Hints for participants in the Fourth Annual Coffs Coast Sea Slug Census to be held next week

The fourth annual Coffs Coast Sea Slug Census will be held starting Saturday, January 22 and running until midnight on Sunday, 30th January. Details at Events/Past events on this site. If you are participating here are some handy hints -

Taking the photos-

For identification, photos are best if they are taken from the side at a slight angle. Photos from the top also work, but those from the front or rear, or only showing part of the animal may mean there is some doubt as to species.

Get your camera as close as you can, and check the subject is in focus. Slugs normally don’t move very quickly so take the time to consider the angle, how much of the subject you can fit in the frame, then take multiple photos. Include some for pure impact, if the slug lends itself to that purpose, for the best photo competition.

Photos must be taken within the time limits and geographic area of the census.

Preparing the photos-

If you think you know the species, include the name in the photograph file-name before submission. The iNaturalist program can then obtain this data, as well as date and time metadata attached to the photograph, and pre-fill the appropriate boxes.

It is recommended that each photo be cropped to make the subject appear bigger in the frame. If you are able, cropping so the long side is 1000 pixels is a good guide.

Submitting photos-

It is preferred that only your best image, or set of images, of each individual species of slug be submitted. This will make it easier for you, (not as much time spent uploading), and means judging will be simpler for the awarding of any prizes, (less photos to sift through). If you have doubts as to the species, choose the photos that best show the characteristics of the slug to enable easier identification. Several shots of the same slug from different angles can help determine the species easier. Multiple photos of the same slug can be uploaded using the “select” and “combine” functions on the upload page.

If you are submitting as part of a team, please advise the SURG organisers about the team membership for attribution in the final report.

The prizes on offer include double dives from both Jetty Dive and DiveQuest, a voucher for $200 for Enth Degree clothing and a print voucher from Coffs Harbour Camera House for $50.

So, go for it, stay safe and have fun!