ABC Local Radio and UniSA have announced a ground breaking citizen science project.
The Great Koala Count aims to provide an estimate of the South Australian koala population by involving the general public and schools as citizen scientists to collect local koala data.
In an exciting new development, smart-phone technology will enable accurate data collection using GPS technology and the user-friendly web based resources will capture community attitudes towards koalas.
The Great Koala Count will take place on 28 November, 2012 to be launched with a live radio broadcast from Cleland Wildlife Park with 891 ABC Adelaide’s Morning show with Ian Henschke.
Graeme Bennett, Local Content Manager, 891 ABC Adelaide and ABC Local Radio SA said, “We know that our audiences are not content to just sit and listen. They want to join the conversation, and to take part in the life of South Australia in practical ways. The Great Koala Count is one way we can all contribute to our understanding of a much loved local, and prove again that South Australians care deeply about our home and the living environment we share.”
The results will tell us a great deal about koala populations in SA and also what we as a community feel about having them in our midst.
Professor Chris Daniels, Director of the Barbara Hardy Institute, UniSA said, “The Great Koala Count is one of the most ambitious citizen science projects ever attempted in Australia. We will use the combined skill of thousands of South Australians across the state to undertake the first ever census of these remarkable animals.”
Teachers can register their interest now by calling The Great Koala Count Hotline on 08 8302 9999 or email:[email protected].
In the lead up to the census day on 28 November, join the on air discussion on 891 ABC Adelaide and ABC Local Radio and explore the ABC’s citizen science website. http://www.abc.net.au/adelaide/operation/
Background: The humble Australian koala was listed as an extinct animal in South Australia in the early 1900s, hounded from its home and shot on sight. In the 1930s researchers established colonies on Kangaroo Island to restore numbers, and now the state's populations are all derivative from the colony. In the eastern states of Australia, the koala is listed as endangered as the urban sprawl continues to engulf their natural habitats.
Project Partners: ABC Local Radio SA; Barbara Hardy Institute, University of South Australia; Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; Adelaide and Mt Lofty Natural Resources Management Board; CSIRO.
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