NatureWatch is our land-based citizen-science program. Starting in 2007  we have been training community volunteers to collect important information about Victoria’s animals and plants. 

In each of our NatureWatch projects we work with local groups, scientists and land managers to ensure they are of community value, scientifically valid and match local management priorities.

Our hard-working NatureWatch volunteers have:

  • Monitored wildlife survival across East Gippsland after the 2019 bushfires
  • Surveyed for Southern Brown Bandicoots in new urban developments around Cranbourne
  • Tracked changes in urban population Growling Grass Frogs in Epping
  • Recorded thousands of hours of bird calls to monitor populations across many parks
  • Monitored the post-bushfire recovery of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in Bunyip State Park
  • Photographed Brush-tailed Phascogales in Wombat State Forest
  • Stagwatched Greater Gliders in Victoria’s central highlands forests
  • Collected 10 years of data on Phytophthora dieback impacts on grasstrees in Brisbane Ranges National Park

Get involved

Joining a NatureWatch project is a fun and important way to contribute to nature conservation in Victoria.

Want to learn about our projects or find out about how to get involved with NatureWatch? Take a look below.

NatureWatch has been going since 2007 – check out our history here!

Read the latest NatureWatch updates here.

Since 2020 we have been monitoring wildlife in fire-affected areas in East Gippsland. We aim to support the recovery and protection of high conservation areas and threatened species in East Gippsland by partnering with community, land managers, private land owners and other scientists to coordinate data collection methods and site placements that bolster monitoring efforts currently underway.

12 field camps will be run each year – in Spring and Autumn. Camps generally run for 3 days and involve self-sufficient camping with the group. It is an exciting way to see the deeper reaches of some amazing areas and to help with the protection of important habitat areas into the future. Get your camping gear ready!

Areas we visit: Errinundra National Park, Cape Conran Coastal Park, Mitchell River National Park, Colquhuon Regional Park, Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Swift’s Creek, Nunniong Plains.

Register your interest to joining upcoming field trips below.

The 2020-21 season of this project was supported by a WIRES Landcare Wildlife Relief & Recovery grant and its expansion over an additional 3 years is supported by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.

Register your interest

We are back in Bunyip State Park in 2022 with a new and improved wildlife monitoring project!

This year we are turning the spotlight on wildlife in the park – literally! Join our spotlighting surveys to search for nocturnal possums and gliders across the park or come along on one of our camera monitoring field days. Fieldwork will take place October – December 2022 and again in March – June 2023.

Field Day Registration

Also new this year – Community Discovery Days in Bunyip State Park. 3 December 2022 (10am-2pm), Mortimer Picnic Ground.

  • join a guided bird or wildflower walk
  • learn about our wildlife monitoring techniques and find out how you can do on your own
  • meet members of Friends of Bunyip State Park and Parks Victoria rangers
  • get the kids involved in fun Wild Families activities exploring nature
  • be inspired by the nature around you and join our Art in the Park activities led by amazing nature artist, Clare James. Create your own artworks or add to our large group project.
  • bring a picnic and send the day with us immersed in this beautiful park

Discovery Days Registration

 

Endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots are in decline in Victoria due to large bushfire events and urban sprawl through the southeastern suburbs outside Melbourne destroying their habitat and increasing their vulnerability to predators.  Eastern-barred Bandicoots were extinct in the wild until recent re-introductions in to protected reserves. Long-nosed Bandicoots are fairing better but much of their forest habitat is still vulnerable to timber harvesting and fire.

Help us monitor bandicoots across Victoria to determine where they are persisting and where they are struggling. 

Whenever, wherever you see them … upload the information to iNaturalist and link the record to our ‘Bandicoots of Victoria’ project to help us collate the information.

Details: Bandicoots of Victoria Info Sheet

 

Are you a tertiary student studying environment, ecology, conservation etc… looking for some hands-on experience with planning and running ecological monitoring projects, analysing data and reporting outcomes?

We offer 13-week student placements in 1st & 2nd university semesters.

What you will gain:

  • Wildlife monitoring and identification skills
  • Citizen-science and volunteer engagement knowledge
  • Social media and science communication skills
  • Activity management skills
  • Camera data analysis knowledge
  • Fieldwork experience
  • A great reference for future opportunities

Many of our students have gone on to great careers in wildlife monitoring, consulting and land management!

If this sounds like fun to you, please get in touch and we will send you some information.

[email protected]

 

 

 

Eastern grey kangaroos caught on cameraThey’re cute, curious – and caught! From 2012 to 2021, we used motion-sensing cameras to monitor wildlife in our Caught on Camera program. Projects ran for ten years in Bunyip State Park and Wombat State Forest and a few years in Macedon Regional Park, and the Wimmera region.

After bushfires burnt more than half of Bunyip State Park in March 2019, we increased our monitoring of post-fire wildlife and habitat recovery to include audio recording for bird calls, scat and track surveys and photo points.

This project has now evolved into our new Spotlight on Bunyip project with the support of a Parks Victoria Innovation Fund grant in 2022.

 

 

In 2020, our Great Forest Guardians project used multiple wildlife monitoring techniques to explore the biodiversity of Victoria’s amazing Mountain Ash forests. This was an amazing opportunity to spend time in the forest and help monitor some of Victoria’s threatened species like Leadbeater’s Possum and Greater Gliders. Our scientific partners include Professor David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University and Dr Karen Rowe from Museums Victoria.

Motion detection cameras and audio recorders were installed around the Toolangi and Cambarville forests. Stagwatching and spotlighting surveys were done at multiple sites in conjunction will full day Forest Tours.

This project was supported by grants from Bank Australia and the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.

Some Victorians are lucky enough to have endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots living in their neighbourhood! In our new ‘Backyard Bandicoot’ program we teamed with bandicoot researcher, Dr Sarah Maclagan and the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne to monitor bandicoots in neighbourhoods around the gardens and in new residential developments.

 

Communities listening to natureNatureWatch doesn’t just watch nature, we listen to it too! You’re probably familiar with the laugh of the kookaburra, warble of the magpie and screech of the cockatoo. But did you know that recording bird calls can tell scientists and land managers a lot about Victorian birds?  VNPA teamed up with Museums Victoria to record bird calls and help build that critical knowledge.

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Grasslands monitoringGrasslands are home to many threatened species that need careful monitoring if we are to ensure their survival.  Between 2009 – 2017, our volunteers watched for golden sun moths flying, listened for growling grass frogs calling, and searched for very rare plains yam daisies. This is making an important contribution to nature conservation in Victoria.

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Grasstree monitoring
Caption: Photo: Des Peters

Have you ever seen groups of dying grasstrees and wondered why? A deadly dieback disease caused by a microorganism, Phytophthora cinnamomi, is often to blame. The disease affects many plant species and is devastating ecosystems across Australia. Between 2007 and 2017, we monitored the impacts on grasstrees in the Brisbane Ranges and Wilsons Promontory national parks.

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