Farm Dams Project

Farm Dams as refuges for freshwater plants and animals in a drying climate - a research and Citizen Science project 



Get involved

Citizen Scientist Data Collection Pack


Contact Details


Southwestern Australia contains freshwater species found nowhere else in the world, but the climate is drying. Streams and wetlands that used to contain water all year round now dry out in summer-autumn and there are fewer and fewer permanent waterbodies. In summer-autumn, farm dams provide the majority of freshwater habitat present in the Perth Hills landscape. As a result, farm dams may provide an important refuge from drying for freshwater species.

 This project aims to:

Researchers from Murdoch University will be visiting farm dams to identify plants, invertebrates and tadpoles. Landholders and other volunteers will be citizen scientists, recording data on waterbird and frog usage of dams.

The project is a collaboration between the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) and Murdoch University and is jointly funded by Lotterywest, the EMRC and Murdoch University.


Project Status

Due to a very dry Autumn, there had been very little frog calling activity which was not ideal for collecting date for the project. The Autumn surveying period was extended to June 30 to capture data from the first seasonal rainfall events. Murdoch University researchers are now evaluating all data collected throughout the project and are preparing their final report.The findings of this study will be shared by Murdoch University at a presentation event for all participants of the project in August 2019. 


Citizen Scientists Data Collection Pack



Using the FrogID app

A short guide with instructions on how to use the frog identification smartphone app, including details on how to log in.

Using the Birdata app

A short guide with instructions on how to use the bird identification smartphone app, including details on how to log in.

Farm Dams Bird Observations: Spring 2018 

A data sheet to collect bird data for if you do not have access to a smartphone. This data can be logged at a desktop computer or sent to the EMRC. This option is not available for the Frog identification.

Waterbirds of the Eastern Metropolitan Region

 Identification guide of waterbirds in the Eastern Metropolitan Region, including photos.



Event or activity



2019 Citizen Science Training - please contact the EMRC to arrange

March 2019 Any Citizen Scientists needing training or a refresher

2019 Autumn data collection - frog and bird 

  • a minimum of 4 x 20 minute collection periods for each birds and frogs (per dam being studied)
  • data logged via app, entered online or mailed to the EMRC

March – May 2019


Data to be sent in by 31 May


2019 Autumn data collection - plants, invertebrates, tadpoles and abiotic characteristics

  • the second and final time Murdoch University will visit your dam/s and collect data

March-May 2019 –landholders will be contacted to organise Murdoch University to do site visits for data collection

Murdoch University researchers

Farm dams workshop for landholders and other stakeholders - results!

August 2019

Landholders, researchers and the EMRC


Contact Details

Enquiries related to:


General enquiries (about the workshops, how to get involved, etc.)

Karen Warner, NRM Coordinator, EMRC

(08) 9424 2242

Murdoch University (regarding site visits or other inquiries)

Ed Chester

Frog ID App problems (i.e. with logging in)

Adam Woods, Science Communications and Project Coordinator: FrogID | Australian Museum Research Institute

61 2 9320 6242