Collect & Submit Koala Data
Addressing knowledge gaps in Koala populations
How you can contribute
Citizen scientists (you) have an incredibly important role to play in the collection of data for this project. There are two main ways people can contribute data; observations and transects.
Observations are sightings of Koalas that are recorded through iNaturalist. You can download iNaturalist on your smartphone and every time you see a Koala you can simply take a photo and upload it to iNaturalist. Once uploaded this data becomes publicly available. More data means better decisions can be made to protect Koalas.
The downside of relying solely on observations is that we only record where Koalas are, and not where they aren’t. Knowing where Koalas are not present is just as important, and can help us to understand why Koalas are declining.
Transects are a more structured method of collecting data, which can be useful in bringing some robustness to looking for koalas rather than relying on just ad-hoc sightings. It is also beneficial when you want to understand population trends and activity over time and/or you want to survey new areas of potential koala habitat. While the name of this method may sound complicated, it is actually quite simple and is explained in depth below.
To collect more accurate data we are looking for people who wish to establish transects on their property, or be designated a transect to monitor.
Establishing and performing a transect survey
This methodology is useful when walking the same transect repeated at a certain time period (e.g. monthly, annually) to understand abundance over time. If there is only one observer, this is a single count transect. If two observers walk the same transect independently, it is a double count transect.
The steps to complete a transect are simple once an area has been chosen and involves recording information as you walk the survey area.
What you'll need
Performing the survey
Using Google maps to record GPS points and measure distance
Using your phone to record GPS points and measure the distance of your transect is a convenient and accurate way to capture this information.
Taking a GPS point using Google maps on your phone
Measuring the distance of a transect using Google maps on your phone
Submit your data
Every bit of data helps, and paints a clearer picture of what is happening to our Koala populations. Aside from your completed transect data sheets you can also send through photos of Koalas, photos of Koala scratchings, and photos of Koala poo. Send these to [email protected] or follow the link below.
Sign up to be designated a transect
With the information provided above you can set up a transect anywhere, but there are some specific locations where we would like to collect data from. These specific locations are areas that we need to increase available data to improve population modelling and address key knowledge gaps. If you’re interested in being assigned a transect, or working with other volunteers, please get in touch.