Bringing Pollinators Back to our Cities

By: Jake Slinger & Michael Fox

Pollinator Link® members Jake Slinger and Michael Fox discuss how a new citizen science project will help urban residents create wildlife-friendly gardens to benefit pollinators.

Domino Cuckoo Bee

Domino Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus lugubris). Image © Michael Fox

Pollinator Link® is a non-profit social enterprise working to create innovative and sustainable urban wildlife corridors. The concept is to use backyards, parks, school grounds and even unit block balconies to link patches of bushland habitat fragmented by our urban environment.

Our goal is to create a mosaic of wildlife-friendly gardens across urban landscapes to benefit our all-important pollinators.

Community education and engagement are at the heart of Pollinator Link®. Our research around environmental and community engagement factors has shown that learning about flora and fauna and the value of urban wildlife corridors are key motivators for people to engage in creating wildlife-friendly gardens.

Bringing the buzzzz back to Brisbane

In 2021, Pollinator Link® is launching a new Guardian Citizen Science project that will help Brisbane residents learn and discover new things about their backyard environment while providing valuable pollinator research data.

The aim of the project is to increase the abundance and diversity of solitary native bees in urban gardens. In short, bringing our native bees back to Brisbane.

To achieve this, we need citizen scientists to explore the foraging and nesting habits of our local solitary native bees.

One of the key research objectives for our participating citizen scientists is to identify local plant species visited by solitary bees. We encourage people to use the GroNATIVE app to find local native plants that will attract pollinators to their gardens.

How to get involved

Our Brisbane gardens can become a haven for our local pollinators with just 10 per cent of backyards representing 800 hectares of potential wildlife habitat.

But the good news is, you don’t need a large garden or backyard to become a citizen scientist and participate in our Pollinator Link® Guardian Citizen Science project.

Anyone with a backyard or balcony garden and a smartphone can participate and help bring our bees back to Brissy.

We particularly encourage young citizen scientists to get involved, have fun and learn about native plants and pollinators.

About the authors:

Michael Fox is the Director of Pollinator Link®.

Jake Slinger is a member of the Pollinator Link® team. Jake gained a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) from the University of Queensland in 2020 and is currently working on a bush regeneration project.

In 2019, Jake participated in Wildlife Queensland’s Student Placement Program, researching and writing an Environmental Management Plan for the Neil Holloway Reesville Nature Refuge, owned by the Wildlife Land Fund Ltd. Jake was recently awarded Wildlife Queensland’s Holly Bryant Award for the most outstanding work-integrated learning placement student for 2019-2020.

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