Frequently Asked Questions
Updated by Nadiah Roslan, 16 October 2019.
ClimateWatch staff are here to help and support you record on indicator species. If you find you are having issues with our website, mobile app, or need more information on how to record, please use these FAQs. If you cannot find the answer here, please contact us.
Website and account
- I have forgotten my password.
- I tried to reset my password, but I did not get a password reset email. What now?
- I’m recording as part of a university group, but I haven’t received my ClimateWatch invitation. What should I do?
- I can't access my account because it says that my email does not exist.
- Why are photo images compulsory and how do I submit a sighting without an image?
- Where have all my sightings gone on ‘My sightings’ on my iPhone/Android?
- I opened the ClimateWatch app, but it's blank or the photos are not loaded.
- I tried to submit a sighting but it says that my GPS coordinates are not accurate enough and to try again later.
- How do I change the species name from 'Common Name' to 'Scientific Name'?
- I cannot hear any of the bird or frog calls.
- I’m in a low-reception area, will my sightings still be uploaded?
- I don’t have a GPS or smart phone, how do I record my location?
- How often should I record?
- Can I record anywhere?
- I’m in a group, should everyone submit recordings?
- What if I’m not 100% sure I have the right species?
- I recorded on the wrong species, how do I delete a sighting?
- I want to see the photo that I uploaded for a sighting, where can I access it?
- I’m done recording in the field, now what?
- What happens to my recordings?
- Why are there fewer species being monitored now?
1. I have forgotten my password.
On the website's sign-in page, click ‘reset password.’ This generates an automatic email that will have a password reset link. Click on that link and you will be prompted to enter a new password. Passwords cannot be reset from the app at this stage.
2. I tried to reset my password, but I did not get a password reset email. What now?
Try using a different browser. Google Chrome works the best with our website or make sure you are running the most up-to-date version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Contact us if you have further issues: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. I’m recording as part of a university group, but I haven’t received my ClimateWatch invitation. What should I do?
Check your spam folder. Check with your lecturer to see what email you have registered for your class to make sure it is correct. If the correct email has been used, but you still have not received an invitation, then register using another email. Contact the ClimateWatch staff directly to let us know which email address you have registered and what university you are recording with so that we can allocate you to the correct university group.
4. I can't access my account because it says that my email does not exist.
Did you authenticate Facebook or Twitter to act as your login? If you did, then your email becomes linked to your Facebook/Twitter and you need to sign in using either Facebook/Twitter. Our system prevents duplicate accounts from being created (i.e. email login and Facebook login) so you can only access your account with one type of login. Avoid re-registering an account with an existing email address. If you think you have forgotten your password, visit the ClimateWatch website and re-set your password via the website sign-in page: http://www.climatewatch.org.au/user/sign_in
1. Why are photo images compulsory and how do I submit a sighting without an image?
Upon advice from our science advisory panel and other large-scale citizen science programs, compulsory photos have been introduced to assist the data verification process and to improve the quality of data submitted to the Atlas of Living Australia. You are welcome to take a photo of the habitat and enter information in the comments section if you are unable to submit a clear photo of the species. You can also use the 'no-image' placemark when submitting images via the website:
If uploading sightings via the website, please make sure it is your own photo of that sighting and not a friend's or one from the internet.
While there is still opportunity for users to submit poor quality photos, compulsory images has increased the number of records we can validate by 30%, meaning more records that can be used for scientific purposes. Any feedback is welcome - please don't hesitate to contact us.
2. Where have all my sightings gone on ‘My sightings’ on my iPhone/Android?
If you delete/un-install/re-install the app on your iPhone, your sightings list should not be cleared. Please email us if this has happened to you: email@example.com. Your sightings should not be affected on the website. If you still cannot see your sightings on the mobile app (under ''My Profile'), try un-installing and re-installing the app to help clear the data on your phone. On Androids, if you hold the ClimateWatch icon, you are given two options: Un-install or App Info. If you drag the icon to ‘App info,’ you can clear the cache to remove sightings and clear space on your phone.
3. I opened the ClimateWatch app, but it's blank or the photos are not loaded.
Do you have 3G or wifi turned on? Is this the first time you have opened the ClimateWatch app? Sometimes our app will not load swiftly the first time it is loaded if there is poor connection. If you do have connection and it still does not load, please un-install and re-install the app. Contact us if you have further issues.
4. I tried to submit a sighting but it says that my GPS coordinates are not accurate enough and to try again later.
Do you have your 'location services enabled' on your smartphone? Check your settings on your iPhone or Android. Sometimes you may have location services enabled for some apps, but not others. Ensure you have it turned on for ClimateWatch. Or if this still does not work, un-install and re-install your app. When you re-install, ClimateWatch will ask 'Do you want ClimateWatch to access your location?,' click yes to allow. You should be able to submit sightings on the ClimateWatch app even with poor connection. Sightings that are 'pending' will have an asterisk (*) and will automatically upload when you are back in good connection. Android users may need to check that their Google account is not registered in a different country to Australia.
