IT seems many of us have taken up a ribberting new hobby during lockdown - citizen science projects.
Australian Museum citizen science projects FrogID and DigiVol's Wildlife Spotter have broken new records during the pandemic, as people become involved from their homes and backyards.
The FrogID program has recorded more than 200,000 validated frog records. The incredible milestone was reached with the recording of the threatened Red-crowned Toadlet (Pseudophryne australis), documented by a citizen scientist in southern Sydney named Tom.
Frogs are one of the planet's most threatened groups of animals and are often an indicator of environmental health. FrogID is a citizen science project that enables anyone to record and upload frog calls, along with time and location data, using a free app. More than 30,000 people across Australia are currently registered.
The program's chief scientist Jodi Rowley said it was incredible they have been able to achieve such a milestone since launching the app just under three years ago.
"The data collected from these recordings will help us understand the distribution, habitat and conservation needs of this incredibly significant animal group, as well as monitor the health of our ecosystems," Dr Rowley said.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has helped us reach this exciting milestone and encourage even more people to get involved by downloading the free app."
DigiVol's Wildlife Spotter project has also seen a huge increase in activity. This program engages citizen scientists in identifying wildlife in camera trap images from across Australia, without leaving home.
This year, citizen scientists have transcribed nearly 2.4 million animal identifications in images on DigiVol's Wildlife Spotter.
In June alone, volunteers completed more than 500,000 transcriptions. This information will help Australian researchers monitor and protect Australia's wildlife.