Header: NatureSpot


Contribute to catalogue biodiversity data in our city!

NatureSpot is open for community contributions throughout summer (Nov 2020 - Jan 2021). Keep on spotting!

Ladybird Bird NatureSpot Bottlebrush

Take some time to observe and connect to nature and tell us what plants and animals live in your neighbourhood! Snap a photo and contribute to citizen science from your backyard, balcony or during your daily walks.

In the 2019-20 NatureSpot survey, we recorded 21 species previously never recorded in Port Phillip, including some from private gardens! Your contribution will help the EcoCentre create a species dataset to protect and enhance our urban biodiversity. 

NatureSpot data collection takes place across inner southern Melbourne suburbs (map(South of the Yarra River from Port Melbourne to Caulfiled East). Plus anyone is welcome to submit observations from nearby areas.

NatureSpot Spring Survey results are in!

The 2020 Spring survey ran from 21 September to 25 October 2020. 279 spots, 173 fauna, 120 flora and 6 fungi were submitted by citizen scientists over five weeks!  See a snapshot of flora and fauna recorded here.

Our next seasonal survey will be in early winter May 2021 - stay tuned! 

The NatureSpot project 2020-21 is funded by the Australian Government Communities Environment Program.

How to take macro zoom photos

How to record your NatureSpot

Grow Wild! Habitat garden brochure

We made a gardening brochure to help you design and select plants to create a habitat garden in your backyard, balcony or school. Increasing habitat in private spaces will help create a little safe haven for insects, birds, frogs and other animals living in our city as they move around urban parks and reserves. Grow plants that provide shelter, food and breeding sites to support the health of our urban biodiversity. Design a garden with various habitat structures or start with flowers and climbers for small spaces.

Download 'Grow Wild': Guide to native plants for backyard biodiversity


Port Phillip NatureSpot - November 2019 to June 2020

Thank you all citizen scientists who contributed to the Port Phillip NatureSpot biodiversity survey! A total of 692 ‘spots’ were submitted by 172 citizen scientists during the course of the project. From your photos, we verified 114 fauna and 75 flora species, including 17 insects and 4 spiders that were recorded in Port Phillip for the first time. This is very exciting for us as it highlights the effectiveness of citizen science in cataloguing valuable local environmental data. Read the full report and list of species here.

About Port Phillip NatureSpot

The EcoCentre is collaborating with CrowdSpot to partner with City of Port Phillip to bring you ‘NatureSpot’ — an exciting chance for you to be part of collecting important information about the creatures and plants that call our City home. Anyone can survey flora and fauna from your backyard, balcony or take a walk along the block to gather data and get the benefits of nature connection. Do it at various times to see different critters – you might see bats or possums at night, many birds during the day and don’t forget the insects and plants. Slow down to notice the small things on ground level, in a shrub or above in a tree, you might find a delightful surprise! Snap a photo and record your sightings online to help us gather information which will be used to enhance and protect biodiversity in the City of Port Phillip. 

Why it's important

Council is currently developing a biodiversity plan to create and maintain habitats for animals, including food sources and corridors where they can travel around safely. But first we need to know what plants and animals already visit and live in our city so we know what to protect. With 75% of land in our city privately held, we need your help to tell us what animals and plants you have in your backyard and your neighbourhood. 

Cities play a vital role in biodiversity conservation and management. Opportunities to connect with nature in our city play an important role in our health and wellbeing and make Port Phillip a great place to live and can contribute to effective climate change adaptation actions.

Purple swamphen

Across 2019 and 2020, the EcoCentre will work with community through 6 days of NatureSpot activities, two school audits, and home surveys to methodically collect spatial location (ie ‘pin drop’) records of fauna species abundance and habitat usage at 6 different locations.

Public NatureSpot activities will survey foreshore, parkland, streets, schools, and private properties. Port Phillip is lucky to have existing fauna surveys undertaken in some areas, therefore site selection will focus on aspects of the city with data gaps. Survey tools will be suitable for all ages and will partner with local amateur naturalists. Our survey method is compatible with Victoria’s ResourceSmart Schools Biodiversity Audit to maximise opportunities to partner with schools for surveys.

Interested in joining the team or learning more about NatureSpot? Fill in your details below and we'll be in touch closer to the dates. Whether you have extensive plant and animal ID skills or can't tell a tawny frogmouth apart from a thorny rose bush, we'd love to have you on board!

      DELWP Logo

The Port Phillip NatureSpot (November 2019 - June 2020) was proudly supported by the City of Port Phillip and funded through the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Caring for Our Local Environment grant program.

Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.