Citizen scientists: keep your eyes peeled for Bogong Moths!
Posted on 29 October, 2020 by Jess
The Bogong Moth is a primary food source for the adorable (albeit not local) little marsupial, the Mountain Pygmy Possum. (We recommend googling photos of these little guys if you’re having a bad day!) Unfortunately, moth numbers have crashed in recent years, with flow on effects for the Mountain Pygmy Possum. To read more – click here
However, community members can help scientists understand what’s happening by reporting Bogong Moth sightings. To learn how to identify a Bogong Moth – click here
Associate Professor John Morgan from the Research Centre for Applied Alpine Ecology at La Trobe University says:
‘If you’re out in the field over the coming months and you see Bogong Moths, I’d really appreciate you uploading your observations (locality of sighting, with photo so we can get a positive ID).
There is incredibly poor data on where moths migrate from and where they return to. All Bogong Moths spend winter in the soil as larvae on the lowland plains (we think) before emerging and migrating to the high peaks to aestivate (avoid the summer heat). They then leave in mid- to late-summer to return to the plains to breed. We’re using citizen science to fill in some of the details but if you look at the data that is coming in, we still seem to be missing the lowland observations (although a bunch have turned up in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, attracted by the lights).‘
So, keep your eyes peeled, and if you see a small brown moth, take a photo and upload it to the Moth Tracker webpage. We’re sure any observations will be put to good use.