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Wildlife Spotter is an online citizen science project

An emu stares into the camera
Are you looking at me? Credit: Wildcount, National Parks and Wildlife Service

Australia is a vast country. Researchers have set up automatic cameras that are snapping wildlife day and night. Now we need your help to analyse the millions of photographs captured in tropical rainforests, the dry rangelands, and around our cities.

From emus to superb lyrebirds, from bettongs to bandicoots, from brush turkeys to Tassie devils, and even feral cats and foxes—scientists want to know which species are roaming both in the wild and in urban areas.

The research will help answer questions including: how many endangered bettongs are left; how well native predators like quolls and devils are competing with cats for food; and how common are common wombats.

So join in and help save threatened species and preserve Australia’s iconic wildlife! 

As well as helping us understand living Australia, you could win a Go Pro Hero 4. And school groups win a visit from Dr Karl.

How to get involved

You don’t need to register to take part in Wildlife Spotter but there are definite advantages to doing so….

  • You’ll be able to keep track of the number of images you process.
  • You only need to provide a few details to register and those details, and your privacy, are secure.
  • You can choose which research project you do images from.
  • Schools can sign up as a group – an adult just needs to register for the group.
  • You’ll be automatically entered into the competition once you’ve processed 10 images – and you’ll get another competition entry for every 10 images you do. (Please note: the competition is only open to Australian residents)

Start classifying

The projects

There are 6 different research groups with images in Wildlife Spotter. 

  • Bandicoots in south-central Victoria
    A pocket of threatened bandicoots are thriving in the suburbs. Help monitor their population and keep an eye on their predators.
    Find out more
  • Marsupials in Tasmania
    Being separated from the mainland is a blessing for Tassie’s small marsupials! Help scientists by spotting bettongs, bandicoots, potoroos and quolls.
    Find out more
  • Northern bettongs in far north Queensland
    Australia’s rat-kangaroo is a rare marsupial. Help scientists work out how many of this threatened species are left.
    Find out more
  • Animals in NSW
    How many wombats, pademelons, kangaroos, foxes and other animals are out there? We simply don’t know! Help the ‘Wildcount’ scientists find out.
    Find out more
  • Northern Territory’s arid zone
    Counting animals at waterholes in Watarrka National Park and the desert in Kata Tjuta National Park will help scientists manage these biodiversity hotspots.
    Find out more
  • Managing Malleefowl
    How often are foxes visiting the native malleefowl’s large mound nest of earth and decomposing leaf litter. And how can we help keep them safe?
    Find out more

The competition

Once you’ve processed 10 images you’re eligible to enter the competition to win a GoPro camera, valued at $679 .  You’ll get an additional competition entry for every 10 images you process – so the more you do the higher your probability of winning!

There is a separate prize for school groups  – one school will win a visit from Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AND a GoPro cameras, valued at $679.

Again school’s will get one competition entry for each 10 images they process.

Please note: the competition is only open to Australian residents.

>More on the competition

Keep going!

You can come back anytime to process more images and we’d love it if you do!


We are committed to making Wildlife Spotter usable by all people, whatever their abilities or disabilities. To achieve this we strive to comply with the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and the Australian Government’s Digital Services Standard (DSS).  For more details read the ABC’s Accessibility Statement.

We recognise there are currently some issues with this compliance and are working to rectify them.

The teamquoll

Wildlife Spotter is an online citizen science project undertaken by ABC Science for National Science Week in collaboration with the Australian Museum, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Charles Darwin University, the NSW Office of Environment, Saving our Species, World Wide Fund for NatureJames Cook University, Queensland Government and Deakin University.

We’re taking a crowd-sourcing approach to science by asking regular folk to get involved and help the scientists with their research work.

This crowd-sourcing approach is called ‘citizen science’ – it’s about using the power of the people to increase the breadth of science by gathering or processing information important to a scientific project.

>More on the science

Project produced by Kylie Andrews (ABC)
Technical production by Bitcraft
Design by Julie Ramsden (ABC) 
Wildlife Spotter was funded under the Inspiring Australia program.