Saturday, December 18, 2010
February 14, 2010
If you care about saving our koalas, as I do, you will be very interested in a new website – http://www.koalatracker.com.au. Judy and I accepted an invitation to attend the launch in Noosa this week.
Koalatracker.com.au is founded entirely on the premise of participation. It is a hub for koala carers and the community at large - to join in the conversation, to share photos and stories and, importantly, sightings.
Its initial member project, Project Location - Koala Sighting Census, is a first in terms of integrating technology with community engagement to record the occurrence of a single species in Queensland. It introduces world-leading GIS technology from ESRI Australia to plot the points of koala sightings contributed by members of the public on a dynamic map. It’s such a simple concept, I don’t know why it hadn’t been thought of earlier.
I can see that the site will empower individuals and groups not already involved in koala conservation efforts, but want to be, and also validate the efforts and concerns of those who are. As the site compiles more and more data the koala conservation community, in particular, will have at their disposal a very powerful presentation on what’s really going on with our koalas.
The information gathered is available to all members - including government agencies and other stakeholders - to assist with policy making, programs and activities such as scientific research.
The site sets a great precedent – I am hopeful that we might be able to follow its lead with similar efforts for cassowaries and the southern hairy-nosed wombat too.
Please join so that you too can participate. If you are a carer, note that there is a national koala carers’ forum on http://www.koalatracker.com.au, and we recommend that too.