Plenary Panel: Guidance and engagement in conservation

The key to meadow biodiversity

Kamilla Grzesiak & Krzysztof Kalemba, Klub Przyrodników

#followapollo – LIFE Apollo2020 citizen science on iNaturalist

Tomasz Suchan, W. Szafer Institute of Botany of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Many conservation projects these days are using citizen science to collect important data in a resource-efficient way, while also engaging the general public in environmental issues. This session explained how and why the LIFE Apollo project will be using iNaturalist, an app-based citizen science platform, as a research and engagement tool.

Historically, many naturalists were people not employed in the research/environmental sector, but rather just people who enjoyed being outdoors and learning about nature. Often they had specific interests, such as bats, or moths, or butterflies. Citizen science gives these people a way to engage in their natural interests, while also contributing to furthering scientific knowledge and conservation projects. It is a way to bridge the gap between academic science and the wider public in a way that benefits both parties. Citizen science is defined as “a network of non-scientists who help to analyse or collect data as part of a research project” and it’s becoming increasingly popular, particularly with the help of the internet. The citizen scientists get the pleasure of outdoor activities, and enjoying their respective field of interest, while researchers are able to get more comprehensive data than they would have been able to collect on their own.

In the LIFE Apollo2020 project, we will be using iNaturalist, one of the biggest and most generalist platforms. On there, the wider public will be able to record when and where they have seen Apollo butterfly host plants, or even migrating indiviuals, giving us detailed information on their abundance and distribution. Additionally, the iNaturalist Apollo database will be used as an educational tool to reach even more people and engage them in nature conservation, particularly for the Apollo project.

Demonstration of monitoring dogs

Andrea Bachinger & Leo Slotta-Bachmayr, Naturschutzhunde

Andrea, her Australian Shepherd Cookie and Leo Slotta-Bachmayr’s Kelpie Sarek showed the participants of the conference how they were trained to find caterpillars.

#followapollo and the efforts of our team! Combined skills in breeding, conservation of habitats, research, environmental education, and project management constitute a great combination for the success of our LIFE project

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