Citizen science only a snap away

A quick photo on an iPhone could help capture valuable information on the local environment and contribute to a decade-long database of visual monitoring.

Fluker Posts first appeared in 2008, encouraging bushwalkers, local residents and visitors to take photos of particular locations, as part of a research program through Victoria University.

The Powlett River Mouth and Wreck Creek in Inverloch are the latest locations to join the Fluker Post program.

Matt Khoury is the Waterway Project Officer with West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA). He’s excited about the opportunity for the community to help with the study of the changing environment in these environmentally sensitive locations.

“Hopefully people will be intrigued by the Fluker Posts and take a photo from that location,” said Matt.

“There are instructions on the posts, explaining how you can upload the photos to a central website. Once you send in your first photo, you then receive more information about the project.

“Over the years, this website will obtain a huge number of photos that demonstrate the changes to these dynamic environments over time.”

The Powlett River Mouth regularly closes after periods of low river flows. This has a significant impact on landholders and the surrounding wetlands. Mr Khoury said having a database of photos would be an additional way of monitoring and tracking the long-term environmental changes.

A Fluker Post app is also available to download for free. The app allows people to take photos at the Fluker Post site directly from the app, as well as scroll through the existing photo collections on their phone.

Fluker Posts are in operation across the country, including iconic locations such as The Great Barrier Reef, the Great Ocean Road Walk and You Yangs Regional Park, as well as sixty rivers across Victoria and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas.

To find out more about the Fluker Post project, visit www.flukerpost.com. The Fluker Posts were supplied by EstuaryWatch Victoria.

For more information on the Powlett River visit www.wgcma.vic.gov.au/our-region/waterways/powlett-river-estuary

Matt Khoury with Fluker Post at Powlett River Mouth
Waterways Project Officer Matt Khoury with the Fluker Post at Powlett River Mouth
Matt Khoury with Fluker Post at Wreck Creek
WGCMA Waterways Project Officer Matt Khoury with the Fluker Post at Wreck Creek