Last updated June 5, 2020 at 5:20 pm
A new set of stamps celebrates citizen science projects around Australia, and they’re available now.
Why This Matters: Putting citizen science front and centre.
We think they look great! Now you can rep science as you’re sending your snail mail.
Available online and in-store, the stamps each feature a different project.
QuestaGame is Australia’s original gamified citizen science app. Everyday legends photograph fauna, flora, and fungi around Australia, or identify other users photos. The results are verified by experts and added to databases such as Atlas of Living Australia. So far seven new species of spiders have been found using the game, and the wider biodiversity of Australia mapped. At least two invasive species have also been discovered, allowing biosecurity authorities to be alerted.
Butterflies Australia (Red)
Butterflies Australia is a project from Australian National University. Using an app, it encourages people to photograph and identify butterfly species. Not only does it increase our knowledge about native species, but will also help track invasive species around Australia.
Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri (Yellow)
Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri (We Study The Country). A collaboration between Ngandi Elders, Ngukurr People, Yugul Mangi Rangers and Macquarie University, the project blends ecological methods with traditional knowledge to study the ecosystem of south-eastern Arnhem Land. So far Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri has discovered new species, found populations of threatened species, worked to preserve wetlands, and recorded plants and animals in eight local languages.
Zika Mozzie Seeker (Blue)
Zika Mozzie Seeker by Queensland Health is a citizen science-based early warning system for disease-spreading mosquitoes. Everyday legends set up backyard mosquito egg traps, collect the eggs and then send them in for analysis. Scientists then study the genes to see if any eggs belong to Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus species, which are known to transmit several diseases including dengue and zika.
Raising awareness of citizen science projects around the country
According to Neil, the stamps themselves feature some firsts. The Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri stamp is the first one in Australia to feature the Kriol language – a hybrid indigenous language used across northern Australia. The Butterflies Australia stamp is also the first to portray a butterfly that is not an accurate picture depicting colour and wing shape.
The collection is part of a push to increase awareness of citizen science. A report by the Queensland Chief Scientist found that while over two-thirds of Queenslanders said they were interested in science, only 3% of survey respondents had heard the term ‘citizen science’.
The new stamps are on sale now for a limited time. And with them winging their way around the country, its hoped more everyday legends will get involved with some of the hundreds of citizen science projects around Australia.