When scientists first proposed adding the Tricolored Blackbird to the California endangered species list in 2004, they had a problem. Tricolored Blackbirds nest in large colonies that can move from year to year, and because the locations of these colonies in any given year may not be known, existing survey data were not enough to convince the California Fish and Game Commission to approve the listing.
In 2015 the species was again under consideration for protection under the California Endangered Species Act. This time, however, partners at California Audubon were armed with new information, thanks largely to the work of Dr. Orin Robinson–a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation Science who has been studying Tricolored Blackbirds for the past two years.
Robinson’s work combined data in eBird, a citizen-science project logging millions of bird sightings, with survey data from partners at UC Davis to develop new trend estimates for the state’s Tricolored Blackbird population. By combining these data sets, Robinson developed a statistically reliable population model showing Tricolored Blackbirds declined more than 33 percent during just the past 10 years.
Robinson’s research was the key piece of evidence cited by the State of California to approve state Endangered Species Act protections for Tricolored Blackbirds this past April.
The Latest on: Citizen-science
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The Latest on: Citizen-science
- Citizen science projects have a surprising new partner—the computer on February 6, 2019 at 9:18 am
After being shown thousands of images, the computer starts to recognize the patterns, edges, and parts of the animal, like this elephant trunk. Credit: Snapshot Serengeti For more than a decade ... […]
- Citizen science monitoring program Journey North finds home at Arboretum on February 5, 2019 at 6:32 am
Spring might officially be more than a month away, but for some animals making a trek back north after wintering in the south, the spring migration has already begun. And for citizen scientists who tr... […]
- Full accounting of birds has enduring value, by Chris Bosak on February 4, 2019 at 4:42 pm
I am guilty. I admit it. Even though I have preached in this column before about the importance of participating in citizen science studies and turning in results, whether those results are good or ba... […]
- ISU professor seeking help in creating catalog of Lakeside Lab collection on February 4, 2019 at 10:10 am
An Iowa State University science professor has launched a citizen science project — looking for people to help her catalog thousands of species in a collection at northwest Iowa’s lakeside lab. Lori B... […]
- Citizen Science Lab on the move with second location on February 4, 2019 at 4:30 am
The Citizen Science Lab had a five-year goal to become independent by 2020, but it achieved that goal last year and now needs room to grow. The nonprofit, housed in the Energy Innovation Center — the ... […]
- METRO DIGEST || Learn all about snow on February 2, 2019 at 9:26 pm
The next in a series of citizen science investigations for home-schooled families is an opportunity to learn about snow and contribute to scientific research. From 8:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 13, Jennings ... […]
- Australian Citizen Science Association on January 30, 2019 at 3:35 pm
The Queensland government is establishing a special grants scheme to advance science across the state. On January 24, minister for science Leeanne Enoch launched the Queensland Citizen Science Strateg... […]
- Citizen science in Kenya’s Rift Valley on January 30, 2019 at 2:06 am
Participation is widely seen as a cornerstone of sustainable resource management, and it’s a pillar of Kenya’s 2010 constitution, too. In the remote highland forests and water catchments of the countr... […]
- Learning Through Citizen Science: Enhancing Opportunities By Design on January 29, 2019 at 6:53 am
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Learning Through Citizen Science: Enhancing Opportunities by Design” in now available in print. In the ... […]
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