Let's have a look at our meadows!

Where is the Wasp Spider on the rise as a result of global warming? Where can you still find the medicinal plant Arnica?

Arnica, Wasp Spider, biodiversity

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: PC, smartphone, e-mail
Activities of citizen scientists: observing, photographing
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 25.03.2015 - 31.12.2016
Time to join in: 01.05.2016 - 30.09.2016

Project objective

Since 2007 more than 600 farmers and 14 agricultural schools have been monitoring more than 200 plant and 80 animal species on their meadows and pastures all over Austria including the Wasp Spider and the Arnica.

The collected data helps to explore the influence of mowing dates, intensity of pasturing or fertilisation on the occurrence of animal and plant species. It also investigates the influence of weather and global warming on biodiversity.

How did citizen scientists participate?

Schools, farmers and other interested observers were invited to take part! Everyone who found the wasp spider or arnica on meadows, pastures or on embankments was able to join. Citizens had to take a picture and count how many individuals of spiders and Arnica there were in a radius of 5 metres. Then the findings were registered on an online map with a computer or smartphone and the pictures were uploaded. The ones who registered the most findings won cash or prizes!

What happened to contributions of citizen scientists?

Currently the Wasp Spider is spreading in Austria as a consequence of global warming. Each finding helped to understand where the species is spreading. Monitoring Arnica helps to understand where this rare species can be found in Austria and what can be done to protect it.

The three most committed schools won cash prizes for the class fund: 1st prize: 1,500 Euro, 2nd Price: 1,000 Euro, 3rd Prize: 500 Euro. The three most committed farmers and the three other most diligent observers won a weekend trip in Austria and other great prizes. For more information see the project website.

Participating and supporting institutions

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