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Citizen Science is a research and monitoring program driven by volunteers to raise awareness about our environment and wildlife in Western Australia. These volunteers are often highly skilled individuals who share a common interest in science and conservation.

CCWA's Citizen Science Program is designed to build capacity at a community level and to fill some of the important gaps in knowledge left by our governments, industries and research institutions. Outcomes from this will include improved local environmental knowledge, community empowerment in decision-making processes and an increased engagement with the natural environment.

The focus of Citizen Science is to build an understanding of actual biological responses to environmental changes, through long-term monitoring programs that are often not undertaken by Governments or private sectors.

The Citizen Science Program is directed and coordinated by Dr Nic Dunlop. His ongoing South West Fairy Tern Project began in 2013, which focuses on the recovery and breeding behaviours of the migratory Sternula nereis nereis (Australian Fairy Tern). The Australian Fairy Terns were classified as threatened in 2011 under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, due to the heavy impact of human activities along the coast on their breeding grounds.

Our collaboration between scientists, graduates, students, and local community activists helps Citizen Science and CCWA achieve amazing things.

Citizen Science Extra Content

Citizen Science Extra Content

In 2018, Citizen Science will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. Here are some of the amazing accomplishments the Citizen Science team has achieved over this period:

  • Developed the guide: Fairy Tern (Sternula Nereis) Conservation in South-Western Australia
  • Discovered a number of key WA environmental breakthroughs, such as:
    • how fugitive lead in Esperance is transferred through the environment;
    • the methyl-mercury contamination in Cockburn Sound;
    • and the presence of selenium contamination in the Albany waterways;
    • the extent to which road transport is spreading GM canola across our South West; and
    • the ways in which seabirds and bat communities are responding to climate change.
  • Collected vital information on the ecological outcomes of feral predator eradication on islands
  • Analysed the ecosystem development in re-vegetated farmland in the Gondwana Link and on the fauna of Bush Heritage Reserves
  • Developed and road-tested a fauna sampling training program to build community monitoring capacity in natural resource management
  • Assisted in the development of a management plan for an Indigenous Protected Area
  • Sampled more than 200 beaches to provide information on microplastic distribution across South West WA
  • Our recent microplastics project exposing microfibre pollution on the WA coast was even featured on Today Tonight!


Citizen Science Handbook

Fauna Sampling Manual

Fairy Tern (Sternula Nereis) Conservation in South-Western Australia

Gondwana Link: Monitoring & Evaluating the Outcomes of NRM Interventions