Researchers Need Help from Citizens on Birds Around Oregon, the Coast
(Oregon Coast) – One group in Oregon is calling for assistance from the public helping out in a grand project of gathering about birds around the state, especially the Oregon coast. (Above: bird colonies between Yachats and Florence)
Oregon State University researchers need help from bird-watching enthusiasts to create a volunteer team of “citizen scientists” to gather data on Oregon’s birds. Their project, called Oregon 2020, is seeking to fill some of the large gaps in data about Oregon birds, organizers say. Information about the project is available online at: http://oregon2020.com/.
The project hopes to enlist a cadre of volunteers in each county to gather data on birds in their area. It will offer online tutorials and guidance on how to collect and log the data, which will be part of the national eBird database run by Cornell University.
It is named 2020 because the group hopes to have this state-wide benchmark of Oregon's birds by that year. Above: colonies of birds south of Yachats, on the central Oregon coast. (Above: Puffins at Cannon Beach, photo Seaside Aquarium).
The project's goals include finding exact, repeatable methods that can be duplicated by scientists in the future, coordinate collaboration efforts between amateur scientists and professionals, and to create a training program to enhance the quality of data contributed by volunteers.
Birds can be sensitive to environmental changes on many levels, including their lifecycle, breeding and winter migration. They play many valuable ecological roles, so understanding their responses to environmental change is important, OSU researchers said.
Oregon 2020 will produce a treasure of information on the distribution and abundance of birds in Oregon. That data will then be archived in eBird, Avian Knowledge Network, and other global biodiversity databases.
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