The Australian Citizen Science Association

The Australian Citizen Science Association

Citizen-science projects are blossoming all around the world. And, with their rise, networks have been forming to help them in their work. These networks aim to promote citizen science, facilitate idea sharing, and better connect researchers with citizens wanting to contribute to science. For example, in the northern hemisphere the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) […]

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Citizen scientist stand tall

In a world of remorseless (and often accelerating) biodiversity decline, one bright star that seems to shine brighter all the time in the conservation firmament is the movement called ‘citizen science’. According to Wikipedia, the term itself only entered the Oxford English Dictionary last year, suggesting it has only recently achieved a certain ‘orthodoxy’. Of […]

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The Global Big Day

Saturday, 9 May 2015 was the date of eBird’s inaugural Global Big Day, where citizen-science birders working with eBird (and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology which founded eBird) attempted to observe and record as many bird species as possible in a single day, while raising $500,000 for global bird conservation. And, guess what, over 4,000 […]

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The dawn of citizen science

As electronic devices have become more advanced, mobile and readily available, citizen-science projects that utilize smartphones, tablets, and laptops have been popping up like corn in a hot saucepan (consider the Global Big Day). It’s tempting to think that citizen science is a child of the digital age however public input into scientific research has […]

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Citizen science and conservation

Are volunteers the way of the future for effective decision-making? Citizen science, the involvement of volunteers from the general community in academic research, has become increasingly important in conservation science. Aided by the internet, the popularity and scope of citizen science appears almost limitless. For citizens, the motivation is to contribute to science and better […]

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More than any other Australian pigeon, the nomadic flock bronzewing
is adapted to the arid plains. The preferred habitat is open grassland
plains, clumped grasses and small shrubs with open spaces. The main
impact on flock bronzewings has been through pastoralism as stock feed
on the grasses the bird uses for food and nesting. In the mid 1800s, many
observers wrote about the enormous flocks of the flock pigeons within
areas where they are now just occasional visitors such as northern South
Australia and western New South Wales. (Photo by Jeremy Ringma )

Looking after our nomads

Geographic range size and extinction risk Geographic range size (the size of a species’ distribution) is often treated as a fixed attribute of a species for the purposes of calculating extinction risk (see the segment below, on EOO & AOO). All else being equal, species occupying smaller geographic ranges are assumed to have a higher risk […]

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According to the IUCN, the koala has been identified as one of ten species globally that is most vulnerable to climate change due to a
decline in the nutritional quality of food trees resulting from increased
atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. See http://cmsdata.iucn.org/
downloads/fact_sheet_red_list_koala.pdf for more info. (Photo by B Balch)

Conservation prioritisation for koalas

Where east meets west, where best to invest? For species that are increasingly threatened by the combined effects of habitat loss and climate change, we need to identify priority regions where we should be focussing our conservation efforts. In the case of specialist leaf-eaters, considering the effects of climate change on the distributions of their […]

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