Gardening for Wildlife

Citizen Science Project: Turning gardeners into conservationists

Do you want to help conserve native wildlife right in your backyard? Then this is the citizen science project for you!

About the Project

The University of Western Australia and Perth NRM have partnered to deliver the ‘Turning Gardeners into Conservationists’ project supported by the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia Science Engagement Programme. This three-year project will engage with citizens to research the potential benefits of wildlife friendly gardening for native wildlife and human wellbeing. The project will provide valuable new knowledge in urban ecology, build community capacity to contribute to conservation, and create a long-term wildlife monitoring database in gardens.

There are two key research aspects to this project that you can choose to be involved in:

  1. Ecological research: This aims to investigate whether wildlife friendly gardening has biodiversity benefits.
  2. Sociological research: This aims to investigate whether wildlife friendly gardening influences human wellbeing, including physical health, mental health and happiness.

Become a Citizen Scientist!

We aim to connect residents with the biodiversity in their gardens, raise awareness about our urban wildlife, and inspire an appreciation for nature and conservation within both city and natural landscapes. We are looking for as many participants as possible. We hope to work with citizens all over southwestern Australia!

What’s Involved?

Ecological Research
By taking part you will be trained in wildlife survey techniques to collect data on the wildlife found in your gardens and how they use wildlife friendly structures (e.g. bird baths, possum boxes, ponds etc.). This can occur over a relative short period of time (3 to 6 months) or you can monitor for the life of the project (approximately 18 months) – the choice is yours! All surveys will occur sometime between June 2022 and January 2024. A subset of residents will also have the opportunity to implement new wildlife friendly features in their gardens to see if this improves the biodiversity found on their property.

Sociological Research
In addition to taking part in the wildlife monitoring, we are looking for people to help us investigate whether engaging in wildlife monitoring and wildlife friendly gardening influences people’s happiness, mental health and physical health. By taking part in this aspect of the research, residents will complete a short questionnaire and semi-structured interview before and after undertaking the wildlife monitoring. These questionnaires and interviews would ask questions related to the resident’s current mental health, physical health, happiness and connection to wildlife. By completing these questionnaires and interviews before and after undertaking the wildlife monitoring, researchers can investigate the effects of engaging with conservation and wildlife on human well-being.

Register Now!

Recruitment of citizen scientists is open now!

Complete this short (~10 minute) survey to tell us how you want to be involved.

Take the Survey

Want to know more?

Please contact our Lead Researchers for more information.

  • Albany Based: Dr Bronte Van Helden, Research Associate, University of Western Australia [email protected]
  • Perth Based: Hannah Gulliver, Citizen Science Project Manager, Perth NRM [email protected]

Our Project Partners

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