Wildlife Trusts hunt for shoals of citizen scientists for Shoresearch
Photo Credit To The Wildlife Trusts

Wildlife Trusts hunt for shoals of citizen scientists for Shoresearch

Wildlife Trusts hunt for shoals of citizen scientists for Shoresearch

The Wildlife Trusts are launching a new version of their popular citizen science project – Shoresearch – and are calling on everyone to get involved in monitoring marine life on UK shores.

The data collected through this national effort will help experts monitor our fragile sea life and better understand the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive alien species.

Volunteers and Hampshire Wildlife Trust staff take part in a shoresearch survey at Calcot, Hampshire, UK, 2011 - Photo by Toby Roxburgh
Volunteers and Hampshire Wildlife Trust staff take part in a shoresearch survey at Calcot, Hampshire, UK, 2011 – Photo by Toby Roxburgh

Previous Shoresearch surveys have varied in methodology around the UK.

Edible crab at Polzeath - Photo by Mat Arney, Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Edible crab at Polzeath – Photo by Mat Arney, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Now, for the first time, the same data collection method will be applied around the UK which will ensure that species records can be compared and change can be monitored.

Butterfish - Photo by Polly Whyte
Butterfish – Photo by Polly Whyte

Anyone can get involved by attending a free Shoresearch event hosted by a coastal Wildlife Trust where people will be trained to identify and record intertidal plants and animals and their habitats.

An edible crab (Cancer pagurus) on the seabed of a Scottish sealoch, with anemones in the background. Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. British Isles - Photo by Alexander Mustard
An edible crab (Cancer pagurus) on the seabed of a Scottish sealoch, with anemones in the background. Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. British Isles – Photo by Alexander Mustard

The launch of Shoresearch coincides with National Marine Week which runs from the 27th July to 11th of August 2019.

A portrait of a tompot blenny (Parablennius gattorugine) beneath Swanage Pier, Dorset, UK. Photographed during August, when the blennies have their strongest colouration - Photo by Alexander Mustard
A portrait of a tompot blenny (Parablennius gattorugine) beneath Swanage Pier, Dorset, UK. Photographed during August, when the blennies have their strongest colouration – Photo by Alexander Mustard

National Marine Week – it runs for a fortnight to take advantage of the tides – is a chance to celebrate the wonderful wildlife found in the seas around the UK and there’s a jam-packed programme of events and activities – including inland.

Common hermit crab in Loch Carron Scotland - Photo by Alexander Mustard
Common hermit crab in Loch Carron Scotland – Photo by Alexander Mustard

Shoresearch events will take place during National Marine Week as well as through the rest of the year.

Shoresearch volunteers look at a spiny starfish at Polzeath - Photo by Mat Arney, Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Shoresearch volunteers look at a spiny starfish at Polzeath – Photo by Mat Arney, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts says: “This is the first-time people will be able to contribute to a national effort for our seas and be part of marine conservation in action. People love the sea and want to save it from the many threats it now faces. Shoresearch means they can do something about it and get stuck in. We have developed a new survey method which Wildlife Trusts around the UK are pioneering, and this will contribute to a national database, inform national conservation strategies and mean that protected areas can be properly cared for.”

Sunset cup coral on rock face - Photo by Linda Pitkin
Sunset cup coral on rock face – Photo by Linda Pitkin

Find out more here and contact your nearby coastal Wildlife Trust to find out about Shoresearch activities.

Post source : The Wildlife Trusts

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