Mr Mark McGrouther1
1Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia
Citizen scientists are making a significant contribution to our documentation of species range shifts. The iNaturalist website, run by the California Academy of Sciences, contains more than 14 million observations of ‘life’ that have been uploaded by over 400,000 people. Australasian Fishes is an iNaturalist project that started in October 2016 and accepts observations of fishes from Australia and New Zealand. Over 40,000 observations have been uploaded. This growing dataset has documented over 80 occurrences of fishes found outside their recognised distributions. These are mostly tropical and sub-tropical species found south of their previously agreed limits of distribution. The large dataset associated with the Australasian Fishes project is easy to download for use by the general public, students, researchers and decision makers. The project is at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/australasian-fishes.
Before retiring in 2018, I worked as the Ichthyology Collection Manager at the Australian Museum for 37 years. I am now an Australian Museum Senior Fellow. In October 2016, I started the Australasian Fishes project in iNaturalist that allows users to upload observations of fishes from Australia and New Zealand. The project has been a resounding success with over 40,000 observations uploaded and more than 80 occurrences of fishes found outside their recognised ranges. Having an extensive network of professional fish taxonomists as colleagues helps enormously.