Being a citizen scientist is a great way to get out and explore our wonderful environment, find out more about our local wildlife and help to protect it.
To understand how to protect a species or habitat we need to find out a lot of information about it. The more information we have, the better. Collecting all that information is much easier with a big team helping and that is where citizen science projects come in. By working together with volunteers, scientists and conservationists can collect much more information about the species or habitats they are studying.
Sometimes specialist knowledge is required, but often a basic grasp of wildlife is all you need to get involved – some projects offer training or identification guides to help you.
Two citizen science projects which you can get involved in, in Devon, are listed below:
- Westcountry CSI is run by the Westcountry Rivers Trust and aims to educate and engage people with the water environment to help improve water quality and create a network of catchment communities that are invested in their local environment
- Shoresearch is a Wildlife Trust run citizen science project that trains volunteers to identify and record the wildlife on shores across the UK. The data collected helps experts to monitor our fragile sea life and better understand the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive alien species.