Alexandrino, E. R., Navarro, A. B., Paulete, V. F., Camolesi, M., Lima, V. G. R., Green, A., De Conto, T., de Barro Ferraz, K. M. P. M., Şekercioğlu, Ç. H., & Do Couto, H. T. Z. (2019). Challenges in Engaging Birdwatchers in Bird Monitoring in a Forest Patch: Lessons for Future Citizen Science Projects in Agricultural Landscapes. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 1–14.
Birdwatchers hold substantial potential as data collectors for research, and in Brazil, the birdwatching community has been growing since the early 2000s. Currently the effects of birds on forest patch restoration in agricultural landscapes is a major focus of avian conservation ecology, but these patches are not frequently visited by birdwatchers in Brazil, hindering the collection of useful bird data. We thus developed a project, Did I see a banded bird!?, which was designed to attract birdwatching volunteers to monitor birds within a forest patch. We explored three motivating factors to attract birdwatchers: (1) we offered an unprecedented opportunity for birdwatchers to record individual birds with colored bands, a challenging activity appealing to birdwatchers’ competitive nature; (2) our study area offered a new location with free, easy access and no logistical impediments; and (3) we continuously provided information on the benefits of birdwatching records for science and society to encourage participation. The project was widely announced and we had 302 applicants. However, the barriers faced throughout the project’s execution, including limited researcher-volunteer interaction, low security in the patch, and the presence of few species for birdwatchers to see, reduced the motivation and participation of most applicants. Consequently, from a list of 155 highly qualified applicants who lived near the patch and were skilled in forest birding, only 10 visited the patch. Our findings provide important guidelines for researchers planning similar citizen science projects in agricultural landscapes, mainly in countries where citizen science is still not common. A correction article relating to this publication can be found here: http://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.247