25 September 2023

OEH survey goes wild over wildlife

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The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has called on communities across the State to share their sightings of wildlife over the past two years to add to a new online Community Wildlife Survey.

Science Director at the OEH, Tom Celebrezze said the office wanted to hear about sightings of brushtail possums, foxes, platypus, wombats, koalas, spotted-tailed quolls, kangaroos, deer and dingos.

“Whether you see a possum, a wombat whilst out working, or a koala during your holiday, every sighting helps to understand where in NSW these animals are living and how their populations are faring,” Dr Celebrezze said.

“Community wildlife sightings are hugely valuable to researchers and they give local communities a chance to share what is happening with the wildlife in their area.”

He said this rich data source helped scientists to get a better view of wildlife across the State and to gain a clearer understanding of where these animals were, their health and any threats.

Dr Celebrezze said the survey would also draw on community knowledge, asking contributors if they thought populations were increasing, decreasing or staying the same in their local area.

“Scientists will use the data to look at how the populations of the 10 animals have changed since the last survey in 2006,” he said.

“Back in 2006 more than 16,000 people shared their wildlife sightings and the data generated played a vital role in understanding more about the location and status of animals in NSW, helping to shape research and conservation priorities for the State.”

He said he was keen to get a similar number of survey participants this year, if not more.

The new wildlife survey can be accessed at this PS News link.

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