butterflies, species, observation
The project overview
Austria is home to 4,000 butterfly species. 215 of them are diurnal butterflies, the rest are moths. About half of the diurnal butterflies are already endangered, mostly due to the loss of habitats. Information about the distribution of the different species is essential and forms the basis for all further protection measures.
The project wanted to establish an active and sustaining "butterfly-network" all over Austria. The project focused on some easy to distinguish, but also endangered species. The online platform www.naturbeobachtung.at was the main part of the project and also included an already active scientist-amateur-network.
How did citzen scientists participate?
Citizen scientists observed, photographed and reported their observed butterflies online on www.naturbeobachtung.at/AbenteuerFaltertage. They uploaded their most beautiful pictures to the discussion forum, where they could also interact with other citizen scientists and receive help from experts before reporting their observations. Profiles of 215 species could be found on the website back then. After reporting observations, each citizen scientist had access to his own "observation list" with pictures and distribution maps on the website.
What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?
All observations were evaluated and validated by Austrian butterfly experts. The data was included in up-to-date distribution maps (Red List, butterfly atlas…), scientific projects and protection measures. Pictures were used for public relations about endangerment and protection of butterflies.
Prizes and winners
The three most committed school classes with the highest scores (and valid data) won 1,500 Euro for 1st place, 1,000 Euro for 2nd place, 500 Euro for 3rd place. For more information visit the project website.
Participating and supporting institutions
Magdalena Meikl MSc
Project website: http://www.naturbeobachtung.at/AbenteuerFaltertage