An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

Observe and record the behaviour of land species

ClimateWatch is a national program developed by Earthwatch Australia, Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Melbourne to better understand how climate change is affecting our wildlife.  The first continental phenology project in the Southern Hemisphere, ClimateWatch enables every Australian to become a citizen scientist, by collecting and recording data that will help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change. 

How does it work?

ClimateWatch is based on phenology, the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate.  Terrestial species range from native, like the Sturt's Desert Pea, to introduced, like the Jacaranda Tree.

The behavioural information that you record will be publicly available through the Atlas of Living Australia.  This information will then help policy-makers at the state and federal level to make informed decisions about climate change adaptation response and our natural environment.  

Download the ClimateWatch app or our field guides to start recording on ClimateWatch species.

Who can get involved?

ClimateWatch is for everyone! You can ClimateWatch on your own or in groups, any time of the year. For secondary school teachers and university groups, we have lesson plans and activities that align with the national science curriculum. Click here for more details. 

We also run workplace volunteering days where you can learn about climate change science and its impacts on the environment. You get to spend a day climatewatching, collecting data in the botanical gardens and we work with you to identify changes you can make in your life to reduce your environmental footprint to become a Climate Champion. Contact us to find out more. 

Where can you ClimateWatch?

You can ClimateWatch just about anywhere. It is as easy as looking out your window and recording when your local jacaranda tree is flowering or by recording the presence of butterflies when walking the dog. 

You can even ClimateWatch at night by listening for the echo of the white-striped free tail bat! 

We have set up lots of ClimateWatch trails across the country. Why not grab a picnic and spend the afternoon outside and teach others about climatewatching in your local botanical garden? If you are interested in creating your own trail, contact us.  

To start Climatewatching click here.  


 “Changes in rainfall and temperature across Australia are already triggering changes in the established flowering times, breeding cycles, migrations and distributions of the country’s flora and fauna, both native and introduced. Citizen scientists play a very important role as we do not have enough dedicated scientists to monitor different areas.”

Dr Lynda Chambers, ClimateWatch Science and Technical Advisor and Senior Researcher at Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research