Citizen Science Month:
Become a Pest Plant Reporter!
Why report pest plants?
There are well over 50 different invasive pest plant species in the Auckland region. If left, they spread to reserves and smother our native plants, which in turn negatively impacts native wildlife such as birds.
It’s important to report where these destructive pest plants are so we learn more about the size and location of the problem. After pest weeds are reported, volunteers, residents, community groups and Council can actively remove and control them.
Recognise and Report Pest Plants
Our aims for Citizen Science Month are to get as many people as possible to:
Learn how to identify pest plants
Use the Ecotrack app to report pest plants
Report as many pest plants as they can during the month (and beyond!)
Are you up for the challenge?
Read on to understand how you can contribute.
1. Learn how to identify pest plants
There are many ways to learn how to identify pest plants. During Citizen Science Month try these:
Taking photos and use the iNaturalist app (see below) - Recommended!
Borrow identification books from the Library
On-the-spot training and information from experts at our Citizen Science Month drop-in event (see our Facebook page for info).
Using iNaturalist to help identify plants
Use the app to help you recognise and identify species when you are out by uploading your photos.
The iNaturalist app has an auto-recognition feature to help you identify species, and the online community can confirm your selection.
2. Use the EcoTrack app to report pest plants
Before you start looking for pest plants:
Download the EcoTrack app
Register your details (name, email address, and home address) to begin adding weed reports
Once you can identify any of the pest plant types, get out there and look for them. Try to find and report as many as you can during Citizen Science Month.
When you find a pest weed:
1. Open the EcoTrack app
2. Tap on the ‘MAP’ button on the homescreen and check if there is a weed reported already at your location.
Look for circles with letters at your location. It may take a few moments for them to appear. You may also need to zoom in or move the map to the correct place.
3. If the plant has not been reported, tap the blue ‘ADD’ button, top right, and tap ‘Weed Instance’.
4. Fill out as much as you can.
The most important are the first 4. ‘Describe important details (precise location)’ is important because it helps others find the weed to control it. A street address is useful for this.
5. Change ‘Status of the weed when you left’ to ‘Reported’.
If you apply control to the plant or plan to, select another ‘Status’ option.
6. Before you save, select the ‘MAP’ tab and check the location is correct.
If it needs adjusting, tap the correct location to move the pink circle. You may need to zoom in and you can change the background by selecting the ‘MAP TYPE’ button.
7. Select ‘SAVE’ in the top right.
More detailed instructions can be found here: Report a pest weed User Guide
Or view the instructional video: Adding pest weed data in the EcoTrack app (link to YouTube)
3. Report as many pest plants as you can.
Some tips, throughout Citizen Month:
Start your search by looking around your property and backyard.
take a walk at least once a week (or as often as you can) around your neighbourhood or local reserve.
Remember to charge and take your phone with you on walks so you can add weed instances in EcoTrack.
Set yourself a target each week to find a certain pest plant or a total number of reports.
Keep an eye out for pest plants at all times, you never know when you might see them.
Get involved so we can make Kaipātiki Citizen Science Month the biggest citizen science project in Auckland!
Sign up now