Want to get involved in some citizen science to help protect our seabird colonies? Read on!
Now, for regular viewers of BBC’s Spring/Autumn/Winterwatch shows, ‘Seabirdwatch’ might sound familiar. It was featured last year alongside a challenge to complete as many of the tasks on the site as possible, and is now 69% complete as of Jan 2018. But what is it and how can you get involved?
The site hosted by ‘Zooniverse’ is set to easily guide the user to identify 2 different bird species in photos taken from camera traps placed at various sites around the North Atlantic – Skellig Michael off the west coast of Ireland, Rathin Island off the north coast of Northern Ireland, Puffin Island off the coast of Anglesey in Wales, Skomer off the southwest coast of Wales, Elliðaey island in west Iceland, Hvitabjarnarey Island in west Iceland, and three sites on the west coast of Svalbard. For more information on the nesting sites, investigate here.
The first of the species to identify are the Kittiwake. A gull with yellow bills, dark eyes and black legs, who are listed on the UK Conservation list as ‘Red’ due to their population decline in recent history. The second are the Guillemot, a mainly black seabird which looks a bit like a skinny flying penguin, who, at the top of their food chain, are a great indicator the health of a habitat.
The research gathered from users identifying the amount of each species in each photograph will help scientists to understand the impact of our changing world on our seabirds, and how we can help them.
It’s as easy as a click to identify the bird, with the use of zoom tools to help get closer. Below you can see a before and after image, kittiwakes identified in yellow and guillemots in blue.
It’s a great way to spend 10 minutes winding down in the evening, or to keep you occupied during a lunch break. I’ve completed 44 images just in 5 minute stints every now and then!
How do you get involved? Simply click here, sign up and follow the easy to understand instructions, and help our sea-faring friends!
For more information on the research and science behind the project, and to meet the team making it happen, visit here.
To find out more about Wildly Pip, click here.