search for Peacock Spiders at the BioBlitz
Tiny, charming & elusive, the Peacock Spider is dancing up a storm on the Sapphire Coast. Known for their brilliant blue colours and elaborate courtship dances which can last up to 2 hours, the male Peacock Spider is a creature we’re hoping will make an appearance at Wallagoot BioBlitz on December 4 and 5th.
The species is endemic to Australia and part of the jumping spider clan, but at 4 to 5 mm, it’s so small that most of us don’t see it. Canberra man Stuart Harris has been chasing them for years after snapping one while bushwalking in Namadgi National Park. The photo attracted the attentions of global specialist Dr Jurgen Otto, who believed it may be a new species. Fast forward, and Stuart is a pioneer researcher of this remarkable little arachnid. He’s one of around 40 experts leading bound for Bournda National Park to lead expeditions to survey wildlife and celebrate citizen science.
The nature of citizen science is that anyone can join in and team up with experts to broaden our knowledge of the world around us. It’s fun too, you can learn ways to study animals up close without harming them, lure them with pre-recorded calls, make various traps to record prints or hair and good old fashioned foraging.
Expeditions will target reptiles, shorebirds, mammals, birds and frogs at all hours of the day and night. Basecamp will be set up in the heart of Bournda National Park.
Organiser Libby Hepburn said the far south coast arm of the BioBlitz movement, Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness, is at the forefront of BioBlitz’s in Australia. A similar event at Mimosa Rocks last year recorded 1008 species pushing the database to over 11,500 since it was created four years ago. “(Bournda) in between Tathra and Merimbula, is a important site for the history of our region. We will also be searching for sea centipedes and other marine creatures, birds during the morning chorus and spotlighting during the evening for gliders and frogs.”
Ecologist Steve Sass (On the Perch aviaries at Tathra) is the key ecologist for the BioBlitz and will lead the mammals, birds and frogs expeditions.
“What makes Bioblitzes such inspiring events for everyone who wants to learn more about the mysteries of nature is this special chance to work with people who are both knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects,” Libby said. “Interested people can register for surveys online, and we’d love to welcome you to explore, enjoy, learn lots and make a valuable contribution all at the same time.” Browse and register for surveys http://bit.ly/bioblitzbournda
Thanks to Sarah Chenhall for this blog from Sapphire Coast Tourism