When people contribute to scientific research, we call them citizen scientists. Everybody is welcome to make some input into scientific research, whether you are young or old, scientist or not, men or women. Citizen science in wildlife research has been very successful over the last two decades. In fact, people show a lot of enthusiasm when they contribute to research aspect like species conservation, bird counting, fish sampling etc.
Wildlife citizen science can be life changing. People like to feel connected to nature because it improves their psychological wellbeing. It may help you to learn about new environmental issues and have a sense of responsibility towards our planet. It provides a lot of knowledge about the identification of animals and plants and their importance in our daily life.
Although citizen science has been on for several years, a very small proportion of people know that they have the opportunity to help scientists and learn many things about the life of animals and plants. Another possible reason why the contribution of people is still minor is the perception of scientific research as a complicated process. It is natural for people to feel intimidated by scientific research because of the stereotype of microscope, pipette, complex machinery and graphs. In wildlife citizen science, people have the opportunity to participate in the simplest and most fun part of the research, that is data collection. This step usually (not always) takes place in the field (lake, river, forest, agricultural field…). Researchers give guidance and recommendation on how data should be collected. Then, the field work is conducted in good spirit and humor. And that’s it; you are a citizen scientist. With the collected data, wildlife researcher will be able to better understand the species and establish effective management plan.
One way to attract the public to citizen science is video games. Imagine if a gaming application like Pokemon Go included real animals and plants instead of pokemons, and people would go out to look for a certain bird, would people be interested to play this game? This is what we would like to understand in our survey questionnaire that you can find below. Please choose your favorite language.