NatureNow

First Ipswich Eco-Hunt had the community crawling for photographs

Plant and insect species never before recorded in the region were among those discovered during the first Ipswich Eco-Hunt.

The Ipswich Eco-Hunt competition ran for a month from early September with players required to take pictures of insects, animals and plants along White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate walking trails with the QuestaGame app.

Brassall community member Melinda Tagg, winner of the Best Find award for her photograph of the Rainbow Bee-eater bird, said the experience was a lot of fun for the whole family to get involved and spot animals.

“We’d wanted to go to White Rock for ages and the competition was a bit of encouragement, we did an 8km walk, I wasn’t expecting it to be that long but it was a lot of fun,” she said.

“We all spotted animals, Zara spotted a big Lace Monitor on a tree and in a bush and I spotted the Rainbow Bee-eater bird, it was a fair way a way but it was so bright you couldn’t miss it.

“We’d never seen the bird before, so we had to search it on the QuestaGame app by the description to figure out what it was.”

Ipswich City Council Environmental Education program officer Sienna Harris said the finds capped off a successful month-long event that had 621 sightings of 131 different species through the app.

“A fly species Lenophila Achilles, notable from its striped wing pattern, and a mistletoe species were both recorded for the first time in the region through the Ipswich Eco-Hunt,” she said.

“We had some great reptiles spotted throughout White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate including the Yellow-faced Whip Snake, the Bandy-bandy and the Sand Monitor.

“It reinforces the importance of this event in helping to map our local biodiversity.

“This data will be added to CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia but is also valuable to Council and our understanding of the biodiversity within our high-value conservation areas.”

A Golden Whistler spotted by one of the Eco-Hunt game players.

The winners of the inaugural Ipswich Eco-Hunt were;

  • Champion Spotter ‘AngryBlob’
  • Champion Identifier ‘leachy88’
  • Active Adventurer Prize Draw ‘Shutterfly1’
  • Most Valuable Player ‘MartyKate’
  • Clan Conquerer ‘CharleyCat’
  • Best Find (Rainbow Bee-eater) ‘Taggyfam’.

The winners take home a range of prizes, including two nights at Montville Country Cabins, Spicers Hidden Vale experiences, vouchers to outdoor supply retailers and handy field resources such as binoculars and local guidebooks.

To view the latest findings from the competition visit: https://questagame.com/ipswich.

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