The Coastal Walkabout Project will go live later this year! This new innovative citizen science initiative provides community members the opportunity to easily gather and share observations of coastal marine and estuarine wildlife. Read more about Coastal Walkabout here.
It has finally arrived. The final phase of preparation of Coastal Walkabout before the project is launched later this year. I (Shona, Honours student at MUCRU) have been given the opportunity to test the Coastal Walkabout smart-phone app in the Kimberley, and would like to share this experience with you. I will be joining my friends George Swann and Richard Costin at Kimberley Whale Watching Cruises on board the MV Odyssey for their Cetaceans and Seabird Expedition Cruise. Along with the crew and participants of Kimberley Whale Watching Cruises, they have been recording the behaviour and markings on cetaceans and recording birds extensively on their cruises and are firm believers in citizen science. We will be exploring the Dampier Peninsular and as far north as Adele Island.
The specific aim of my participation in this expedition is to trial our new Coastal Walkabout “app”. I will be testing its capability and ironing out the remaining “bugs” in the system before we make the “app” readily and freely available later this year.
This trip will explore a pristine part of Western Australia’s coastline which is abundant with unique wildlife. Common species that we expect to encounter include Salt Water Crocodiles, Green Sea Turtles, Sea Eagles and Humpback Whales. Seabirds such as the Lesser & Greater Rrigatebird, Osprey, the Black and Common Noddy, Sooty & Bridled Tern, and the Masked, Red-footed & Brown Booby are a regular sight in the part of the Western Australian coast. We will be looking out for Dwarf Spinner Dolphins and Snubfin Dolphins. Other common cetaceans in this region include, Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Short-finned Pilot Whale and Risso’s Dolphin.
This trip will travel through the heart of the Kimberley and showcase a display of various cetaceans and seabirds along with other exotic wildlife. In the fashion of Coastal Walkabout, any journey exploring the Western Australian estuarine and marine environment is a journey shared amongst everyone in this community. This September, I invite you to join me…follow me on this blog, follow me on twitter (@latossfika), follow Kimberley Whale Watching on Facebook. What makes this a unique citizen science project is the 2-way communication that Coastal Walkabout prides itself on … Stay connected with me on social media leading up to this trip and the scattered connection I will have on the trip – send me messages, challenge me to look for your favourite species.