Melbourne Sea Slug Census

Sea Slug Census 2019

Underwater Census Suggestions

  1. Photos for the census are to be taken within Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay and surrounds, between 00:01 am Friday 4 October 2019 – 23:59 Monday 7 October 2019.
  2. Send in one photo for each species of sea slug you encounter on census weekend. You don’t need to identify the slugs (although please do if you can), take their photos!
  3. Photos should be cropped around the slug, shrunk to around 640×480 pixels, and submitted by email or dropbox to by Sunday 13 October.
  4. Emails should include the names of everyone involved in capturing the image and details of the location where photos are taken. If you collect images at more than one site, please indicate which photos were taken at which dive site.
Melbourne Sea Slug Census 2019

For a picture to be considered, it must be named as Photographer_Name_Location_Sea Slug name (if known)_Date

History of the Census

Created in 2013 by researchers at Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre.

Now at least 10 locations in Eastern Australia taking part, plus 1 in Indonesia. There are around 50 individual Censuses held across these sites to date. The first Melbourne Sea Slug Census was April 2018. The October 2019 Census will be the fifth held in Melbourne.

Citizen scientists submit photos of sea slugs they find when they are out and about over the weekend, along with date and location, and the species in these images are identified by nudibranch experts (Robert Burn of Museums Victoria, Matt Nimbs and Steve Smith of Southern Cross Uni).

This data Reef Watch to map out occurrence and diversity of sea slug species in an area (e.g. Port Phillip Bay), as well as contributing to the larger Sea Slug Census Project, which has identified range shifts of species impacted by declining water quality/climate change.

The Melbourne Sea Slug Census project has helped uncover the range expansion of at least one species into Port Phillip Bay, and a photo taken in the inaugural Census is probably of a new species.


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