Conservation:
the value of Citizen Science
Bewaringsprojekte:
Jan Alleman se bydrae
Renier Balt Sept 2013
Citizen science
• Amateur or non-professional scientists
• “Public participation in scientific research”
• Sometimes refer...
Born into wealthy family
A life of wealth, comfort and
country sports
No formal training in natural sciences
Paid his own ...
Examples of Citizen Science Projects
– Seti@home
– The great sunflower project (collecting data on
pollinators, the number...
Why Citizen Science grows in importance
• Cost drivers
– Cost of data-gathering prohibitive:
• person hour cost
• S&T cost...
Graphical presentation: Formal Science
vs
Crowd-sourcing / Citizen Science**
Formal projects wholly
dependent on
Scientifi...
Formal projects wholly
dependent on
Scientific
Institutions
Demo’s or Pilot
Projects (small scale)
The Future: more
opport...
Some projects notionally depicted on
this graphic…
Formal Science
domain
Demos, pilots, gap-
fillers
The Future:
more CS
o...
Growing importance of
Crowd-sourcing and Citizen Science
Formal Science
domain
Demos, pilots, gap-
fillers
The Future: CS
...
Two projects presented (1)
• iBol - International Barcode of Life (and the acdb – African Centre for
DNA Barcoding) champi...
The iBol project – in South Africa
• Largest biodiversity genomics initiative ever undertaken
• After five years - DNA bar...
Preparation of the PLANT sample:
• a) Herbarium voucher:
– At least two specimens of the same plant must be prepared.
– On...
(a) Herbarium Voucher
preparation
(b) Leave material prepared
for Silica storage and DNA
analysis
(c) Collecting information
Preparation of BIRD species samples
Catch the specimens
Careful handling
- Identification
- Measurements
- Careful logging of data
- Attach correct ring (band)
- Prepare DNA sample
- Sanitise and draw blood from
under the “armpit”
- Number and catalogue appropriately
2008 outreach
circling Zimbabwe
2009 outreach
Malawi and Zimbabwe
2010 outreach
Environmental Hotspots in South Africa
West Coast, Fynbos, Knysna Forests
Eastern Cape
2011 outreach
Kosibay, iSimangaliso Wetland Park,
Mapelane
2012 outreach
Focus on alien and invasive species
• South Africa has an extremely rich biodiversity
– ca. 20 456 species i...
Outreach 2013
Northern Cape biodiversity Hotspot
• A total of more than 600 species were collected
• New species:
– Trachy...
New find - Trachyandra
This tiny bulb has an interesting
history linked to its naming and
classification. It was first
dis...
Summary of present status - acdb
• http://www.acdb.co.za/
• Focus Areas (such as Kruger National Park) have
been completel...
Where does iBol fit in our graphic…
Formal Science
Demos, pilots, gap-
fillers
The Future:
more CS
opportunities
Citizen S...
And now atlasing!!
Atlasing can best be described as “birding with a purpose”
Doug Harebottle
(Some) ADU (atlas) projects
• SABAP1 – 25 years ago – 100 000 checklists
• SAFAP – 1995
• SARCA (Southern African Reptile ...
SABAP2
South African Bird Atlas Project 2
- SABAP2, the most important bird conservation project in the region
- SABAP1 da...
Where do SABAP1 and SABAP2 fit on
our graphic?
Formal Science
domain
Demos, pilots, gap-
fillers
The Future:
more CS
oppor...
In a nutshell…
• Survey Protocol
– Survey “pentad” area for 2 hours minimum
– Intensive birding in BBD (Birding Big Day) f...
What is a pentad?
My equipment…
Progressive SABAP2 coverage
July 2007 to May 2013
Progressive SABAP2 coverage
for the year 2012
A wealth of information!!
2540_2750 = 246 species
2540_2750 = 100 lists
The map is mostly RED and
ORANGE. Black Storks are being
recorded far less frequently in
SABAP2 than in SABAP1. The
reason...
The map is mostly ORANGE. There seem
to be fewer Hamerkops during SABAP2
than there were in SABAP1. Once again,
the reason...
