About Canberra Nature Map

Canberra Nature Map is a unique partnership between nature lovers, nature experts and the ACT Government that allows anyone to report sightings of wild plants and animals. The project was founded by Aaron Clausen, a mountain biker who accidentally rode through a patch of critically endangered Canberra spider orchids and became entranced by their beauty and fragility.


  • The basic purpose of Canberra Nature Map is to map the location and abundance of wildlife in the Canberra region, both flora and fauna.
  • It is designed to be useful to science and researchers as well as easy and enjoyable for members and contributors.
  • As part of this project we aim to present the flora and fauna we have recorded in a way that is educational and informative, with species lists and photographic libraries. We provide a variety of tools to enable the user to analyse the data in different ways.
  • The website is also a venue to communicate and share knowledge in a friendly setting which is run almost entirely by volunteers.
  • We hope to improve public awareness of the diversity and importance of our native flora and fauna.
  • Our large team of experts review all sightings to create accurate data.
  • To optimise biodiversity in our region, special attention is given to rare native species and serious environmental weeds.
  • We aim to provide the ACT Government with readily accessible and up to date locational information. This is used in decisions regarding the protection and enhancement of Canberra's natural treasures and is a significant benefit of the project.

How it works

  1. The general public and nature lovers report their sightings.
  2. Canberra Nature Map's community of nature experts moderate and comment on the sightings.
  3. An accurate species identification is discussed and confirmed.
  4. Awareness is increased within the community through the open exchange of knowledge.
  5. High quality, verified and accurate sighting information is sent to the ACT Government Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate and the CSIRO Atlas of Living Australia.
  6. This knowledge is fed into planning, development and conservation management decisions which lead to real world, on the ground outcomes.

Flow of information and rare plant sighting information

Thanks and acknowledgements

Canberra Nature Map is only made possible thanks to the tireless efforts, amazing contributions and huge hours from our passionate contributors, expert moderators and project administrators. Thanks also go to the ACT Government Spatial Data unit and National Capital Authority for their generous assistance and supply of detailed ACT polygon boundaries and shape files.

Financial support

The following organisations have been critical in providing generous financial support which has enabled Canberra Nature Map to reach key milestones and also supports our continued operation:

Other projects: Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness
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