Citizen science – wildlife monitoring

Council needs your help as citizen scientists to track populations of fauna in the Inner West such as birds, microbats, and long-nosed bandicoots.

Fairy Wren by David Noble

Birds in Backyards
Winter Survey

Connect with the birds in your backyard, local park, school or favourite places.

Birds in backyards

Black faced, white through and cinnamon underparts bird with long beak standing on a branch
Photo: David Noble, Eastern Spinebill

More than 140 species of birds have been recorded in the Inner West. Threatened species, such as Powerful Owl, and migrants, including the Channel-billed Cuckoo, also spend time in the Inner West. A number of species not usually seen in the Inner West were seen here in the summer of 2019/2020 due to drought and bushfires in other parts of the state.

Birds in Backyards is a citizen science program developed by Birdlife Australia that focuses on the birds that live where people live. Connect with the birds in your backyard, local park, school or favourite place by participating in Birds in Backyards.  The data provides an insight into how Aussie birds are doing in the Inner West.

It's Winter survey time right now.  Check out the webpage for more details. 

Just one 20-minute survey each quarter provides vital information. Getting started is easy:

  • Register for a Birdata account
  • Familiarise yourself with the instructions or watch the video
  • Log on to Birdata on the app or website and submit your Birds in Backyards survey. 

Listen to the Birds of the Inner West podcast to learn more about our local birds.


Tempe Birdos

Group of people holding binoculars and laughing in Tempe Lands area
Photo: Virginia Niven.

Tempe Birdos are a community group that conduct surveys every month at Tempe Wetlands and Reserve, an Inner West priority biodiversity area. Tempe Birdos have recorded 120+ bird species since monthly surveys began in September 2011.

Join in to learn more about your local birds and contribute to an important citizen science project that provides information on bird diversity and population trends over time.

Meet on the second Saturday of the month, 7:30am at Tempe Lands, Water Basin 1, near South St and Station Street, Tempe. BYO mug and stay for morning tea afterwards! 

Make an inquiry about volunteering with Tempe Birdos

You can also contact the group and check out the latest sightings by visiting the Tempe Birdos Facebook page.

Olive colour little bird with white biddy eye standing on a branch Black and white Willy Wag tail bird holding a butterfly in his peak Two small birds, male (blue on top, chicks, back and tale) and female (pink bick and around eyes) standing on a branch 
Photos: David Noble, Silvereye (left),Willie Wagtail (centre) and Mark Malone, Superb Fairy-wren (right)

GreenWay Birdos

GreenWay birdos group of people standing amongst the bush ready to do birdwatching
Photo: Courtesy of Inner West Environment Group / Greenway birdos

GreenWay Birdos are a community group that meet fortnightly along the GreenWay alternating between Dulwich Hill and Hawthorne Canal. They conduct surveys of birds in the local area and including bushcare sites. Their survey data is made publicly accessible in the Atlas of Living Australia and is used to help protect biodiversity in the Inner West. Download the Birds of the GreenWay photo guide to learn how to recognise birds in your area!

Dulwich Hill Chapter
Meet at Waratah Mills Light rail outbound platform at 7:30am, fourth Saturday of the month. The route travels along Western street, Fred Street and Victoria Street back to the station. Catch us up if you're running a bit late. Finish around 9am

Hawthorne Canal Chapter
Meet at Taverners Hill Light rail station outbound platform at 7:30am, second Wednesday of the month. The route travels along the Canal to Richard Murden Reserve, to Loftus Street bushcare site and finishes at the Leichhardt North Light Rail.

To get involved or for more information about GreenWay Birdos, contact or just turn up!

Everyone is welcome! Binoculars available. Stay for a coffee afterwards.

GreenWay Birdos GreenWay Birdos Red wattle bird eating from a banksia flower branch
Photos: Courtesy of Inner West Environment Group, New Holland Honeyeater (left), Tawny Frogmouth (middle), Wattlebird (right). 

Can you spot the Tawny Frogmouth in the second picture?


Woman(Jodi Rowley) smiling and holding a mobile with a green frog on top of it 
Photo:Australian Museum

In 2020, four frog species were recorded in the Inner West as part of the Australian Museum’s FrogID project. These included the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog, Peron's Tree Frog, Striped Marsh Frog and Common Eastern Froglet. Frogs are indicators of environmental health and monitoring them could alert us to water quality issues or habitat loss.

