Sea Slugs are sometimes called the butterflies of the sea, but they’re more than just a pretty face! Not only are they adorned in a bewitching spectrum of colours, they’re also excellent indicators of how our environment is changing.
With nine successful Melbourne Sea Slug Census events to date, our records of sea slug species found in Victorian coastal waters are continuing to grow.
Collecting photos of sea slugs present at different times during the year helps us to monitor these species and track any changes. But we need your help!
UPDATE: MARCH CENSUS EXTENDED, NEW PLATFORM FOR SUBMISSIONS
The March Melbourne Sea Slug Census was extended. It ran between 25 March – 3 April – that’s 10 whole days! If you were out and about anywhere on the Victorian coast during this time and you find a nudibranch, sacoglossan, or other sea slug, share it with the Census.
In other exciting news, we’re moving to iNaturalist as the platform for submitting and collating Sea Slug Census data. This will allow the project founders to compare data from Censuses held around the country, as well as providing open access to the images that are being submitted.
iNaturalist is a great community of experts and enthusiasts that can help you hone your identification skills and learn more about all kinds of wonderful wildlife. If you’re not already on the platform, you can head here for a guide and videos to help you sign up and start uploading your valuable images!
Please note: the guide has been created for our Marine Life of Victoria project, but the steps for joining iNaturalist still apply. Your sea slug images will automatically be added to the March Census if they meet the criteria (a sea slug taken anywhere along the Victorian coast during Census times).
If you’re heading to the coast during this time, please remember to follow all advice from health and environmental authorities around social distancing, access to sites and water quality, and make sure you’re complying with current COVIDSafe restrictions.
You can download the guide to taking and submitting photos to the Census here.
Recent Melbourne Sea Slug Censuses
We held the Eleventh Melbourne Sea Slug Census between the 28 – 31 January 2022. Once again we had over 80 people take part in a sea slug search or otherwise submit their photos. 17 teams or individuals found 70 species of sea slug! The report for January is now ready to view.
The Twelfth Melbourne Sea Slug Census ran from 25 March through to 3 April. We’re currently still accepting submissions to our iNaturalist project– any Victorian sea slug images uploaded to iNaturalist from these dates will be automatically added to the Census records for March.
In Partnership with the Melbourne Sea Slug Census:-
The Sea Slug Census is supported by the Victorian Government.