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
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- A Year of Citizen Science Calendar: December on December 7, 2018 at 1:25 pm
As a gift to the citizen science community, this holiday season, SciStarter created a beautiful citizen science calendar! For more general ideas (for example, a New Moon or National Dog Day) that you ... […]
- New-Generation Maps Light Up Information on Birds, Powered by Data from Citizen Science and Satellites on December 4, 2018 at 11:45 am
Newswise — Ithaca, NY—Move over, range maps: A new series of dynamic bird maps from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology reveals unprecedented details not only about where the birds are, but how their numbe... […]
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