Can ‘Citizen Scientists’ play a valid role in conservation management?

The emergence of citizen science in biodiversity monitoring has transformed the methods by which biodiversity surveys can be conducted. With the recent development of automatic visual identification tools, Pierre Bonnet and colleagues present two distinct case studies implementing citizen science and the use of Pl@ntNet, an automatic plant identification platform. Effective monitoring of plant resources is becoming increasingly important for nature reserve management but the … Continue reading Can ‘Citizen Scientists’ play a valid role in conservation management?

How can citizen science help solve environmental crises?

Isabel Bishop (Research Manager) and Toos Van Noordwijk (Science, Policy and Innovation Director) from Earthwatch Europe reflect on discussions from the recent British Ecological Society Annual Meeting about how citizen science can deliver real impact. The session was beautifully captured in the graphic recording above by Holly McKelvey, holly draws.  ‘Citizen science’ and the related terms ‘community science’ and ‘participatory monitoring’ have become buzz words … Continue reading How can citizen science help solve environmental crises?

Call for papers: citizen science Special Feature

*UPDATE: the deadline for this special feature open call has been extended to 28 February 2020* Ecological projects involving citizen scientists have rapidly increased in number and there is now a general consensus that they can produce high-quality data. Citizen science projects generate large datasets that allow novel ecological questions to be addressed, but can require the development of both new analytical tools to handle … Continue reading Call for papers: citizen science Special Feature

Why ecology matters

This week, the British Ecological Society are attending New Scientist Live to showcase Incredible Creatures and bring ecological research to a wider audience. Focused across four zones; jungle, water, nocturnal, and people and nature, we’re excited to share the value of ecology in tackling the biggest challenges faced by our natural world. To celebrate this, we’ve brought together Why Ecology Matters; a selection of articles … Continue reading Why ecology matters

Editor’s Choice 56:10 – How to conduct citizen science that works

Our October Editor’s Choice looks at the value citizen science brings to monitoring programmes and how to ensure that value doesn’t go to waste. Associate Editor, Yolanda F. Wiersma, discusses the selected article, Balancing sampling intensity against spatial coverage for a community science monitoring programme. Citizen science (also termed ‘community science’), the involvement of non-credentialed scientists (‘ordinary citizens’) in a scientific research project, has a … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 56:10 – How to conduct citizen science that works

Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community

Harnessing the power of global citizen science data sets to improve local understanding, Corey T. Callaghan (Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW Sydney) introduces the Urban Greenspace Integrity Index as a means to track restoration efforts in urban areas. Restoring urban biodiversity has many benefits (for examples, see here, here, or here), but what should we actually be focusing on in our restoration efforts? If we … Continue reading Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community

Volunteering time matters for improving amphibian conservation

Salamander bucket brigades represent grassroots volunteer efforts to reduce road mortality of amphibians. Simulations by Sean Sterrett and colleagues found that efforts to move outbound metamorphs are more influential than inbound adults. Find out more about their citizen science efforts. As the last signs of winter diminish; air temperatures rise, icy cover on ponds melts and spring rains begin to warm soils, amphibians emerge from forests … Continue reading Volunteering time matters for improving amphibian conservation

Unlocking Africa’s potential for citizen science

Judith Mirembe (NatureUganda) and Michael Pocock (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, UK) share the outcomes of a recent workshop on the growth of citizen science in East Africa. Discover more details in their recent Policy Direction, free to read in Journal of Applied Ecology. Citizen science as an approach to environmental science and monitoring is growing in prominence across the world. Citizen science itself  is … Continue reading Unlocking Africa’s potential for citizen science

Caring for and sharing data created by volunteers

In this post Quentin Groom discusses his recent Commentary paper ‘Is citizen science an open science in the case of biodiversity observations?‘ Volunteers are the single largest source of biodiversity observations. Without their work we could not monitor the declines of native species nor the spread of invasive species. Their work provides data on the diversity of life, its geography, the migration of animals and … Continue reading Caring for and sharing data created by volunteers

Hunting and hiking are not so bad for wildlife populations

In this post Roland Kays discusses his paper ‘Does recreation or hunting affect wildlife communities in protected areas?‘ published today in Journal of Applied Ecology. Public wild lands have dual mandates to protect animals and provide recreational opportunities for people. These goals could be at odds if recreation, ranging from quiet hiking to legal hunting and trapping, hurts the wildlife community.  Past studies have clearly … Continue reading Hunting and hiking are not so bad for wildlife populations