Mini beasts under the microscope

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DPIRD research officer Cameron Brumley checks for Mini Beasts with daughters Lucy and Paige. Picture: DPIRD

CITIZEN scientists in Yanchep and Gingin can take part in National Science Week and find out more about the many insects that call WA home.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) said the Mini Beasts Citizen Science Program runs from August 4-19 and everyone in is encouraged to get involved by reporting what they find.

When someone finds a Mini Beast, they can make report with the department’s easy-to-use MyPestGuideTM Reporter app.

The reports will be reviewed by expert entomologists and a response provided with information about the reported insect.

DPIRD development officer Laura Fagan said in addition to being a lot of fun, photographing and finding out more about the insects being submitted helped to protect the state’s biodiversity by identifying rare and endangered species.

It also assists in maintaining Australia’s enviable biosecurity status by revealing potentially damaging pests.

“Citizen science programs such as this are a fantastic way to collect meaningful data on what is and isn’t out there, so it’s important people get involved throughout Western Australia,” she said.

“It’s as easy as heading to your local park or bushland, looking around and exploring new Mini Beast habitats.

“Then take a photograph and send it in using the app.

An informative Mini Beasts Field Day will take place at Ozone Reserve, East Perth on Sunday, August 12 giving visitors a rare opportunity to join experts in the field for a hands-on experience with insects and the equipment used to study them.

On Tuesday, August 14 department senior research officer Darryl Hardie will give a talk on the role citizen science plays in understanding biodiversity at the City of Perth Library.

On Thursday, August 16 there will be a junior curator’s workshop.

Mini Beasts in My City is delivered by the Western Australian Museum, DPIRD, City of Perth and Murdoch University with support from the federal government’s inspiring Australia initiative.

To find out more and to register for these and other events, go to http://museum.wa.gov.au/museums/offsite/mini-beasts-my-city