Mapping Australian wetlands, feather by feather

Next time you find yourself in a wetland keep your eyes peeled for stray waterbird feathers. A new citizen science program – the Feather Map of Australia – is asking people of all ages to collect and post in feathers they find for analysis.

Using equipment similar to an x-ray machine, the scanned feathers will help identify the bird species and reveal information about its diet, where it's been and how healthy its habitat is. Ultimately, it will create a map of waterbird populations around Australia.

"The aim is to improve our conservation of both wetlands and waterbird populations [which are] being hit pretty hard at the moment," says Dr Kate Brandis, leading the joint project between the University of NSW and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald website.

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