Crowdsourcing for tracking wildlife and migration patterns
Nature lovers everywhere already capture images for pleasure, why not put those photos to good use? Sharing nature images on a platform where scientists can analyze the image can help track specific species, or understand habitats in general. Crowdsourced, grassroots approaches to generating insight into how wildlife populations are changing, can shed light on issues such as biodiversity and climate change.
eBird is just one outstanding example of how digital technology is transforming bird watching, and in the process providing a model for other citizen sciences to follow. The eBird system is collating vast numbers of bird observations: more than 48 million from roughly 35,000 contributors around the world. Those groups may have a regional focus (eBird Puerto Rico for example) or they may have more specific populations in mind (the Louisiana Winter Bird Atlas).