ACF Investigates: Habitat Destruction has now wrapped up. Check out the results from our first crowdsourced investigations project!

Did you miss out on getting involved this time? Don't worry... if you're already registered for ACF Investigates, you'll be the first to hear about our next crowdsourced investigation. If you haven't registered yet, signup now to get on the list.

How you can help make a difference

ACF Investigates is a digital community of volunteers helping ACF uncover threats to our nature and climate by using their devices to gather and classify data.

Habitat destruction is a key driver of animal extinction, and Australia has one of the worst extinction records in the world. Since colonisation, we’ve caused the extinction of 34 Australian mammals. We’re also a world leader in deforestation and loss. This project will help ACF uncover what's happening on the ground and threats to critical habitat.

An aerial photograph, looking down on a bulldozer in a cleared patch of land, next to a plume of white smoke. In the left corner of the image is a stretch of lush green vegetation, uncleared.
Photo credit: Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock

Recently, the Australian government committed to end extinction, protect at least 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030, and reform our nature laws to strengthen environmental management. However, there is a disconnect between Australia's pledges and our actions when it comes to measuring and addressing habitat destruction.

This destruction of critical animal habitat doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because people make choices – a choice to turn a blind eye, to not learn about the local wildlife, to not apply for approval from the authorities responsible for wildlife protection, or a choice by governments to greenlight destruction and hope for the best.

Australia’s a big place, and it’s too easy for critical habitat clearing to go unseen and undocumented. But together, we can create a thriving movement for nature, protect and restore the forests, rivers, oceans and wildlife we depend on and push government and business to do the same.

How it works

ACF Investigates gives everyone the chance to uncover habitat destruction. Our goal is to identify every habitat destruction event in 1 million hectares across the country. By identifying clearing, you’ll be helping us find new leads and focus our investigative efforts.

All you have to do is:

  1. Compare two images
  2. Spot the difference
  3. Click on the areas where you see land clearing

You’ll be shown a small section of two aerial images at random which compare what the habitat looked like in winter 2021 and 2022. If you spot land clearing, you’ll mark it on the map; if you don’t spot clearing, we want to know that too.

Whether you’re on a mobile phone or computer, you must register so we can make sure we don’t show you the same image twice. Signing up only takes a minute and you can do it anywhere, anytime.

Got questions? Check out our FAQ page. 

All the best for your investigating! 

A person standing in front of a backdrop of tall Mountain Ash trees. In the foreground are stacks of logs that have been cut down.Photo credit (above and header): Ali Sanderson 

Kim Garratt

Environmental Investigator