Citizen science in action with public and private sector partners in Born...
On the weekend 30th April - 1st May 2022 Framework organised a Bio blitz in Born, Luxembourg.
Partnering with City Nature challenge, Bio blitz and the iNaturalist platform the two day event was held at Luxembourg Farmer Cluster member Ramborn Cider.
Framework worked with project partner the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology and the National Natural History Museum to deliver and engaging event that brought together people of all ages to explore the biodiversity present in the local orchard agroecosystem.
Lead Gitte Kragh reports:
We ran the BioBlitz on the weekend here at Ramborn. Lovely place, lovely orchards! But also the farmers are here and LIST, our partner. Lots of communication going on because citizen science involves a lot of people!
It's all about involving the public and the local community here in biodiversity monitoring. It was also the City Nature Challenge, which is a global biodiversity monitoring challenge that we could tie into. In Luxembourg it was run by the Natural History Museum.
There were loads of people. It was really good engagement, lots of people going on the walks, lots of observations. We're up to almost 800 on that weekend and over 70 people submitted records. That's really good!
People have all kinds of interest, all kinds of motivations, and some just want to go for a nice walk! So people show up with all these different things and you have to work out very quickly what they're interested in. In beautiful place like this on a sunny weekend, they go like, we just want to go for a walk!And then you go, okay, but you can help us because we don't really know about the biodiversity in the area...
Get the iNaturalist app. Just install it and take a photo - everybody can participate, which is what's fantastic about citizen science.
Lots of families came. Lots of little kids running around like, oh, what's this? What's this? Getting excited about things that they had never really seen before. Even some of the adults were like, 'I've never seen this butterfly and I live in the area!'
When you ask them to look for things, then they start seeing things that they've never seen before. For citizen science, everything is relevant, which is kind of the easy sell if you like.
iNaturalists started in 2008, so it's been going for a long, long time. It's a platform developed by scientists to collect data, but it's open so anyone can use it. It doesn't cost anything. So you can download it. You have to create an account. But then if you take a photo and click on the little, this is this is what it is, the name thing. It will think about it. And then there is artificial intelligence behind it that will come up and say, Ooh, we think this is what it might be. It might be at a high level or it might just go, we are not sure. It might be this family or it might be a specific species that it comes up and suggests, which makes it really easy even for us. You know, we don't have to type in anything. We just upload the photo and go, Yeah, it looks like this.
And for people who have no clue, they can do the same. They upload it and go, Oh, that kind of looks like that. And then they click it, send it in, done. So it needs a location which automatically by now on smartphones, it needs a time and place automatic as well. So then all the data goes into the big database and a lot of people sit at home, not necessarily scientist.
Anyone can do this and go, Oh, this is, this is a grey heron. We went for a walk 20 minutes later, someone had gone, Yes, that's a grey heron! It's really, really quick!
And when you have enough either experts or community scientists, then it gets verified and it gets a sticker on saying research. Great. Right. And when it gets that, we can use it as scientists and it gets into a global biodiversity information facility with all the other biodiversity data worldwide, where all scientists can then download the data and use it.
The link to the local people is important as well. We know that spending time at night in nature is really good for people. It's good for our health. They go for a walk. It's uphill, it's downhill. It's not easy walking always. And they notice what's around that's really good for also for our mental health. So really important both for ecology but also for for us humans.
To see the observations from the weekend, visit iNaturalist by clicking the button below...