Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Wildlife Disease Citizen Science

By February 2nd, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Comment

Photo: USFWS

Photo: USFWS

Wild animals get sick from parasites, fungi, and other causes just like people and pets do, but they don’t usually have doctors to help them get better. Instead, you can help them with citizen science! Below, we highlight five projects that study wildlife diseases. Find more projects on SciStarter to do now, or bookmark your favorites for later!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USGS
ZomBee Watch
Honey bees across North America are being infected by tiny parasites called Zombie Flies; the sick bees abandon their hives and die. Volunteers can capture honey bees and test them for the presence of the parasite.

Photo: Bethann Merkle
Bee Germs
Many bee species nest in the ground, and often we know very little about the diseases that impact them. If you have ground-nesting bees in your area, you can collect a few and send them to researchers to be tested for diseases.

Photo: NPS
Project Monarch Health
A parasite called OE affects monarchs throughout the United States; the disease causes malformations and even death. Volunteers can help track the abundance of this disease by capturing monarchs, painlessly collecting a sample of their scales, and then releasing them.

Photo: SERC
Chesapeake Bay Parasite Project
If you live in the Chesapeake Bay area, you can help survey for an invasive parasite that is infecting native mud crabs. Volunteers are needed for this summer, so use our new bookmark feature to save the project for later!

Photo: USFWS
OK Amphibian Disease Testing
Students and teachers in Oklahoma are needed to catch frogs, swab them for a fungus called chytrid (potentially lethal to frogs), and then safely release them. Request a monitoring kit now to be prepared for the March-June peak monitoring season.


Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

How to Tell a Rock from a Penguin: It’s Harder Than It Sounds

By January 26th, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Comment

Adelie penguins. Credit: Jean Pennycook

By: Lishka Arata

Many things distinguish penguins from rocks. There’s color difference (usually), behavior (penguins waddle, rocks don’t), social structure (rocks don’t have one) — the list goes on. But why might someone need to distinguish between rocks and penguins?

It’s a skill central to a long-term project that relies on citizen scientists, working from the comfort of their homes, to identify penguins in photographs taken by remotely operated cameras in Antarctica. The project, focused on Adelie penguins, aims to determine how climate change affects living systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story

By January 25th, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Comment

Join Jojo and her family counting bats as citizen scientists in the soon-to-be-released book Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story!

Soon-to-be-released: Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story

It won’t be in stores until the end of February, but you can read — and listen to — a free digital review copy today.  The story, written  by Philadelphia-area author Anna Forrester and illustrated by Susan Detwiler, encourages kids to get involved in citizen science and make it their own.

Forrester worked with Katie Gillies, Director of the Imperiled Species Program at Bat Conservation International, and Catherine J. Hibbard, White-nose Syndrome Communications Leader with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to verify the accuracy of the information in the book.

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story will be available in bookstores in February 2017 in  hardcover and paperback in English, and in paperback i nSpanish. Preorders are being accepted now and will ship as soon as the books arrive.

For information about ordering the book, including wholesale and non-profit rates, contact Donna German, general manager of Arbordale Publishing, at donna@arbordalepublishing.com

 

And the Squirrels were Merry

By January 21st, 2017 at 8:00 am | Comment

I grew up in Fishtown, Philadelphia, an inner city grid of red-brick row homes, corner bars, candy shops, and barely-breathing factories. Fishtown was not known for its wildlife. There were birds. A wide variety, if two counts as a wide variety: big birds (pigeons) and small birds (sparrows). There were cats and an occasional dog that escaped out of someone’s yard.

On rare occasions, I’d see a squirrel scampering about on the telephone pole in my backyard. This was an occasion to call all the neighbor kids and we would stand there like we were at the zoo. The squirrel stared right back, Philly-style. Read the rest of this entry »

Spot a Squirrel and Help Science

By January 19th, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Comment

January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day! Celebrate by participating in one of these squirrel-centric projects. It sounds a little nutty, but researchers unnamed (2)rely on your squirrel observations to advance research about these furry friends.  Find more projects on SciStarter to do now, or bookmark your favorites for later!
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USFWS
Project Squirrel
Squirrels are some of the most common forms of backyard wildlife. Wherever you are, you can join the study of wildlife by counting squirrels in your neighborhood and reporting your findings online.

Photo: USFWS
Southern California Squirrel Survey
Squirrels are abundant in Southern California, but some native species are in decline and other introduced species are spreading a little too quickly. Learn what’s happening in your neck of the woods by by posting a photo and location information on this website.

Photo: WA State DFWC
Western Gray Squirrel Project
The western gray squirrel is threatened in Washington state, and biologists need to know more about them to understand what’s happening. Residents in the Methow Valley can conduct squirrel surveys to estimate the size and distribution of the population.

White Squirrel Mapping
Have you ever seen a white squirrel? Throughout the world, squirrels of species that are normally grey or red are sometimes white. Report sightings of white squirrels and add to a global map of their distribution.

Photo: USFWS
SquirrelMapper
In some locations, gray squirrels have evolved to be black! By mapping the locations of black squirrels, you can help biologists understand more about this change and how it benefits the squirrels.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is launching a wildlife camera trap study called North Carolina’s Candid Critters. Find out more here.  Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!