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

Using citizen science to protect Montagu’s harrier nests

In this post Andrea Santangeli discusses his recent paper ‘Identifying effective actions to guide volunteer-based and nationwide conservation efforts for a ground-nesting farmland bird’ Countless conservation actions are implemented by local practitioners worldwide with the intention to help target species to persist in landscapes under increasing pressure from human activities. Unfortunately, still very few implemented interventions are evaluated for their effectiveness (Ferraro & Pattanayak 2006). … Continue reading Using citizen science to protect Montagu’s harrier nests

With rapid advances in camera trap technology, researchers should “hurry up and wait”

In this post Pen-Yuan Hsing discusses the recent paper from Cole Burton and colleagues ‘Wildlife camera trapping: a review and recommendations for linking surveys to ecological processes’ and the exciting new advances in camera trap technology. Camera traps have come a long way since first entering the ecologist’s toolbox more than a hundred years ago. Early iterations involved bulky film cameras powered by lead acid … Continue reading With rapid advances in camera trap technology, researchers should “hurry up and wait”

Can’t see the puffins for the auks? Estimating population size with imperfect species identification

In this post, Alison Johnston (@ali__johnston) talks about her paper published today “Modelling the abundance and distribution of marine birds accounting for uncertain species identification”. Ecological surveys balance the competing goals of data quality and data quantity. We can intensively survey a small area, or cover a larger area with less detail and precision, for example in large-scale citizen science surveys. Recently there has been … Continue reading Can’t see the puffins for the auks? Estimating population size with imperfect species identification