At the www.naturbeobachtung.at website, all nature lovers can record sightings of both known and common, but also rare and threatened, animals and plants using a simple entry template. This asks, who, where, when, what and how many animal or plant species were seen. You have the option to add more detail to your discovery (e.g. more precise information on the place of discovery, entry of the coordinates or the time of observation) or also upload a photo as proof. These photos are often necessary, as the phrase “a photo is worth a thousand words” applies to insects as well and it simplifies subsequent identification for experts. As soon as an observation on open land is entered, it is immediately visible in various parts of the entry website: as “Most recent discoveries” on the homepage, as an entry under “Latest discoveries”, as a point on a map (of Austria) or in a clearly laid out table of photos.
In principle, you can record all species of animals and plants on naturbeobachtung.at. However, some groups are “in focus”. We and our partners put these at the centre of our interest because, at the moment, we want to know more about their appearance.
These currently include, for example, butterflies (“Abenteuer Faltertage” project with 215 butterfly varieties and another 120 moth varieties), birds (425 types), amphibians (“Frosch im Netz” project, 20 species), bumblebees (“Bienenschutzfonds”, 46 varieties), mammals (84 species, project partnership with Biologiezentrum Linz), reptiles (14 species, project collaboration in Styria with the Austrian Herpetology Society (ÖGH)) and beetles (currently 160 types – continuously being expanded). Dragonflies were also added in 2017.
The main thing about these “focus species” is that they are followed by experts, e.g.:
We are striving to include as many of these groups of species – with scientific oversight – as possible on naturbeobachtung.at in the future. If you are interested in getting involved in recording other groups of species, please get in touch!
A particular feature of naturbeobachtung.at is the active discussion forum. This is where users can communicate with other nature lovers, show off their most beautiful photos of nature and ask experts for help with identification. There are currently more than 30 specialists from a wide variety of fields in zoology, botany and mycology using the website. They not only write species characteristics and help to answer questions on identification, but also ensure the accuracy of the data collected on naturbeobachtung.at by regularly checking the discovery reports.
All of the entries on naturbeobachtung.at will be checked by our experts. All entries with a photo can be seen in a table and this is where experts can also verify the findings using a traffic light system (green – okay, yellow – uncertain/not yet proven, red – incorrect report). The data forms the foundation of current research and nature conservation projects, as, for example, there was a study on painted lady butterflies and a field study on gophers that drew on data from naturbeobachtung.at.
5,850 registered users
356,000 discoveries recorded
124,000 forum contributions