Farias, M., Roper, J. and Cavarzere, V. (2022). “Bird Communities and Their Conservation Priorities are Better Understood through the Integration of Traditional and Citizen Science Data: An Example from Brazilian Atlantic Forest.” Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 7(1), 9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.349
Abstract: The status of endemic and threatened birds of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest remains poorly understood. Citizen science offers information that helps fill this gap. In southern Brazil, traditional science was carried out in 15 of 50 municipalities in western Paraná state, reporting 82 endemic and 25 threatened species in a total of 467. WikiAves, the most popular, photography-based online citizen science platform in Brazil, whose users are not trained to collect data, reported 56 endemic and 11 threatened species in a total of 430 in 48 municipalities. Together, the 512 species is 92% of the expected 558, and all endemic and threatened species reported in WikiAves were reported by traditional scientists. Traditional scientists studied in protected areas, provided a list of species, and reported > 200 species in 4 municipalities, endemic species in 14, and threatened species in 11. The number of species reported correlated with the number of studies in the municipality. Citizen scientists tended to photograph target species, and reported > 200 species in 2 municipalities, endemic species in 31, and threatened in 12. The number of records was correlated with population of the municipality. Traditional scientists tend to test hypotheses and use appropriate methods. Citizen scientists seem to photograph close to home, without using scientific methods. We offer suggestions to better integrate traditional and citizen science data; each adds information useful for both, improving both of their contributions to science and conservation.