Biodiversity Needs Community Members
Citizen scientists and community members are already providing large amounts of data for monitoring biodiversity, but they could do much more, according to a new study published in the journal Biological Conservation.
”Citizen scientists and community members are already contributing enormously to environmental science.” says Linda See from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. ”For example, a huge amount of species occurrence data is provided by members of the interested public. The question we addressed was, where are citizens contributing and where are they not, and how can we draw on this phenomenon to help fill the gaps in science?”.
The new article looks at international conventions on biodiversity, and the indicators that are needed to track biodiversity on a global scale, known as Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). It examines the areas where citizen scientists and community members already contribute, those where they do not, and what areas could benefit from expansion of citizen science and community monitoring efforts.
The study was led by Mark Chandler of Earthwatch Institute in Boston and Linda See of International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Astrid M.Z. Schmidt and Finn Danielsen examined community-based monitoring programs for the study.
Chandler M, See L, Copas K, Bonde AMZ, López BC, Danielsen F, Legind JK, Masinde S, Miller-Rushing AJ, Newman G, Rosemartin A, Turak E. 2016. Contribution of citizen science towards international biodiversity monitoring, Biological Conservation, Available online 2 Nov. 2016, ISSN 0006-3207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.09.004.