Welcome to DragonSearch South Australia

Hi DS SA team,

Thanks for joining the project, and for taking seadragon photos and uploading them here. One of the aims of this project is to identify individual seadragons over space and time, using recognisable markers on the head and body. It is an extension of a pilot project undertaken by divers in SA in 2013-14, for which the results will be available soon, as a report, and as a educational poster in public / social media. The pilot project was voluntarily extended to 2016+ on an opportunistic basis, so that we could learn more about the fate of individual seadragons over time. It is also an extension of the original Dragon Search program in southern Australia, upon which some of use here in SA worked intermittently for 10 years. Visual databases and mapping programs such as iNaturalist are a more collaborative and engaging way for divers to log their sightings, compared with the paper form and web-based form, used in the original program during the 1990s and early 2000s respectively.

Another aim of this project page is to provide a secure and long term repository for seadragon images from South Australia, that can be accessed by researchers over time, including the citizen science dive community.

When uploading your images, you can safely provide the correct coordinates if you set Geo-privacy to "Private". Even if you do not do that, the true coordinates are supposed to be obscured / regionalised when viewed publicly, due to seadragons being classified in the IUCN Red List as as Near Threatened. The exact coordinates will be available only to members of this private project page, and can be exported by project curators, researchers and government authorities as a spreadsheet, upon request.

Below is a list of codes preferred for labelling images when they are being uploaded. this will help to ensure that the obscured coordinates are not publicly identifiable by location name:

EBB: Bluff, Encounter Bay
RBJ: Rapid Bay
RBO: seagrass beds offshore from RBJ
SDV: Second valley
WLB: Wool Bay jetty
EDB: Edithburgh
TBJ: Tumby Bay jetty

Top priorities for uploading to this project are RBJ, RBO, SDV and EBB, in that order. Of particular interest are photos from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, to compare with photos from 2012 - 2015.

It is hoped that this project will eventually form part of a community-based 'Adopt a Dragon's Lair' project across South Australia. As part of that proposed program, which has in-principle support from AMLR NRM, local divers can log their sightings of animals here, and also note any observations of potentially threatening processes in their adopted spot, over time.

Thanks for participating. I will aim to provide regular updates of progress, and look forward to working through the images. This project page might provide a useful platform for you to recognise the seadragons you have photographed over time.

Please keep a log of your hours on this project, and contact me when you reach 10 hours. I will send details for invoices in due course.

Thanks.

Posted by marinejanine marinejanine, August 26, 2019 08:23

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