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Citizen Science

From time to time the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club is asked if members can send observations or carry out more active research into a topic about the natural world.

This page provides contact details and some descriptions for citizen science opportunities. They are listed in chronological order as they are received.

Evolutionary ecology of black rats, a super-invasive species

One of our members, Kawinwit Kittipalawattanapol, is currently undertaking PhD research into the impact of the introduction of black rats into Tasmania titled “Evolutionary ecology of black rats, a super-invasive species”. He is looking to collect additional black rat specimen from people’s culling efforts of black rats to supplement my landscape genetics study to understand their local adaptations and movements through time on mainland Tasmania.

If you are culling black rats in bushland habitats you are invited to save specimens for collection by Kawinwit (Ink) Kittipalawattanapol. 

The black rat is one of the world’s most destructive alien invasive species and is known to displace native small mammals in Tasmania. From camera images, 90% of all small mammal records are now comprised of black rats. Knowledge gaps are how the decline of the native apex predator, the Tasmanian devil, and the subsequent increase of feral cats, affects populations of black rats, and the impact that black rats have on native small mammals. The project will attempt to close these research gaps by addressing the following questions:

How does devil decline influence the ecological interactions amongst devils, feral cats, quolls, and black and native swamp rats?  What are the effects of environment and devil decline on gene flow in black rats?

The researcher will trap small mammals, particularly black rats, to collect genetic samples, with additional samples from the public to supplement the sample size, and use a landscape genetics approach to identify the factors that influence dispersal of black rats across the devil-decline gradient.

The project will increase the ecological knowledge of black rats in Tasmania, where they are understudied. Your contribution will greatly contribute to the conservation of native small mammals in Tasmania.

Contact Kawinwit for more information and if you have any questions.

Kawinwit (Ink) Kittipalawattanapol
School of Natural Sciences
University of Tasmania
Phone: +61 431 343 03

Posted 5 December 2021

Instructions for using iNaturalist

iNaturalist is used around the world to record observations of nature. It is widely used by citizen scientists.

Find out more here:

Here is a pdf of step by step instructions written by Clare Hawkins for using iNaturalist.

iNaturalist for the dubious

Added 24 September 2020

Nature Trackers website

Nature Trackers is the Bookend Trust's overall site of citizen science projects:

 Flame Robins Survey

Call for observations from Central North Field Naturalists.

To find out and to participate, visit:

BushBlitz Backyard Species Discovery

(Added 25 April 2020)

 Earthwatch Australia

(Added 25 April 2020)

 Save our Seabirds

Appeal from the Pennicott Foundation    l     Pennicot Foundation website

(Added 17 December 2018, updated 20 August 2019)

 Help to eliminate European Wasps from Mt Wellington Park

Recently while enjoying a walk on Mt Wellington, two of our members met one of the Park Rangers who was eradicating European Wasp nests. The Ranger requests that anyone who comes across a nest should contact him, and provide information on location of the next, by a GPS reading if available.

Wellington Park Ranger:

Ben Masterman


Phone: 6238 2976,  0408 517 534