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9 May 2020 (updated 14 May & 22 May)
We've had to postpone the 15-17 May surveys to 19-21 June. You'll have some questions...
With Peter Gutwein's announcement on Friday 8th May, it became clear that we won't be able to access large chunks of Tasmania on 15-17 May. An essential aspect of Where? Where? Wedgie! is broadscale coverage all across the state, covering all common environmental conditions. We don't want to miss conditions that exist extensively across the state, far from where we live, where eagles might be exceptionally common or rare - this could translate to quite inaccurate results.
In the absence of new outbreaks, we should be able to move freely around Tasmania after 15 June. For this reason, the first weekend is now postponed to 19-21 June.
We are retaining the 29-31 May weekend, and we have now (22 May) been informed that for the purposes of Where? Where? Wedgie!, as long as we follow strict protocols, we are permitted under the COVID19 restrictions to survey anywhere in the state that we can access without camping in National Parks and reserves. We are currently preparing these protocols to put in the DropBox folder on the Prepare page, and emailing all signed-up NatureTrackers.
For those of us doing the 19-21 June survey, an adventurous survey involving camping will be an especially valuable contribution! (ie booking a golden square as remote, and as far off from any other booked squares, as we can safely and enjoyably manage).
We'll have a practice run near home on 15-17 May - have a go on the app, share some photos, and let's see what we can spot!
These decisions weren't made lightly. If we change the survey dates too substantially, we approach eagle breeding season. The birds will be behaving in a different way, which may affect how likely we are to spot them in ways that we can't allow for statistically. Surveying volunteers might also be encouraged inadvertently to disturb the birds at a very sensitive time.
Perhaps you've wondered in the past - May might seem like an odd time to survey with short days - why not summer? We wanted to avoid the many swamp harriers in Tasmania at other times. This is the species that can at a distance be most easily confused for eagles.
Doug the developer has now changed all the 15-17 May bookings to 19-21 June over the next few days.
We hope very much that you'll still be just as keen and able to do your survey (we're certainly busting to get out there!). If you need to change anything:
Watch out for the next update, for details of exactly how much fun we'll have on 15-17 May during our practice run - suggestions warmly welcome!
Enjoy the last of the online Zooms - live, FREE, interactive, unrecorded: there are still a few more days to enjoy these online meetings and webinars. They've been going really well. It's been wonderful to engage with everyone, young and old:
2. 5.30 pm (45 mins; for general public). This link also includes details of online ProofSafe workshops happening this weekend, 9-10 May.
...or suggestions for exactly how to make the most of 15-17 May? Contact us on email@example.com
And let's all continue to stay super-safe and minimise the risk of any additional outbreaks that might slow us down further. An eagle’s wingspan apart - at typically 2.2 m - will keep us easily be beyond the official limit!