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
  • Tracked the changes of a key urban population of growling grass frogs in Epping
  • Recorded thousands of hours of bird call acoustic data to monitor bird populations
  • Monitored the post-bushfire recovery of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in Bunyip State Park
  • Stagwatched Greater Gliders in Victoria’s closed water catchments
  • 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.

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.

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. In early 2020 we will adding cameras to our research sites in the Central Highlands forests as well!

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Would you like to help conservation science while exploring Victoria’s amazing Mountain Ash forests in a rare opportunity to visit Melbourne’s closed water catchments? Between Dec 2019 and March 2020, NatureWatch volunteers will be supporting the Australian National University for 12 evenings of their stagwatching surveys.  This is an amazing opportunity to spend time in the forest and help monitor some of Victoria’s rare and endemic species.

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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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