5. How do I change the species name from 'Common Name' to 'Scientific Name'?
Go to 'My Profile', click 'Settings' and then change the 'Naming Convention' to what you would like to view. You can view common name, scientific name, or both.
6. I cannot hear any of the bird or frog calls.
It may take a minute for the app to play the call. If you still cannot hear it, please un-install and re-install the app. If you still cannot hear it, please contact us so we can resolve the bug.
7. I’m in a low-reception area, will my sightings still be uploaded?
The app will automatically cache any sightings you make and will upload them to the database when you regain reception. If you check your sightings list on your smartphone, it will have an asterisk (*) when it has not been uploaded. This an asterisk (*) disappears and your sighting will say ‘Uploaded: Yes’ when it is correctly synced to your web account. Make sure to check your web account frequently to ensure all sightings are syncing. If they aren’t, contact the ClimateWatch staff immediately.
1. I don’t have a GPS or smart phone, how do I record my location?
Take note of your location by writing comments about visible landmarks (streets, residences, shops, etc) or by drawing a sketch of the area. When you enter in your data on www.climatewatch.org.au, use our address locater to help you pinpoint your location on a map. If you record at this area frequently, save it as one of your locations.
2. How often should I record?.
Record as often as you can (daily, weekly, monthly). Science often relies on precise measurements; and, identifying the exact date when a species moves into an area, washes up on the beach or increases dramatically in abundance is very important for long term data sets like ours. Regular recording also enables you to identify exactly when changes have occurred in your area, just like a personalised log book. Moreover, when trying to understand phenology - the timing of seasonal events - and how these are being influenced by climate change, we want as many regular sightings as possible to get an idea of the start, peak and end of these cycles.
3. Can I record anywhere?
Yes! ClimateWatch has 130+ species for you to record all over Australia. The next time you are out walking your dog, bushwalking, walking to uni, or strolling through a garden, see if you can spot any ClimateWatch species. If you’re unsure of where to start, try a ClimateWatch trail. These trails have been created with the help of Botanic Gardens, Universities, Scouts, Friends of Gardens groups, and educators around Australia.
4. I’m in a group, should everyone submit recordings?
Yes. Multiple entries enable scientists to ensure there is consistency amongst observations and also help to improve our sampling processes. It also helps to observe with others in case you are unsure of a sighting, your buddy can help confirm what you see.
5. What if I’m not 100% sure I have the right species?
If you think you have the right species but are a little unsure, record it and leave a message for our scientists in the ‘comments’ section of the data recording page, write: “SPECIES REQUIRES CHECKING”. Make sure you submit a good quality photo. If you are only 50% or less sure you have the correct species, do not record it but take several photos and send them to the ClimateWatch team on our website for verification. When there is an option to select "unsure" for a particular phenophase or behavious, don't be afraid to select "unsure" as a certain unsure is better than an uncertain submitted sighting. You could also try to practice recording one species at a time, to become familiar with its behaviours and identification, and moving on to monitor more species once you become confident.
6. I recorded on the wrong species, how do I delete a sighting?
You cannot delete a sighting, but you can edit it to be a relevant species or enter comments in the "Additional comments" section to include "INCORRECT SPECIES PLEASE DELETE". Login to your account via the ClimateWatch website and select ‘My sightings’ to make these changes.
7. I want to see the photo that I uploaded for a sighting, where can I access it?
Go to ‘My account’ and select ‘My sightings.’ Underneath all of your sightings, click ‘View all.’ This brings up all sightings in chronological order, click on the timestamp link to view all recorded information and to see your photo.
8. I’m done recording in the field, now what?
Once you are done recording in the field, you should always enter your data online, www.climatewatch.org.au. If you are using an iPhone/Android app, all of your sightings will automatically sync to your web account. Check your account online if you want to edit your sightings.
9. What happens to my recordings?
All of your sightings will go into our database. This information will be reviewed with our scientists on a quarterly basis. The validated data will be made publicly available on the Atlas of Living Australia and can be downloaded for free. The data will be used by researchers and policy makers to help Australia build our understanding of climate change and biological systems so we can better manage and conserve our environment.
10. Why are there fewer species being monitored now?
ClimateWatch was re-launched in 2017 and with that, it's indicator species were revised. Some ClimateWatch species have been made 'inactive' upon advice from our science advisory panel due to very few sightings or few correct sightings. A revised species list allows for more effort to be placed on species where data would be most value-adding to the program and to science. Existing sightings can be viewed under ClimateWatch user's 'Dashboard' or 'My Profile'. All sightings will be submitted to Atlas of Living Australia for public and scientific use once they are validated.