Coffs and Bellingen citizen scientists record super sightings in nature for the Great South Bioblitz

Passionate environmentalist Nick Lambert thanks everyone who participated in the Great Southern Bioblitz.


CITIZEN scientists from the Coffs Coast and Bellingen regions excelled themselves with their active participation in this year’s Great Southern Bioblitz (GSB), logging their own sightings and data using the iNaturalist app and website.

Toormina resident and schoolteacher Nick Lambert was Coffs Coast GSB champion who rallied the troops locally.

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Nick told News Of The Area, “With 3700+ participants from 256 regions around the southern hemisphere, we reached a total of more than 180,000 observations of nearly 21,000 different species in just four days.

“Our locals from the Coffs and Bellingen region once again did our area proud and punched above their weight, finishing high up on the totals leaderboard.

“We used the scope of our zone to the full while observing during the event.

“Sightings came from Halfway Creek to Urunga and from Point Lookout all the way to North West Solitary Island.

“There were many impressive finds, including squirrel gliders, rare cowries, endangered corals, birds, frogs and turtles.

“Participants from our area managed 4466 sightings of 1590 different species over the four days, a significant improvement from last year.

“One standout sighting by Dr Matt Nimbs was his incredible find of a Humpback Cowry shell (Mauritia mauritiana), an extremely rare species for NSW.

“Even more impressive is that this could be the most southern global record ever for the species.”

The overall victory once again went to the seasoned campaigners in Cape Town, South Africa, who have previously participated in similar events for the City Nature Challenge.

Results for Coffs/Bellingen in overall event:

* Overall observations – 7th (out of 256 participating regions)
* Overall number of species – 4th.
* Most species out of the 74 Australian regions.
* Most observations of all the Australian regions.

All stats and sightings for the Coffs/Bellingen region can be found on the iNaturalist project at

“This highlights what a small group of local people is capable of achieving in a short amount of time,” said Nick.
“Hopefully the up-to-date data generated from this event and other local sightings will be of use for things such as analysis of distributions of species in the area.

“A huge thankyou to everyone who participated from our zone, particularly those who downloaded and used the iNaturalist app for the first time.

“It’s a sure thing that they enjoyed their day(s) exploring local natural environments and hopefully learning a thing or two about the organisms that live there.”




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