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Bug Hunt

Our Work  |  Insects

OUR WORK

Join the Bug Hunt to help scientists keep track of bees, ants, snails and all sorts of other bugs across Australia!

Our Work  |  Bug Hunt

Bug Hunt

Gotta Snap 'em All!

Ever wondered what bugs are living in your garden or hanging out on a hike?

There are thousands of awesome native bugs to discover, as well as some non-native ones that we really want to find, to protect our communities from. When you take part in Bug Hunt you can satisfy your curiosity, be entertained, and learn along the way, and you don’t have to be an expert at all to identify your bugs!

After uploading your bug pics to the iNaturalist app, a clever photo identification algorithm and a community of experts and passionate bug-ologists (entomologists) will check out your uploads and identify what you’ve snapped – for FREE! Follow the below steps to take part.

We’re excited about the Bug Hunt and want you to get involved – make sure you register to hear the latest on what we find, as well as fun bug content and informative guides!

Taking part is easy!

Here's how Bug Hunt will work:

You can download it here for Apple devices:

"Apple

Or here for Andriod devices:

Google Play Store

Do this within the iNaturalist app, in the ‘Projects’ tab.

You can use your smart-phones to take pictures of bugs, then upload them to the app using the ‘Observe’ tab. Write what type of bug you think it may be, or submit your photo and let the experts do the identifying.

Subscribe for monthly email updates on the project and a chance to show off your finds on the leaderboards. We’ll send you fun bug content to support your Bug Huntin’ as well as highlights from the Bug Hunt around Australia.

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I'd also like to sign up to receive Feral Herald and occasional campaign updates from the Invasive Species Council

 

How to Download:

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How to identify:

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Keep an eye out for these insect invaders

Australia already has more than its fair share of harmful insects that are not native to the country but are causing massive harm to our native plants, animals and ecosystems. 

Invasive insects attack and kill our native animals, out-compete our native insects, carry diseases and attack our Australian plant species. 

We must do all we can to keep other invasive insects from entering Australia, and control and where possible eradicate those already here.

Browsing ant

Browsing ant

The browsing ant is a concerning ant from the Mediterranean region whose domineering supercolonies displace native ants.
Electric ant

Electric ant

A dreaded ant, the electric ant is under eradication from north Queensland, whose dense supercolonies dominate landscapes ecologically, displacing other…
Red imported fire ant

Red imported fire ant

A prolific stinging ant from South America that kills wildlife, stings people, pets and livestock, and causes many social and…
Yellow crazy ant

Yellow crazy ant

A highly invasive ant whose dense supercolonies dominate landscapes ecologically, displacing other insects and preying on small vertebrates as well.
Asian honeybee

Asian honeybee

An Asian honeybee established around Cairns that will compete with native pollinating insects and birds if it spreads widely.
Common eastern bumblebee

Common eastern bumblebee

A North American bee that competes with native bees and birds for nectar, and benefits weeds by pollinating their flowers.
Giant honeybee

Giant honeybee

A large Asian honeybee the giant honeybee will compete with native pollinating insects and birds.
Large earth bumblebee

Large earth bumblebee

A European bee, found in Tasmania but not on mainland Australia, it competes with native bees and birds for nectar,…
Red dwarf honey bee

Red dwarf honey bee

A small Asian honeybee, often intercepted at Australia’s ports, that will compete with native pollinating insects and birds.
Western yellowjacket

Western yellowjacket

This North American wasp is a serious predator of native insects.
Harlequin ladybird

Harlequin ladybird

The harlequin ladybird is a predatory Asian ladybird that has caused dramatic declines of various native ladybirds in Europe and…
Gypsy moth

Gypsy moth

The Gypsy moth is a Northern Hemisphere moth whose caterpillars defoliate trees in forests and farmland, causing devastation overseas.
Brown marmorated stink bug

Brown marmorated stink bug

The brown marmorated stink bug is a dreaded crop-ravaging pest from Asia that may also pose a threat to native…
Asian cycad scale

Asian cycad scale

A sap-sucking bug from Thailand that has driven cycads close to extinction on Guam and Taiwan.

Why is Bug Hunt so important?

Invertebrates (animals without backbones—think bugs, snails, and even starfish), are one of the most diverse and abundant groups of animals in
world. We have hundreds of thousand species of native invertebrates species, busy across Australia, pollinating, nutrient cycling, ecosystem engineering, and providing food for other native animals.
 
Unfortunately, there are also invertebrate species that have entered Australia from overseas; some of which are wreaking havoc on our biodiversity, natural landscape, communities, and agriculture we call these ones ‘invasive’. We know of other invasive invertebrate species from around the world have also been identified as particularly bad, if they were to arrive in Australia. We have an opportunity to use the activities of citizen science  groups of interested people who are bushwalkers, birdwatchers, regenerators, and others, out in the environment and looking at what is there. If this network of potential biosecurity investigators can be coordinated and data used by government agencies, Australia will enjoy an enhanced surveillance capability and potentially have an early warning system looking out for these damaging pests.
 
Invertebrates are usually small, and often tricky to find, and identify. Some of them are only out and about in very short periods over a year. All these things make recording, or surveying for particular invertebrates difficult. This also means that it’s hard to know where invasive invertebrates may have spread to across our large country.
 
Citizen scientists have alerted authorities of several high priority invasive invertebrates across Australia. For example, community reports of new outbreaks account for more than 70% of total detections of red imported fire ant nests in south-east Queensland.

Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]


Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]