January - February 2019: Rock pool life


Summer is a great time to explore the rocky shores of our region. Rock pools and crevasses are home to many marine species. They can also provide a temporary refuge during wild seas, or be a trap as the tide recedes. For the observer, such pools provide an easily accessible window into the marine environment.

During January and February, we encourage you to record your sightings of rock pool life. The annual Sea Slug Census is also on during January - even more reason to take your camera and explore your part of the Atlas of Life coastline.

The images above provide a small glimpse of what you might find. All these sightings were made in the Atlas of Life region.

You can view sightings and the field guides (ie species lists) for the various marine invertebrate groups on NatureMapr. To get started, take a tour of the sightings: Coastal Wilderness Budawang Coast


While a waterproof camera is a wonderful asset for rock pool photography, but it is not essential. If the animal or algae is in shallow water, and there is not too much wind rippling the water surface, you can get good shots with a regular camera or phone camera.

Whatever type of camera you us, try to take several shots, and from different angles.

Other details

Add value to your sighting by recording other information, such as:

  • the size

  • the water depth

  • an estimate of the number of individuals you see

  • any ecological or behavioural interactions, such as what an animal was resting or feeding on

Snorkelling sightings are welcome too

If you snorkel or dive, we welcome your sightings too. You’ll have access to many species that never - or only rarely - appear in rock pools.

Now simply upload your sightings!

All sightings are recorded using the NatureMapr database. Simply select the appropriate region for your sighting from the links below: 

or click here to learn more about using NatureMapr

Further reading

Nimbs, M.J & Smith, S.D.A. (2016) An illustrated inventory of the sea slugs of New South Wales, Australia. (2016) Royal Society of Victoria, 128, 44-113 open access link

A world in a rock pool - ABC Nature Feature article by Rachel Sullivan, published in January 2011. This provides an excellent overview of the nature of rock pools and rock pool life. open the ABC website

Kerri-Lee Harris