Despite the many potential uses of citizen science activities (e.g. BioBlitz) in conservation and ecology, most are usually limited by the lack of: 1) comparability of samples due to variability in the sampling effort (number of participants, sampling time, etc.); 2) quantitative data (relative species abundance); and 3) information on the efficiency of the sampling.
Here we will present our project, which is addressing these three limitations by developing widely applicable, standardised and optimised sampling protocols termed CEBRA (Citizen-led Educational Biodiversity Rapid Assessment). Based on the COBRA protocols (Conservation Oriented Biodiveristy Rapid Assessment), the CEBRA protocols will increase the value of the generated data and facilitate their analyses thereby encouraging more scientists – many of which are reluctant to participate – to contribute to the collection and identification of the samples.
The use of CEBRA will enrich civic-scientific activities, not only by overcoming their current limitations, but also by contributing to the scientific literacy of citizens. Furthermore, by increasing comparability of data from different locations and years and the participation of increasingly expanding network of participating organisations, CEBRA will turn citizen science events into tools for monitoring biodiversity and not only for measuring it.
Região Autónoma dos Açores (Direção Regional da Ciência e Tecnologia), Fundació Zoo de Barcelona, University of Nottingham, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona.
cE3c – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores; University of Nottingham; Universitat de Barcelona; Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona.