NatureTrackers: Where? Where? Wedgie?
Posted 03 May 2023
NatureTrackers is a program of citizen science projects bringing together schools and the community to track the status of our threatened species and better understand their needs. It is coordinated by the Bookend Trust, a not-for-profit founded in Tasmania in 2008, which inspires people of all ages and abilities to develop careers and interest in the environment, and to find positive solutions to environmental problems.
A major project for NatureTrackers is Where? Where? Wedgie? aiming to involve people in an annual state-wide raptor survey to provide information about eagle population trends in Tasmania and reducing the human impacts on these birds.
Get your family, friends, schools, clubs and companies involved this May to help track our Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles together with Tasmania's other birds of prey such as white cockatoos and corellas.
Learn more about NatureTrackers and Where? Where? Wedgie? below.
What is Where? Where? Wedgie!
Where? Where? Wedgie! is NatureTrackers’ first long-term project, to monitor Tasmanian birds of prey. They focus on wedge-tailed eagles, but we cover all birds of prey as well as white cockatoos and corellas.
Are eagle numbers now increasing - or are they in decline?
Prior to NatureTrackers’ initiative in 2018, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle population was not formally monitored. The last official estimate of its size – at fewer than 1000 birds, and likely to be declining – was based on information collected many years ago. Since then, there have been lots of efforts to reduce the impact of human activities on these birds, but we don’t know if they’re working.
Help them find out.
Each autumn, NatureTrackers invite as many people as possible across Tasmania to join them to help find out, by spending a day out with your eyes to the sky.
Hundreds of people took part in the first survey in May 2018, and the results they collected indicate they have an effective method to monitor eagle numbers. But there were some big gaps in the survey, which is why they now particularly encourage people to get out and about into some of the more remote and privately owned parts of Tasmania – including in areas where these species are rarely if ever seen.
Primary schools across Tasmania are also involved with Where? Where? Wedgie! in the Bookend Trust’s Expedition Class science course, with students learning about birds of prey and threatened species.
HOW DOES THE SURVEY WORK?
The surveys run on two weekends, each mid- and end-May — this year, on Friday 12th to Sunday 14th, and Friday 26th to Sunday 28th May, 2023. Survey teams pick a survey site in advance, and then conduct six 10-minute surveys from different points within their square on the same day.
You can get involved by signing up to NatureTrackers at: naturetrackers.com.au
You can find information on their website about how to book your survey, and how to prepare for your day of bird-spotting. There’s also loads of information to help you brush up on some of your bird identification skills, before you hit the field and turn your eyes to the sky.
WHAT IS NATURE TRACKERS?
NatureTrackers is an initiative of the Bookend Trust, a not-for-profit founded in Tasmania in 2008, which inspires people of all ages and abilities to develop careers and interest in the environment, and to find positive solutions to environmental problems. Nature Trackers is the Bookend Trust's overall program of ‘citizen science’ projects, coordinating schools and the community to track the progress of our threatened species and better understand their needs.
Sign up for NatureTrackers email updates HERE.
NatureTrackers also provide a set of Expedition Class teaching resources that fit beautifully with the annual, Tasmania-wide Where? Where? Wedgie! surveys in May - all for free. Book now to participate in the live webinars at the start and end of the nine days.
Details here: https://news.education.tas.gov...
Discover super-engaging, richly integrated content and inquiry, aligned to Australian Curriculum: Science, Visual Arts, HASS, English & more – developed by Art Education Australia in collaboration with the Bookend Trust's NatureTrackers program. There's also the opportunity for students to get directly involved with the science.
Eagles are very inspiring!