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Grassroots Grants Round 1 project - Dragon Search South Australia

Grassroots Grants Round 1 Seadragon Credit L Kandat Photographing Leafy Seadragons helps build a long-term database so we can learn more about them. Photo: Karolyn Landat

Searching for dragons in SA waters

Green Adelaide’s Grassroots Grants has distributed $1 million for people to improve their local environment across Adelaide’s 17 metro council areas.  

South Australian Conservation Research Divers (SACReD) is running one of 47 successful grant projects to green, cool and wild Adelaide’s environment.

Dragon Search South Australia is using citizen scientist to research and monitor seadragons and pipefishes across the region.

Early in May, 90 divers at a ‘SCUBA in the Pub’ event, learnt about this project and how images of seadragon heads and body features are used to identify individual seadragons.

grassroots-grant-leafy-seadragon-with-eggs-credit-paul-macdonald-downunderpixLeafy seadragon with eggs. Photo: Paul Macdonald (downunderpix)

There are now 33 coastal and marine citizen science volunteers taking location-stamped images of these fishes, protected under legislation, to learn more about their diversity, habitat and conservation needs across the region.

Volunteers range from new divers who take photographs during their own recreational dives with dive shops or buddies, through to professional videographers who provides images to the project whenever they can.

This project is grateful for in-kind support from SACReD and the diving community in South Australia.

Grassroots Grants are being used across Green Adelaide to kick-start new projects such as this one, or build on an existing ones with activities such as nature education, plantings, citizen science, weed and pest control, erosion management and community engagement.

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