Some potential users have indicated that they've had trouble registering with RabbitScan. Apparently the confirmation email has gone astray in some cases and that can be even harder for those on a slow internet connection. Our gurus at Spatial Vision has simplified the registration process, so have another go if you have been frustrated in an earlier attempt. This is a first for the Invasive Animals CRC.
Naturally there are a few teething issues with a new project like RabbitScan. Let us know if you find any bugs and we can have a go at fixing them. Some we can't fix: apparently Google Earth assumes the earth is a perfect sphere, which it isn't. This can lead to very slight variations in placement of a site. But it doesn't explain when a series ends up in the sea - so let us know if you log a site and it doesn't make sense. I know mine were remarkably accurate, as I could make out the exact place we scanned on the reserve near our house and down at the caravan on the South Coast.
Researchers are really grateful for the data. Brian Cooke emailed yesterday and said "One of the interesting things shown by the person who put all those points in along the SA/NSW and Qld/NSW dingo fences is the clarity with which it shows how infestations are related to soil types. Moving off the sand-dune country onto heavier soils rabbits fell away then rose again as the observer entered sandier country once again. (Check the points along the Qld southern border against the satellite map). This is actually very helpful stuff as far as Dave's modelling (Dave Berman) is concerned and it would be great to get more of this kind of thing.”
So the data is getting scrutinised closely and is helpful. A couple of people have asked questions along the lines "what's the point of mapping, when no one does anything about rabbits?". Well, apart from the type of value illustrated by the researchers above, we survey the community about their attitudes to feral animals. The rabbit has moved up the poll during this year. Previously, four out of ten people were classing the rabbit in their "top 5" ferals of concern. It has risen to almost six out of ten currently. So we seem to be influencing public awareness of the problems rabbits cause. That we hopefully lead to more action on control.
Join this community mapping exercise at RabbitScan.net.au