NatureWatch is our land-based citizen-science program. It started in 2007 and trains community volunteers like you 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:

  • Photographed Brush-tailed Phascogales in Wombat State Forest
  • 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
  • Monitored the post-bushfire recovery of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in Bunyip State Park
  • 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

NatureWatch celebrated our 10 year anniversary in 2018, check out its history here!

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.

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Want to try your hand at being a citizen scientist? Or learn about Victoria’s native flora and fauna, and how to monitor them?  Volunteering with NatureWatch is a fantastic way to help increase our understanding of our precious environment.

Volunteer

Read the latest NatureWatch updates here.

In 2021 we will be 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 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 will generally run for 3 days and involve self-sufficient camping with the group. It is going to be 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!

The 2020-21 season of this project is 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.

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Eastern grey kangaroos caught on cameraThey’re cute, curious – and captured!  Since 2011, we’ve been using motion-sensing cameras to monitor wildlife in our Caught on Camera program.  Projects are currently operating in Bunyip State Park, Wombat State Forest and Macedon Regional Park. After bushfires burnt more than half the park in March 2019, we returned that year to Bunyip State Park to increase our monitoring of post-fire wildlife and habitat recovery.  Our 2020 season was dramatically reduced due to access issues but we hope to return in 2021!

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Would you like to help monitor wildlife across the proposed area of the Great Forest National Park? Our Great Forest Guardians project uses multiple wildlife monitoring techniques to explore the biodiversity of Victoria’s amazing Mountain Ash forests. This is an amazing opportunity to spend time in the forest and help monitor some of Victoria’s rare and endemic species like Leadbeater’s Possum. Our scientific partners include Professor David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University and Dr Karen Rowe from Museums Victoria.

In 2020, this project was kindly supported by 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 are teaming with bandicoot researcher, Dr Sarah Maclagan and the Royal Botanic Gardens to monitor bandicoots in Cranbourne neighbourhoods around the gardens and in new residential developments.

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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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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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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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Are you a tertiary student looking for some hands-on experience with planning and running ecological monitoring projects, analysing data and reporting outcomes?  We offer 13-week student placements during first and second university semesters.

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