Issue 4
Monday, 28 May 2018
Charles Darwin University
E-news
An Arafura file snake was among the top sightings. Photo: Professor Sam Banks
An Arafura file snake was among the top sightings. Photo: Professor Sam Banks

NT researchers take top 10 spot in quest

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

Staff and students have battled it out with universities from across the globe to find out who has the best wildlife spotters, identifiers and photographers as part of the inaugural University bioQuest.

About 50 CDU participants went off the beaten track to record plants and animal species using a special app on their mobile phones.

CDU ranked in the top 10 overall, and placed a respectable sixth and seventh in categories of Top Spotters-Teams and Top Spotters-Universities.

Professor Jenny Davis, from the College of Engineering, IT and Environment, scooped the individual category of Best Find on Campus with her photo of a lizard, a swamplands lashtail (Gowidon temporalis) at Casuarina campus. Outstanding Professor Sam Banks’ image of an arafura file snake (Acrochordus arafurae) came 13th in the top sightings.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Erica Garcia said participants found many interesting and rare things on and off campus.

“It really highlighted how unique and diverse Australia, and particularly the Top End, is compared to the rest of the world,” Dr Garcia said.

The citizen science data collected as part of the competition will be made available for research via the Atlas of Living Australia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.