This is an unusual range change map. In
the northeast it is mostly RED and
ORANGE. It seems to get increasingly
GREENER to...
The map is mostly GREEN! Although
there has not been much range
expansion, there has been a big increase
in the abundance ...
The map is has lots of RED and
ORANGE, but also some GREEN and
BLUE. But the overall consensus is that
the Secretarybird i...
The map is mostly BLUE and GREEN.
Common Mynas have expanded their range
massively since SABAP1. But it is a surprise
that...
SABAP2 alerts us that
something is not going right
for the Black-shouldered Kite
The six bulbuls show the biggest increases of any family. The likely explanation
is the process of “thickening” of savanna...
Why it is fun, learning, fulfilling…
• ORF’s
• Travel
• Access
• Support
• Friendship
• Contribution
• Birding “with a pur...
Acknowledgements
Prof Michelle van der Bank
Molecular Systematics Laboratory
University of Johannesburg, APK Campus
Depart...
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept
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  • Aanbieding vir bewaringsprojekte rev 15 sept

    1. 1. Conservation: the value of Citizen Science Bewaringsprojekte: Jan Alleman se bydrae Renier Balt Sept 2013
    2. 2. Citizen science • Amateur or non-professional scientists • “Public participation in scientific research” • Sometimes referred to as “crowd-sourcing” • Who was known as the “gentleman naturalist”?
    3. 3. Born into wealthy family A life of wealth, comfort and country sports No formal training in natural sciences Paid his own way on the Beagle, no remuneration Contracted his own resources for lab assistance Shied away from studies in medicine and theology Strongly attracted by various natural sciences and geology projects The first citizen scientist?
    4. 4. Examples of Citizen Science Projects – Seti@home – The great sunflower project (collecting data on pollinators, the number and types of plant pollinators, especially for sunflowers) – Animal demography and atlasing (SABAP1 to SABAP2) (and many other atlasing projects) – Virtual Museums • VMUS (ADU) • i-spot (UK-based)
    5. 5. Why Citizen Science grows in importance • Cost drivers – Cost of data-gathering prohibitive: • person hour cost • S&T cost (fuel prices) • Technology drivers – Availability of information (via internet, devices) – Connectivity near-ubiquitous – Other technologies (GPS, photography, etc) • Social, Societal, Psychological driver – Enjoyable, fun, enriching – Sharing is the “in” thing – Continuous learning – Demography
    6. 6. Graphical presentation: Formal Science vs Crowd-sourcing / Citizen Science** Formal projects wholly dependent on Scientific Institutions Demo’s or Pilot Projects (small scale) The Future: more opportunities, increased CS involvement, adherence to more complex protocols Crowdsourcing, Presently the domain of Citizen Science Knowledgeandcapacity Reach and presence ** Note: this graphic is for presentation and explanatory use, not borrowed from Scientific analysis or papers
    7. 7. Formal projects wholly dependent on Scientific Institutions Demo’s or Pilot Projects (small scale) The Future: more opportunities, increased CS involvement Crowdsourcing, Presently the domain of Citizen Science Knowledgeandsystemcapacity Reach and presence Many lower-skilled volunteers, everywhere all the time Small number of professional scientists, limited in reach and observation capacity Graphical presentation: Formal Science vs. Citizen Science
    8. 8. Some projects notionally depicted on this graphic… Formal Science domain Demos, pilots, gap- fillers The Future: more CS opportunities Citizen Science domain Knowledgeandcapacity Reach and presence 24 1 Project examples 1. iBol project 2. SABAP1 3. SABAP2 4. MyBirdPatch 5. Ornithological Observations 3 5
    9. 9. Growing importance of Crowd-sourcing and Citizen Science Formal Science domain Demos, pilots, gap- fillers The Future: CS will take on protocols with increased complexity Citizen Science domain Knowledgeandcapacity Reach and presence
    10. 10. Two projects presented (1) • iBol - International Barcode of Life (and the acdb – African Centre for DNA Barcoding) championed by Univ of Johannesburg • SABAP1 and SABAP2 – South African Bird Atlas Project championed by the ADU, Univ of Cape Town (1) With acknowledgement to prof Michelle vd Bank, Klipbokkop Management and prof Les Underhill for information provided and participation in projects
