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How you can help - bushfire recovery

 5 January 2020

Dear NatureMappers,

You are no doubt aware of the absolute devastation throughout NSW and beyond due to severe bushfires.

We have had some terrible news including the loss of Fiona Stewart's (the driving force behind the Budawang Coast Nature Map) home in Yatte Yattah, NSW. Fiona is thankfully OK, but the impact of the fires has really hit home.

I chatted briefly to Fiona today and in her own words which inspired me, this is exactly what we need to do:

"I think we should track the environment and the creatures as it seeks to heal itself."

In 2016, the ACT Government led by Dr Michael Mulvaney conducted a study of the effects of bushfire on terrestrial orchid species using NatureMapr to record and analyse the results of species recorded against a collection of stratified points within the ACT. The study was a huge success and today provides invaluable baseline intelligence that informs the ongoing hazard reduction burn activities within the ACT.

NatureMapr is uniquely placed as the trusted citizen science platform for the ACT and NSW South Coast. We can leverage this opportunity to monitor and report sightings of our important species as they recover in varying degrees of success from this catastrophic event.

This data will prove to be invaluable for future generations.

So if you notice a small orchid stem shooting up or a particular shrub or surviving animal species, it is critically important that you report the sighting via NatureMapr so we can continue to build up the best possible picture of what is happening to each and every species.

The information will be utilised by local government and future generations to learn as much as we possibly can about the recovery and impact on our important species following a devastating bushfire event.

Thanks for all that you do.


Illilanga wrote:
   6 Jan 2020
We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Fiona's home.

The devastation is catastrophic however Fiona's words are perfect.

As someone who was at the Good Good fire (Peak View) on Saturday, I saw first hand how hot that fire was in some areas and how it missed other areas completely. It is always heart wrenching for me to watch the landscape burn, knowing that there are potentially 1000s of species that we don't even know about within those ecosystems.

That being said, I also saw many raptors taking advantage of fire edges to hunt and hawk for food during the heat and smoke. Moments of joy amongst the devastation.

I agree that we now have an opportunity to track, via NatureMapr, how our amazing ecosystems recover and heal, learning as we go.

Take care everyone and above all stay safe,
Sandra (and Jeremy)
   9 Jan 2020
We have added a Watering Point group to the Maps>Points of Interest feature, which will be developed over the coming days and weeks to keep abreast of the location of water and feed points for wildlife. Mike Leggett, Chair BCNM. 9.1.2020

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