Citizen Science: May Update

20th June, 2023

What species of wildlife will use wildlife-friendly garden structures? This is one of the big questions that our Turning Gardeners into Conservationists project is trying to find out!

Last month, we shared some updates about the new wildlife-friendly structures that participants have installed in their gardens. This month, we’re focusing on wildlife-friendly structures that citizen scientists already had in their gardens before the project began. After ten months of monitoring data for participant’s existing wildlife-friendly structures, we’re now able to share some amazing insights.

Citizen scientist Isabelle observed a wide variety of birds visiting their existing bird baths, including a Juvenile Red-Capped Parrot, Australian Ringneck Parrot, Willie Wagtail and Magpie-lark!

Nearly 80 species of wildlife have been identified making the most of the wildlife friendly structures in participants gardens! Here are some of the key stats:

  • Out of all the structures, bird baths were the most commonly used wildlife friendly structure, whilst bat boxes were the least used
  • Bird baths most commonly supported New Holland Honeyeaters
  • Bird boxes most commonly supported Striated Pardalotes
  • Frog hotels and ponds most commonly supported the Motorbike Frog
  • Reptile shelters most commonly supported Two-toed Earless Skinks
  • Possum shelters (including nest boxes and constructed dreys) most commonly supported the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum
  • While they are not the target wildlife for this project, invertebrates were often recorded using wildlife-friendly structures too!

In May, the project team also welcomed a new addition – Kitty Webb from the University of Bristol. Kitty has joined the team at UWA Albany to complete her Masters project, exploring the link between wildlife-friendly gardening and human health and wellbeing. Stay tuned for more details on Kitty’s work in the next monthly update!


Total diversity of wildlife species seen using existing wildlife-friendly structures

Mammals: 5
Birds: 57
Reptiles: 13
Frogs: 4

Percentage use of existing wildlife-friendly structures by target animals

Bird baths: 53%
Bird boxes: 20%
Frog hotels: 6%
Ponds: 45%
Reptile shelters: 28%
Possum shelters: 27%

The ‘Turning Gardeners into Conservationists’ project is proudly delivered by UWA and Perth NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia Science Engagement Programme. We thank our 15 project partners who collaborate with us on this project. See our project webpage for a list of our wonderful project partners.

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