    11. 11. The iBol project – in South Africa • Largest biodiversity genomics initiative ever undertaken • After five years - DNA barcode records exist for more than 50,000 species • Official launch of iBOL was July 2010 • More than 25 countries involved • Phase 1 operating budget of $150 million • By 2015, 5 million specimens, 500,000 species into the interactive • BOLD, (Barcode of Life Data System) • DNA barcode reference library for all of Earth’s eukaryotes (i.e. cells with nucleus, unlike bacteria) • RSA programme champion is prof Michelle vd Bank • Enviro Outreach project sponsored by Toyota (and others) at the forefront with species collection in southern Africa
    12. 12. Preparation of the PLANT sample: • a) Herbarium voucher: – At least two specimens of the same plant must be prepared. – One will be kept at the University of Johannesburg Herbarium, and – the second deposited to a main herbarium in the region where the plant was collected. • b) Few leaves stored in silica gel: – The silica gel is a hygroscopic material that is used to remove all moisture from plant material and conserve the DNA in the best condition as possible for further molecular work – Silica gel can be obtained from chemical companies, contact to skin must be avoided. • c) Collecting information: – a) Date of collection, – b) the Botanical family of the plant collected, – c) the GPS position/precise locality and – d) collector information. – More information is beneficial to each collection
    13. 13. (a) Herbarium Voucher preparation
    14. 14. (b) Leave material prepared for Silica storage and DNA analysis
    15. 15. (c) Collecting information
    16. 16. Preparation of BIRD species samples Catch the specimens Careful handling
    17. 17. - Identification - Measurements - Careful logging of data - Attach correct ring (band)
    18. 18. - Prepare DNA sample - Sanitise and draw blood from under the “armpit” - Number and catalogue appropriately
    19. 19. 2008 outreach circling Zimbabwe
    20. 20. 2009 outreach Malawi and Zimbabwe
    21. 21. 2010 outreach Environmental Hotspots in South Africa West Coast, Fynbos, Knysna Forests Eastern Cape
    22. 22. 2011 outreach Kosibay, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Mapelane
    23. 23. 2012 outreach Focus on alien and invasive species • South Africa has an extremely rich biodiversity – ca. 20 456 species in the region – richest temperate flora in the world • 2 577 taxa threatened with regional or global extinction – agriculture, – urbanization, – encroachment of alien invasive species and – habitat loss. • 550 naturalized plant species are known to be contributing to the widespread transformation of once pristine habitats – Acacia saligna, Hakea sericea – natural vegetation almost lost. – Southern African Plant Invader Atlas.
    24. 24. Outreach 2013 Northern Cape biodiversity Hotspot • A total of more than 600 species were collected • New species: – Trachyandra (Gamsberg) – Eragrostis sarmentosa collected at Raap en Skraap
    25. 25. New find - Trachyandra This tiny bulb has an interesting history linked to its naming and classification. It was first discovered 7 years ago, without pictures or samples to support the finding. It could not be recognised as a new species; since that date no other examples could be found. This confirms the authenticity of the new species and this will be added to the 100 or more new species found annually in South Africa
    26. 26. Summary of present status - acdb • http://www.acdb.co.za/ • Focus Areas (such as Kruger National Park) have been completely sampled • Globally the objectives for iBol 2015 are maintained
    27. 27. Where does iBol fit in our graphic… Formal Science Demos, pilots, gap- fillers The Future: more CS opportunities Citizen Science Knowledgeandcapacity Reach and presence 1 Project examples 1. iBol project
    28. 28. And now atlasing!! Atlasing can best be described as “birding with a purpose” Doug Harebottle
    29. 29. (Some) ADU (atlas) projects • SABAP1 – 25 years ago – 100 000 checklists • SAFAP – 1995 • SARCA (Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment) - 2005-2009 (410) • SABCA – April 2007 (700-40-2) • SABAP2 - 1 July 2007 • SAFRING (60 years) • CAR (Coordinated avifaunal road-counts) –(30-15) • CWAC, 1992 to date. 140 species, 400 wetlands • V-MUS (photographs) • MyBirdPatch • MammalMap, NERCS (Nest records), BIRP (Birds in Reserves) • http://www.adu.org.za/about.php
