The eastern bristlebird emits a high, sliding whistle, often in the middle of the dawn chorus, and frequently in a way that makes it hard to pick out. The small brown native songbird is endangered, with only about 2,500 left in Australia and 40 in Queensland, but because the bird is so shy, it is difficult for conservationists to monitor them. To make things more difficult when people approach, the bristlebird stops singing. Jessie Oliver, a PhD student at the Queensland University of Technology, is trying to help conservationists look after the bird by figuring out where they are. In 2015 she joined forces with the eastern bristlebird recovery team to set up remote recorders in the Queensland bush. By recording and recognising the birds, conservationists have been able to keep tabs on its small population. It is one of the many examples of environmental scientists turning to citizen scientists to help them with their research, relying on ordinary people to collect information. Citizen science is currently booming in Australia and around the world. As research funding dries up, and technology makes cataloguing and tracking everything easier, citizens are increasingly filling the data collection void. Amateur stargazers create crowdsourced star… Read full this story
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