17.5 C
Byron Shire
September 27, 2023

Get involved in an Australia-wide native plant hunt

Latest News

Start saving water now say Tweed Council – water restrictions may be weeks away

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has declared an El Nino weather pattern, with less-than-average rainfall forecast for the Northern Rivers this year. Tweed Council is reminding residents and visitors that it is important to save water.

Other News

State government approves 60-day cap on short-term holiday letting in Byron

The state government has approved a new 60-day cap on non-hosted short term rental accommodation (STRA) for large parts of the Byron Shire. Most of NSW has no cap.

Close battle for Ocean Shores golfing glory

Will Fry held on through a gripping finish to claim the annual Ocean Shores Men’s Golf Championships two weekends...

Too many councillors?

For years some close to Tweed Shire Council (TSC) have tried to lower councillor numbers. Why? Say you have...

Misanthropic disGrace

Hannah Grace’s recent letter ‘Benefits of microplastic’ might be considered a sick joke, but over the years misanthropy has...

Liberal councillors walk out during Tweed mayoral election

Yesterday Liberal councillors James Owen and Rhiannon Brinsmead walked out of the extraordinary Tweed Shire Council meeting in protest against the way the Mayor of Tweed Shire is elected. 

Wollumbin Street bridge reduced to one lane

As part of the sewerage upgrade in Murwillumbah, Tweed Shire Council is urging motorists to plan ahead and seek alternative routes between the CBD and South Murwillumbah for up to four weeks from today.

To record a plant observation find a native plant, take a photo of a plant, record the location, any threats to the plant and count the number of plants you can see. Photo Atlas of Living Australia.

Nature lovers are being called on by the CSIRO to get involved in an Australia-wide native plant hunt, which will see citizen scientists help researchers collect observations and data on how vegetation is recovering after devastating floods and bushfires. 

Flora Connections is a new initiative of the Atlas of Living Australia, hosted by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and Western Sydney University (WSU), is aimed at harnessing the passion of amateur flora groups and citizen scientists to help monitor fire and flood recovery. 

Banksia robur flower. Photo Ruby E Stephens.

Atlas of Living Australia’s, Dr Erin Roger said it was important work, with the cost of recent weather events not only impacting people and wildlife, but also affecting many important native plants. 

‘As extreme fires and floods become more common, plants, which are vital to keeping our ecosystems healthy, also need to recover,’ said Dr Roger.

Understand how our native plants are recovering post-fire and flood

‘Through Flora Connections, we want to better-understand how our native plants are recovering post-fire and flood, and that means boots on the ground.

‘That’s why we’re urging Australians who love getting out into nature to get involved, to help us collect the information we need while they’re exploring.’  

WSU Project Principal Scientist and Associate Professor Rachael Gallagher said the goal of Flora Connections was to connect community knowledge with government and researchers to help develop an up-to-date understanding of how plant species had fared after extreme events. 

The core of our ecosystems

Native Onion Bulbine bulbosa. Photo Ruby E Stephens.

‘Plants are at the core of our ecosystems and protecting them makes sense given the huge role they play in human existence,’ said Dr Gallagher.

‘There’s a wealth of knowledge in the hands of the bushwalkers of Australia and we’re keen to harness it to bring much-needed data about how plants respond to extreme events to the surface.’   

Dr Roger said volunteer amateur botanists could visit the Flora Connections website to access information, documentation forms and other material which would help them gather the data required and to submit it. 

Atlas of Living Australia

‘After the information is submitted to Flora Connections, it will then be made available by the Atlas of Living Australia, our national biodiversity data infrastructure, which will be of huge value to support the science of bushfire impacts on plants. 

Flora Connections is one of three citizen science projects to receive funding under the Australian Government’s $200 million Bushfire Recovery Program for wildlife and their habitats. The projects are being coordinated by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facility, hosted by CSIRO. 

Violet Mintbush –Prostanthera violacea NSW. Photo Ruby E Stephens.

6 steps to a great plant observation: 

  1. Find a native plant in your area
  2. Identify the plant species – use an ID app or reference book 
  3. Record the plant’s location and habitat 
  4. Assess threats to the plants – common threats are feral animals, disease and fire 
  5. Do a species population survey – count the number of plants you can see
  6. Upload data to the Flora Connections website.  

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

BES rejects Ramsey’s proposal to leave conservation zones to private landholders

Ballina Environment Society (BES) has come out strongly against conservative independent Ballina Councillor Eva Ramsey’s proposal to have private property owners ‘opt in’ to conservation zones.

Review on remote Indigenous Australians sheds light on the Voice to Parliament

As a white man living on Bundjalung Country, I acknowledge that it is not easy to make the cross-cultural shift from a Western paradigm lens to comprehend and appreciate the rich diversity and complexity of 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ sociocultural and spiritual history.

What is the future for Lismore Regional Gallery and Museum? Have your say

The Lismore Regional Gallery and the Lismore Museum (Richmond River Historical Society) want to hear from you. If you are an artist, creative, arts...

Pearces Creek Bridge to be replaced – road closure

The replacement of Pearces Creek Bridge has led to the temporary closure of Eltham Road, at Pearces Creek Bridge for one month from Monday, 23 October.