Become a citizen scientist and join the Great Southern Bioblitz

Blue Flax-Lily.

THE Great Southern Bioblitz (GSB), a worldwide citizen science event, kicks off on the 28 to 31 October 2022 throughout the Southern Hemisphere using the iNaturalist app and website.

A BioBlitz is a snapshot study of a specific location, where scientists and the community work together to survey and record as many species as possible within a nominated timeframe, in this case, 96 hours in your local time zone.

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These observations can then be used by local environmental groups, government departments, students, and other organisations to increase biodiversity awareness, protect habitat, determine species distribution, increase scientific literacy, climate change research, and inform policy.

Championing the GSB on the Coffs Coast is Nick Lambert, a schoolteacher and life-long Toormina resident, who has been involved with iNaturalist for five years, learning about our local environments.

As a local organiser of the GSB with iNaturalist, Nick’s role is to encourage people to participate in the weekend of recording sightings of as many species as possible.

“Our area consists of both the Coffs and Bellingen LGAs, from Halfway Creek in the north, to Oyster Creek in the south and west to Point Lookout,” Nick told News Of The Area.

“Anyone of any age can participate, it is recommended children have adult supervision.

“All you need is a phone with the free iNaturalist app, registration is free.

“Any living thing is acceptable, plants, marine, birds, insects, fungi etc.

“Your individual stats will be instantly updated as you upload sightings,” he explained.

Each year the GSB’s banner changes to highlight a species common throughout the Southern Hemisphere.

This year’s banner species is the Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) which is grown widely throughout the Southern Hemisphere as a street or landscaping tree.

The Jacaranda, however, is a threatened species in its native habitat of South America and is listed as ‘Vulnerable (VU)’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

In 2020 across the Southern Hemisphere the first GSB attracted over 3,000 participants in 157 local areas across twelve countries over three continents.

More than 91,000 observations of species were uploaded of more than 12,000 species.

The second GSB in 2021 attracted 5,789 observers in more than 180 local areas across nineteen countries over three continents.

This year, the third Great Southern Bioblitz, #GSB22, is shaping up to be bigger and better than before as places such as the Great Barrier Reef and Madagascar are added to the list of participating areas and countries, respectively, as nominated by volunteer Local Area Organisers.

To take part simply download the free iNaturalist app and take a walk.

Take photos and upload them using the app.

“It’s easy to be a citizen scientist and document species in your local area during the Great Southern Bioblitz’s 96-hour window from 28 to 31 of October this year – so get out there.”

Get more information online at

How-to guides

Recording a nature observation on iNaturalist –

iNaturalist video tutorials –

Contact Coffs/Bellingen organiser Nick Lambert on 0432512075.

More information will be on the local Facebook site – – and questions and queries are welcomed.


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