Welcome everyone

Hi Everyone and Welcome to the Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project!

I would like to thank you all for joining the project and assisting researchers in identifying what plant species/food sources Rainbow Lorikeets are feeding on. I will be using these Journal posts to communicate and update you on what is happening with the project.

To start us off with our first journal post I thought I would give you a brief background into the disease and provide helpful instructions on how to use iNaturalist to make observations in the Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project.

Background to the project:
Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome (LPS) is a disease occurring in wild rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus moluccanus) that causes the birds to become paralysed and unable to fly. This disease is seasonal, occurring between October and June, with the highest number of cases occurring in December through to February. It results in thousands of rainbow lorikeets being admitted into care in south-eastern OLD and north-eastern NSW every year. Rainbow lorikeets with LPS initially require intensive care followed by long-term rehabilitation, wearing on the resources of both veterinarians and wildlife carers. Research into this disease have been unable to identify an infectious agent or toxin as the causative agent of LPS. Therefore, the cause of this disease at this stage is unknown. However, researchers are now exploring the possibility that LPS may be caused by ingestion of a toxic plant that occurs in southern QLD and northern NSW.

How to get involved:
We require citizen scientists, like you, to report observations on the Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project on iNaturalist of what plant species/food sources the rainbow lorikeets are observed feeding on within the study site. Our objective is to collect as many observations from people in and around the southern
Queensland and northern NSW area as possible about the plant species on which wild rainbow lorikeets are feeding on. This will assist in identifying what plants or other food sources researchers should sample and test in further studies.

How to use iNaturalist to make observations in the Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project:

Step 1: Sign up for iNaturalist
New to iNaturalist?
Simply go to the iNaturalist website (https://www.inaturalist.org/) and click ‘Sign up’ in the top right-hand corner to create an account. Its free!
For instructions on how to use iNaturalist and make observations use the link: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started
iNaturalist can be used on the web or via the iNaturalist app on your phone. The app can be downloaded from the app store for free, simply search ‘iNaturalist’.

Step 2: Join the Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project:
Website:

  • Under the ‘Community’ heading at the top, select ‘Projects’ from the drop down menu
  • In the Projects search bar, search ‘Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project’
  • Once in the project page, click on ‘Join this Project’ which can be found on the top right above the project picture/heading
  • Once you have read the rules for adding observations, click ‘Yes I want to join’

App:

  • Under the ‘More’ heading at the bottom of the screen, select ‘Projects’
  • In the Projects search bar, search ‘Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome Project’
  • Once in the project page, click on ‘Join’ which can be found under the project heading

Step 3: Participate!
Whether you are walking around your neighbourhood, in your backyard, or out on a hike, keep an eye out for rainbow lorikeets feeding on plants! When the bird has finished feeding and moved on, be sure to take at least three photos for plant identification:

  1. Of the whole plant/tree
  2. Of the leaf
  3. Of the flower/fruit
    To make an observation go straight to the project and click ‘Add observation’. Ensure all information is filled in correctly, including the date and time the lorikeet was observed feeding on the plant species, the photos are uploaded in your observation, and the location of the plant species.

Step 4: Tell us when the Rainbow Lorikeets return to your tree!
To help us determine what rainbow lorikeets are feeding on at different times of the year, and to save you adding new observations of rainbow lorikeets feeding on the same tree, you can simply EDIT your observations! After you have made an observation of a particular tree/plant species on iNaturalist, you can simply edit your observation to add in new dates and times you have observed the rainbow lorikeets coming back to the same plant.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go into your profile, which can be found in the top right-hand corner of the iNaturalist web-page
  2. Click the heading ‘Edit observations’
  3. Choose the observation with the plant species you have seen the Rainbow Lorikeets revisit (e.g. Crimson Bottlebrush at Dunrossil Park on 23rd July)
  4. Once in the observation, click the blue ‘Edit’ icon found at the top right-hand side.
  5. In the ‘Notes’ section, found on the left-hand side, please right the date and time you observed Rainbow Lorikeets revisiting this tree/plant species (e.g. 28/06/2021 8:15am).
  6. Once the edit has been made, scroll down and click the blue ‘Save observation’ down the bottom of the page.

Ensure you include both the new date and the new time (including either am or pm). Repeat this step each time you observe a Rainbow Lorikeet feeding in the trees/plant species you have already added into iNaturalist.

You can learn more on the LPS Project website here: https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/our-research/research-areas/veterinary-science/lorikeet-paralysis-syndrome-project.html

Any questions about the project or using iNaturalist feel free to leave a comment I will endeavour to get back to you! Happy Rainbow Lorikeet spotting!

Posted by lozb97 lozb97, July 21, 2021 03:16

Comments

I was a little dubious about uploading natives that are their common sources of food, but your example above tells me this would be expected....so thank you.

Posted by katsemple 2 months ago (Flag)

Came back from a trip to Artemis Station in Cape York working on the golden shouldered parrot recovery project to read about this and am keen to be involved.

The first rainbow pairs are just moving in to our part of inner Brisbane where they usually nest in some old grey gums with plenty of hollows. There is little blossom available but I suspect they are feeding on what I think are a couple of forest red gums that are flowering early. We have long since removed the umbrella trees and an African tulip but there is a very large umbrella tree in a neighbouring block and rainbows crash that in large numbers - sometimes up to 30 birds - later in summer.

I did take a phone pic of some windfall inflorescence yesterday and will post later.

Posted by gmess 2 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for your comment @katsemple We are looking for all food sources to be uploaded, both native and non native. Happy Rainbow Lorikeet spotting, and thank you for your participation in the project.

Posted by lozb97 about 2 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for your comment @gmess Glad to have you on board with this project and look forward to your observations. Happy Rainbow Lorikeet spotting.

Posted by lozb97 about 2 months ago (Flag)

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