Citizen scientist platform ‘NatureMapr Network’ wins prestigious award

Released 30/11/2018

A citizen science project that began in Canberra has won the prestigious 2018 Banksia Foundation Community Award.

NatureMapr Network, which began as Canberra Nature Map, the community-led animal and plant identifier, won the award on Thursday evening.

“The NatureMapr Network is a fantastic example of community empowerment where citizen scientists across the region map out our flora and fauna on an easy-to-use and easily accessible web-based platform,” ACT Conservator Ian Walker said.

“The network is now the fastest developing biodiversity mapping initiative in Australia. In Canberra alone, it has helped document thousands of plants and animals since its inception in 2014.

“Earlier this year, through the network, a citizen scientist was able to document the rare small-ant blue butterfly in the ACT for the first time ever.

“The platform also led to a ‘Canberra orchid and fire study’ which resulted in a better understanding of fire management regimes in relation to local orchid populations.

“The Banksia Foundation is internationally recognised as highlighting innovation and leadership in sustainability through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“It was through these UN values that the NatureMapr Network was judged and rewarded for its strong capacity-building and community engagement.

“Since establishing itself as a simple concept for documenting endangered orchids, the network has grown to include the NSW Far South Coast and the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla area.

“It has attracted over 2,000 contributors, has 126 expert moderators, and has recorded over 1.8 million sightings of over 7,000 species.

“The network has the potential to expand to other areas of Australia with interest to replicate NatureMapr in the Noosa region, Lord Howe Island and the Albury-Wodonga area.”

Visit Canberra Nature Map here.

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Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases

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