Got involved in the Great Southern BioBlitz across the Coffs Coast Coffs Coast Coffs Coast - popup ad Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - November 21, 2023 Acidinus sedecimtuberculatus, a Cryptic Bark Weevil beetle. THE Great Southern BioBlitz (GSB) is back for its fourth year, with the local region gearing up to make the most of this citizen science flora, fauna, fish and fungi data recording project. The goal is to encourage awareness and engagement amongst individuals, groups and government in our environment. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – email@example.com Open to the whole of the southern hemisphere, the local region for the purposes of the BioBlitz includes the Coffs, Bellingen and Nambucca LGAs. Over four full days, from Friday 24 November until Monday 27 November, the idea is to find, photograph and upload sightings of plants and wildlife from the local area using the iNaturalist app. Once again, GSB stalwart Nick Lambert, a schoolteacher and life-long local resident of the Coffs Harbour district, has taken on the role of organiser for our local area. “I have a fair amount of experience using the iNaturalist platform and hope to encourage other locals to engage with their natural environments and take a closer look at what is around them, sometimes literally in their backyards,” Nick told News Of The Area. This year Nick is assisted by Jodie Armytage, another local environment enthusiast. It’s easy to join in, says Nick. “All you need to do to be involved is create a free iNaturalist account via the website or the app. “You then take photos of any living things during the event and upload them to the platform.” This can be done using the app on a phone which automatically adds the time and place of the sighting, or you can use cameras and upload photos via the website. “The app/website has software in place that even makes suggestions about what you’ve seen when you upload, to help you make an initial ID,” said Nick. Once uploaded, your sighting can be viewed by the iNaturalist community, made up of amateur naturalists and experts alike, both local and international. The community will help to identify what you have seen. Questions and learning are encouraged. “We are lucky to live in a highly biodiverse area of Australia with a huge range of different environments to explore. “Sub-tropical and temperate rainforests, coral reef, sandy and rocky shorelines, saltmarsh and estuaries, wet and dry forest, heathland and many more variations of all of these. “It’s a great opportunity for families with kids or people of any age really, that have a particular or general interest in our local wildlife, to get outside and explore, enjoy and learn.” Last year the Coffs region came fifth for the overall number of species sighted and sixth for the number of observations uploaded out of the 216 participating regions across the Southern hemisphere. “Not bad,” said Nick. “We are hoping to increase the participant numbers this year.” “It is free and open to anyone.” To find out more and sign up visit www.facebook.com/coffsbioblitz To participate, go to the iNaturalist homepage and create a free account. There is also an app for devices, Visit www.inaturalist.org/home The Coffs Botanic Garden is hosting free fifteen-minute tutorials on using the iNaturalist app on Saturday 25. For details visit www.coffsbotanicgarden.com.au/learn-how-to-identify-living-things-with-your-phone/. By Andrea FERRARI Fawn-footed Melomys, a tree-climbing specialist that lives in our local rainforests. Fuchsia Heath, an uncommon shrub usually only found on the taller mountaintops in our area. Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, an endangered sea-bird occasionally sighted off the Coffs coastline. A local koala from Bongil Bongil National Park.