunteers went out day and night to map the biodiversity of this amazing region, using the free iNaturalist App on their phones. You can download it too and contribute sightings of fauna and flora anytime.
The knowledge gathered and shared was enriched by the contributions of the group of Elders and members of the Butchulla Aboriginal community, the original environmentalists who have been the stewards of Butchulla country for thousands of years.
Ethan Yeoman, our youngest Team Leader at 16 years of age, discovered 48 undescribed species of spiders. Rare orchids, a huge array of weird and wonderful fungi (including a zombie fungi that takes over the bodies of ants) and uncommon plants were also documented. Night field trips recorded many of the area’s rare frogs.
The field trip to listen to the chorus of the elusive and vulnerable Eastern Ground Parrots at sunset was such an uplifting experience for all who made the trek out to the button grass plains.
The art group, led by Sunshine Coast artist Dion Dior, captured some of the species as they learnt new techniques for nature journaling.
For more photos and information about future events, follow the Cooloola BioBlitz group on Facebook or visit: cooloolacoastcare.org.au/projects/bioblitz
This event was proudly supported by a Queensland Government Citizen Science Grant, Cooloola Coastcare, Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO), Queensland Water and Land Carers (QWALC) and the Gympie Regional STEM Hub.