National assessment of climate-driven species redistribution using citizen science data
Recent climate-driven shifts in marine species distributions are widespread around Australia, however due to the rate at which they are occurring there are large gaps in available species occurrence data hindering our ability to document species range shifts. Citizen science initiatives like Redmap (redmap.org.au) are valuable sources of species occurrence data that could allow for the assessment shifts in species distributions around Australia. However, there has not yet been an Australia-wide systematic analysis to harness the potential of citizen science for this purpose.
This project will develop a report card assessing Australian marine species to determine species that have undergone recent changes in distribution, either shifting into each State, or into new areas within States. This report card will draw upon citizen science databases and use a robust decision tree analysis to outline which species are shifting, and with what degree of certainty. This project will: 1) draw upon citizen scientists to identify climate-driven changes within the Australian marine estate; and 2) communicate to and engage with the public on issues of climate change and biodiversity using their own citizen science information. The resulting assessment will inform researchers, resource managers, stakeholders and the general public of which marine species are undergoing redistributions in each region of Australia.