    30. 30. SABAP2 South African Bird Atlas Project 2 - SABAP2, the most important bird conservation project in the region - SABAP1 data collection took place mainly between 1987 and 1991 - SABAP2 started in July 2007 and is ongoing SABAP2 is a partnership between the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town, BirdLife South Africa and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
    31. 31. Where do SABAP1 and SABAP2 fit on our graphic? Formal Science domain Demos, pilots, gap- fillers The Future: more CS opportunities Citizen Science domain Knowledgeandcapacity Reach and presence 2 Project examples 2. SABAP1 3. SABAP2 3
    32. 32. In a nutshell… • Survey Protocol – Survey “pentad” area for 2 hours minimum – Intensive birding in BBD (Birding Big Day) fashion – Visit different habitats in the pentad over time • Data recordal – List species in sequence of observation (can be linked statistically to abundance) – Various technologies available (P&P, voice recorder, Lynx Birdticks) • Data submission – Register as observer – As soon as possible – Data Management System to upload http://sabap2.adu.org.za/docs/sabap2_atlasing_for_dummies.pdf
    33. 33. What is a pentad?
    34. 34. My equipment…
    35. 35. Progressive SABAP2 coverage July 2007 to May 2013
    36. 36. Progressive SABAP2 coverage for the year 2012
    37. 37. A wealth of information!! 2540_2750 = 246 species
    38. 38. 2540_2750 = 100 lists
    39. 39. The map is mostly RED and ORANGE. Black Storks are being recorded far less frequently in SABAP2 than in SABAP1. The reason is unclear. This was a change that no one suspected until this range-change map was produced
    40. 40. The map is mostly ORANGE. There seem to be fewer Hamerkops during SABAP2 than there were in SABAP1. Once again, the reason is unclear. This was also a change that no one suspected until this range-change map was produced
    41. 41. This is an unusual range change map. In the northeast it is mostly RED and ORANGE. It seems to get increasingly GREENER towards the Western Cape, and there seems to be a bit of range expansion northwards in the NW corner of the Western Cape. The grasslands of the Highveld were the former range of the Blue Crane, and from this it seems to be disappearing. But the new core of the distribution is in the wheat-growing regions of the Swartland and Overberg in the Western Cape. It is critically dependent on the current agricultural regime in these regions
    42. 42. The map is mostly GREEN! Although there has not been much range expansion, there has been a big increase in the abundance of Egyptian Geese over the SABAP2 region since SABAP1. This is probably because this species has adapted to agriculture and to living in towns and cities. There are also lots more Egyptian Geese on the shoreline than in former times
    43. 43. The map is has lots of RED and ORANGE, but also some GREEN and BLUE. But the overall consensus is that the Secretarybird is not doing well at present. It is being recorded less frequently in SABAP2 than it was during SABAP1. The reasons are unclear. This was a change that no one really suspected until this range-change map was produced
    44. 44. The map is mostly BLUE and GREEN. Common Mynas have expanded their range massively since SABAP1. But it is a surprise that they now appear to be less common in KwaZulu-Natal than during SABAP1. This ORANGE region was the core of their range at that time. The range of this species in expanding rapidly, and the ongoing SABAP2 project is keeping track of this in a remarkable way. It is even expanding into the Kruger National Park
    45. 45. SABAP2 alerts us that something is not going right for the Black-shouldered Kite
    46. 46. The six bulbuls show the biggest increases of any family. The likely explanation is the process of “thickening” of savanna habitats through bush encroachment, abandonment of marginal farmland, and changes in land management
    47. 47. Why it is fun, learning, fulfilling… • ORF’s • Travel • Access • Support • Friendship • Contribution • Birding “with a purpose”
    48. 48. Acknowledgements Prof Michelle van der Bank Molecular Systematics Laboratory University of Johannesburg, APK Campus Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology Prof Les Underhill, Doug Harebottle and Michael Brooks Animal Demography Unit Department of Zoology University of Cape Town

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