Local action needed to protect nature from global warming

Stronger local management can increase the resilience of nature to the impacts of climate change, writes an international team of researchers in Science.

Source: phys.org

GR:  Hmm, effective local management, at least in the U. S., has to be by citizen naturalists.  The government agencies often make management choices that favor private profits over nature health.

See on Scoop.itGarryRogers NatCon News

Annual Changes in Hummingbird Migration Revealed by Citizen Naturalists

By Victoria.  “Imagine circling the Earth twice on foot while drinking your weight in flower nectar each day. That’s the human equivalent of what Calliope Hummingbirds do, by wing, twice a year, in their migrations between Washington and Mexico.

“Using data from the eBird citizen-science project, researchers patched together hummingbird sightings from more than 300,000 checklists across North America to track the central hub of migration over a five-year period. Based on the number of eBird sightings at different locations, researchers calculated the average location of hummingbird populations for each day. For example, of the estimated 2 million Calliope Hummingbirds in North America, some individuals were recorded by eBird participants during the study period from 2008 to 2013. Researchers used these sightings to then find the average location of all Calliope Hummingbirds each day and visualize overall movement of the species throughout migration” Source:  Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

GR:  Calliopes pass through my region, but they are rare here.  What’s interesting is that checklists by citizen naturalists have made an analysis possible that could never have been done by ornithologists alone.

Citizen Science Helps Find Utah Toads, Frogs

The season to spot frogs and toads has arrived, and Hogle Zoo is part of a nationwide, citizen-science effort to monitor them in Utah. The zoo’s Suzanne

Source: kuer.org

The Wildlife Information Centre – SBIF Conference 2015

“If you record or are interested in recording wildlife then we would love to hear from you. We can offer advice and support, access to some training and help with managing data and providing data to TWIC. If you would like maps, data or any other information to help you with your recording work then get in touch and we will see how we can help.

“Every year we organise survey work at a number of sites and are always looking for more recorders to help. We also organise public surveys, to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in recording. See the link to recording events to see reports of recent meetings and find out what is going on in the near future. We also occasionally put out special requests for sightings of particular species – see the Request for Data page.

“For help with the identification of particular groups see the ‘List of Local Experts’.”

Source: www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk

GR:  Scotland has a smaller population than Arizona, my home state. Yet I am not aware of a comparable program here.  If any of you Arizona readers know of a state supported program like this, please add a comment.  Thank you.

P.S.  Note that none of the wildlife information being collected could be acquired from space.

Science community calls on volunteers for local projects

ATHENS — Greene Land Trust and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties on Saturday invited residents to spend Valentine’s Day with nature by learning about the opportunities available in citizen science at the Willows at Brandow Point.

Source: www.thedailymail.net

iSpot: Crowdsourcing Biodiversity Data – Science Codex

“Launched in 2009, iSpot is a citizen science platform aimed at helping anyone, anywhere identify anything in nature.  To date, around 42,000 people have registered as iSpot users and over 390,000 observations have been made, leading to the identification of more than 24,000 species.”

Source: www.sciencecodex.com

Get outdoors on Valentine’s Day by participating in Great Backyard Bird Count

 By David Figura | dfigura@syracuse.com

“Last year’s bird count resulted in an unprecedented number of sightings of snowy owls throughout the northeast and Great Lakes region. This snowy was photographed on a farm in Morrisville.

“Celebrate this Valentine’s Day outdoors by joining the 18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which begins Friday and ends Monday.

“It’s simple. Identify and count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days during the count and enter your sightings online at birdcount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track changes in bird populations on a massive scale.

“Citizen science participation projects like the Great Backyard Bird Count are not only essential to helping us achieve conservation success across New York State, they also offer to opportunity to understand and appreciate nature on a much more personal level,” said Erin Crotty, executive director of Audubon New York, in a news release about the event.

“Last year’s count — a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada — showed unprecedented numbers of snowy owls reported across southeastern Canada, the Great Lakes states, the Northeast and down the Atlantic Coast.

“This year’s is expected to show “higher than usual numbers of both snowy owls, pine siskins and redpolls, although not to the extent of last year’s snowy owl eruption,” according to the Audubon news release.”

New Journal Announcement, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice

This journal is intended to be by scientists for scientists.  Still, there might be an occasional practical insight or useful tidbit.  Probably worth a bookmark.

Citizen Science Association

Call for papers–Inaugural Issue and beyond

Citizen Science: Theory and Practice is a new open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by Ubiquity Press on behalf of the Citizen Science Association. It focuses on advancing the field of citizen science by providing a venue for citizen science practitioners and researchers—e.g., scientists, information specialists, conservation managers, community health organizers, educators, evaluators, urban planners, citizen scientists, and more—to share best practices in conceiving, developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining projects that facilitate public participation in scientific endeavors in any discipline.

We believe that a central space for scholarly exchanges across disciplines will provide greater visibility for citizen science and will help to strengthen and advance this rapidly growing field. The multi-disciplinary journal will ensure that key insights and exchanges can become part of an expanding body of broadly accessible academic scholarship rather than being shared narrowly among citizen science practitioners, evaluators, and funders within their existing…

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Saving the Andean Cat

Andean Cat (Oreailurus jacobitat)

Andean Cat

The Andean Cat Alliance has two priorities. The first is to learn the cat’s range, numbers, and ecology. The team hikes the mountains and monitors camera traps to find and count the cats. So little is yet known of the cat’s behavior, that sightings depends on luck. The second priority is community education. The group makes presentations to students, ranchers, and communities members across the vast territory occupied by the cats. The education goal is to encourage communities to practice sustainable agriculture and land use that will preserve the cat’s habitat.

The human population of the Andes is growing. The rate of loss of the Andean Cat’s habitat isn’t known, and after 15 years of organized effort, the size and stability of the cat’s population isn’t known. Like most species of wildlife worldwide, the Andean Cat could slide away into oblivion before we even understand how and where it lives.
What can we do? There are many opportunities to give money and volunteer time to survey and study wildlife. There are also many opportunities to urge management of the principal cause of the cat’s decline:  human population and its environmental impacts.

This film by the Wildlife Conservation Network describes the 15-year effort by scientists, students, and volunteers to protect the Andean Cat.

Thanks to Fighting For Hope’s Blog for pointing out the film.


The Maryland Biodiversity Project: Mobilizing community to build a better picture of local biodiversity

A few years ago, photographer Bill Hubick generously donated the use of his photos in NCC publications. We recently chatted with him about a new project he is also involved with – the Maryland Biodiversity Project.

Source: www.natureconservancy.ca

GR:  This is essential work that governments and volunteers must carry out across the Earth.  As Hubick says, ” We live in a time of unparalleled environmental change. How do we assess impacts if we don’t have baseline data? State and federal agencies work tirelessly with limited resources to monitor just our rarest species. We need to monitor changes across the board for many reasons. First, it is far cheaper to manage for a given species when it is declining slightly than to wait until it requires a captive breeding program. Ecosystems are also complex, so trying to understand issues without information about what was present in the area five, 20, or 50 years ago is often impossible.”

We truly need Citizen Naturalists biodiversity survey projects in every country, state, county and city.