Binoculars in hand, birders around the world contribute every day to a massive database of bird sightings worldwide. But while community science observations of birds can be useful data, it may not be enough to fill the data gaps in developing countries where professional bird surveys are insufficient or absent.
Ornithologists at the University of Utah say that community science bird data shows different trends in bird populations than professional bird surveys do, especially in developing countries. Researchers look for trends to know whether the number of individuals in a species is increasing, stable or decreasing—with the latter as a warning sign that the species is in trouble. Their results are published in Biological Conservation. More observations are needed, the researchers say, both by birders and professionals. MORE
Header image: Çağan H. Şekercioğluac.