By Rowan Jennion
President of Friends of Koolunga Native Reserve
Citizen science resulted in the very first photos of a living Galbodema mannerheimii beetle after all previous photos were from museum collections.
These photos were taken at Koolunga Native Reserve in Ferntree Gully in January 2021, but only identified by insect experts at the end of 2022. While the intricate antennae give the beetle an interesting look, it doesn’t yet have a common name.
Citizen science is where any member of the community participates in scientific research by submitting a photo or other recording to one of the scientific databases. This is easily done with the iNaturalist mobile phone app or website which contributes observations to the Atlas of Living Australia database after being verified by multiple people.
Other interesting observations in Koolunga Native Reserve include the Broad-finned Galaxias fish and Short-finned eel in the creek, the White-browed Scrubwren and Powerful Owl in the bush sections and Imperial Blue butterfly and Australian Emerald dragonfly among the native grasses.
The Friends of Koolunga Native Reserve have been contributing to citizen science with many observations of native species in the reserve as well as supporting other community members who want to get involved.
Ferntree Gully News would like to congratulate Rowan on being recognised for Sustainability Leadership as part of the 2023 Knox Australia Day Awards.