On February 7, 2023, Geoff LeBaron, Audubon’s Christmas Chicken Rely director, testified in entrance of Canadian Parliament, particularly their Committee on Science and Analysis. The committee is presently learning the significance and contributions of “citizen” science (additionally known as group science). They’re enthusiastic about studying the worth of most of these applications in all fields of examine as a way to higher perceive nature in Canada. Geoff shared the historical past and significance of the Christmas Chicken Rely, in addition to how continuously the Rely and different group science applications are used for conservation analysis—a major contribution from the general public and non-governmental organizations to satisfy a serious environmental monitoring want.
“Group Science is a crucial a part of how Audubon and different conservation organizations acquire knowledge. For instance, tens of hundreds of volunteers all through the Americas courageous snow, wind, or rain to participate within the Christmas Chicken Rely every year. The info collected is then used to evaluate the well being of fowl populations all through the hemisphere and helps to information conservation motion,” explains Geoff, who has been heading up the Christmas Chicken Rely since 1987.
The Christmas Chicken Rely is in its 123rd 12 months, making it North America’s longest-running group science fowl challenge. And since its inception in 1900, this system has grown tremendously. Right now, volunteers take part in hundreds of counts in all 50 US states, in all Canadian provinces, a number of Central and South American international locations, and a number of other Pacific and Caribbean islands. In a predetermined window from mid-December to early January, these teams of volunteers choose a day to conduct a depend. They typically divide into groups and punctiliously depend the numbers of birds of every species that they determine throughout the boundaries of a rigorously prescribed 15-mile diameter circle. They then submit their findings again to Audubon, or in Canada, to companions Birds Canada. The info collected by Christmas Chicken Rely members over time have supplied a wealth of data permitting researchers to publish a whole bunch of peer-reviewed papers on the ecology, conservation standing, and inhabitants traits of early winter fowl populations throughout North America and all through the hemisphere.
“I used to be honored to be invited to talk to the Parliament of Canada about Audubon’s Christmas Chicken Rely and its significance to our understanding of the standing and traits of birds in North America, in addition to to the acceptance of “citizen” science knowledge units by the scientific group,” stated Geoff. “Members (of the committee) had been particularly happy to listen to concerning the unbelievable contributions of all members, and that Christmas Chicken Rely knowledge are freely accessible to be used in conservation analysis.”
You may take heed to your entire listening to, together with Geoff’s testimony right here. [Audio will be published here when it is made available. Please check back.]