You can find out which frogs live in your backyard or local wetland with the FrogID app and by listening to the Frogs of the Inner West Podcast

Download the FrogID App for iOs or Android and start finding frogs in your local area.   


Microbat monitors

Llarge bent-wing bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis). Ken Stepnell
Photo: Ken Stepnell/NSW DPIE, Large Bent-wing Bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis)

Did you know that the Inner West is home to tiny flying mammals? They keep to themselves - you won’t hear them and you probably won’t see them. But they are active after dark, eating vast numbers of insects and keeping our pests under control.

  • Seven species of microbats have been recorded by Council in the Inner West including Large Bent-wing Bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis), Fishing Bat (Myotis macropus) and Gould’s Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus gouldii)
  • Microbats are much smaller than their larger relatives, the Grey-headed Flying Fox, which most people are familiar with
  • Large Bent-wing Bat, Little Bent-wing Bat, Fishing Bat and Grey-headed Flying Fox are threatened species.

How to protect microbats:

  • They need a safe place to live – such as caves, storm water pipes, tree hollows, under bark, cracks in posts or dried palm leaves. They are fussy and require just the right conditions. You can help by:
  • minimising lighting outdoor areas and your backyard at night. 
  • conserving trees with hollows on your property
  • using wildlife-friendly fruit netting and fencing (no barbed wire) 
  • If you find an injured bat, contact WIRES by phoning 1300 094 737 or Sydney Wildlife by phoning 9413 4300
  • Never touch bats. Flying-foxes and microbats can carry a virus that is harmful to humans. Although very few are believed to carry the virus, do not take any risks.

How to get involved:

  • The Inner West Microbat Monitors is a supervised citizen science group that meets periodically for sunset surveys to collect data using high frequency recorders

Make an inquiry about Microbat Monitors

2021 dates to be confirmed.

Bandicoots in backyards

Long-nosed bandicoot
Photo: M. Jekabsons

Native Long-nosed Bandicoots (Perameles nasuta) were discovered in the suburbs of Dulwich Hill, Lewisham and Petersham over ten years ago but the Inner West population is now endangered.  These small marsupials survive by living under people's homes and in backyards and help control grubs and pests in the garden. 

We need your help to record where they're found! 

Signs to look for

  • A mammal the size of a small rabbit with a long nose and short tail
  • Distinct hopping movements not scurrying movements like rats and mice
  • Small conical holes (the size of a fifty-cent coin) made by bandicoots when they dig for food

Example of a conical hole dug by a bandicoot, next to a 50 cent coin for comparison
Photo: A. Ward

How to protect bandicoots

  • Keep cats and dogs indoors from dawn to dusk
  • Avoid using insecticides and poison baits in your garden
  • Make your backyard bandicoot-friendly: visit the Backyard Buddies website to find out how
  • If you find an injured bandicoot, contact WIRES by phoning 1300 094 737 or Sydney Wildlife by phoning 9413 4300

How to report sightings

  • Report sightings to Council's urban ecology team and tell us:
    • What you saw (e.g. Long-nosed Bandicoot, diggings)
    • The location where you saw it (street name, suburb and if the sighting was in a park, backyard or other)
    • What time and day you saw it
    • Include a photo if you can and if reporting by email


    Submit a Bandicoot sighting

Native Wildlife Rescue

Native animals are part of our urban landscape and are exposed to accidents, injuries and sickness. These animals require specialist handling and MUST be assessed and rescued by trained wildlife rescuers. There are some options for Inner West residents, if you are unsure contact your local vet or one of the organisations below.

  • NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES). A not-for-profit charity providing native animal rescue services through a network of volunteers. WIRES is the largest wildlife rescue organisation in Australia, and is licensed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Their webpage includes information on current issues and contact details for their wildlife rescue call centre.
  • Sydney Wildlife. A not–for–profit charity licensed by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. They rehabilitate and release sick, injured and orphaned native animals and educate the community, at all levels, about the need to protect our native animals and to preserve their habitats.

Rate this page

  • Rate as The content was useful88.46% The content was useful votes
  • Rate as The content was not useful11.54% The content was not useful votes

Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

Page last updated: 10 Jun 2022