Spring flowers and fruits are here!

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your support, observations, and identifications so far. The bush is getting colourful again, and with lots of flowers and fruits out already, it's a great time to take a walk, see some gorgeous plants, and upload some new observations. We would really love your continued support as we go into spring and summer in 2021.

Here's one way that your observations are going back into science. My name is Desi, I'm a new curator on this project and a postdoctoral researcher in bushfire recovery with Western Sydney University. I want to use your observations help the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment manage their planned burns in the future. Specifically, I want to tell them:

  1. How long it takes for burned plants to start reproducing again. Our timeframe for how long it takes a species to mature is based on plants that are grown in nurseries or on council land -- situations that are more predictable than severely-burned environments, where canopy cover is wiped out and nutrients in the soil can be vaporised away.
  2. When insects come back to visit flowers. This is quite a broad question (after all, different insects do different things!), but it can be tied to the availability of flower resources, and how insects move in and out of burned areas. There is such a limited body of work about insects in the post-fire landscape that everything we learn is useful.

As part of this effort, we've added two new questions to the submission process.

  1. "How many individuals are you observing?". If you're observing a flowering Acacia suaveolens, for example, have a quick look from where you're standing and see if you can spot any other A. suaveolens plants that are flowering too. The options are [1 only / 2-5 / 6-10 / More than 10], so there's no need to spend a long time counting.
  2. "Plant: Do you see any insects on any flowers?". Have a quick look around the plant, see if any insect is sitting on a flower, and answer yes or no.

Taking the time to answer the project questions (when you're at the field, or by editing your observations later on the iNaturalist website) is really helpful. Counting how many individuals you're observing lets us know how many are 'doing the same thing' nearby, and looking for insects on flowers tells us when we might come back next time to do more specific observations.

Once again, thank you for your observations and identifications, in the past and hopefully into the future. We hope that especially in these times, you can feel the simple pleasure of getting out in nature and stumbling upon something cool. Stay safe and enjoy!

Posted on September 03, 2021 10:23 AM by dquin dquin


I noticed the new fields, but the one for fungi (as opposed to animals or plants) seems to have disappeared. Where do I add fungi now?
P.S. You'll find a lot of my flower obs have insects on them from last summer, especially the billy buttons.

Posted by paulaboer about 2 years ago

Thanks @dquin As soon as restrictions ease I will be able to venture out to the Blue mtns to help collect data again. I’m in northern Sydney.

Posted by buffsky about 2 years ago

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