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16th December 2018
After as much data-cleaning and corrections as we could manage for now (thanks to Jim Lovell’s tireless efforts, most recently assisted by Sue Drake), Where? Where? Wedgie! statistician Joanne Potts is starting on a more intensive analysis of this year’s survey data. We'll hope to have more news on this in the next update. From her initial work she is happy with its quality, and is confident that our method is a goer at least for wedgies.
However - a key issue emerged this year: we need surveys more widely across Tasmania to get a representative indication of eagle numbers. Surveys were really patchy, with particularly few in the south-west - and also not many in the Midlands. See below on how we can address this!
The September Expos in Launceston, Burnie and Hobart provided a great opportunity to bring the specialist team together with all Where? Where? Wedgie! 2018 participants and others interested, to review what we’d achieved and explore plans for next year and beyond. Thanks for all the ideas everyone!
To encourage more participants who can survey widely across the state, there are two survey weekends in 2019 - 10-12 May and 24-26 May - hopefully more people will be able to manage at least one of these 6 days. But the options for where you do your survey are going to be a bit stricter!
We hope these changes will mean more surveys in the areas that were lacking this year.
(More information to come, but for those wanting details now: we’re increasing the number of regularly spaced ‘priority’ survey squares, but now only allowing bookings in these squares. A square will be marked as ‘fully booked’ once surveys have been booked for a total of three days - analyses so far indicate that’s what we need for the most reliable data).
With the help of ProofSafe, we’re also adjusting the datasheet, app and web data entry forms to make things easier and to reduce risk of any errors.
After the roaring success of Andrew Hughes’ Expedition Class with eagle researcher James Pay this year, we’re keen to establish an enduring schools programme associated with Where? Where? Wedgie! While Andrew will be travelling all over Australia next year with his Swag Family programme, James and Clare Hawkins are preparing 8 videos supporting our updated month-long course on national curriculum subjects relating to eagles and the survey.
If you haven’t done so already, sign up to NatureTrackers to get email updates and further information.
Surveyors - With the help of NatureTrackers website developer Doug Mutch, Clare is planning to have the new map up in January for you to peruse and, later on, book a square.
Teachers - New videos and updated lessons are expected to be complete and available for flexible use from 1st March 2019. There will be some class visit opportunities. Sign up to stay informed via the Nature Trackers email updates.
If you know anyone else who might be interested in joining in the survey - especially people fond of wilderness adventures or living in some of the less surveyed areas - please encourage them to sign up!
We’d also appreciate other volunteer help. Please get in touch if you might be…
Wishing you all the best for a great summer break. We’ll be in touch in January with the updated map.