Over 7,000 people sign up for garden citizen science survey during lockdown
14 May 2020 | No. 2020-17
Gardens cover more land than nature reserves in the UK, yet their importance for our wildlife is under recorded – is that about to change?
While our movements have been restricted, many of us have spent more time watching and enjoying our garden wildlife. Since the beginning of April, over 7,000 people have taken the opportunity to engage with the UK's most robust garden wildlife survey, joining 11,000 existing members and turning their observations into scientific data, by joining Garden BirdWatch (GBW), a long-term garden wildlife survey run by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
Garden BirdWatch records help scientists at the BTO understand how garden birds and wildlife are changing over time. Thanks to the sightings of thousands of Garden BirdWatch volunteers we understand more about how wildlife uses the food, shelter and other resources in our gardens, and the threats they face, such as disease. Most importantly, the more we know about how birds and animals use our gardens, the more we can improve our cities, towns, villages and individual gardens for wildlife.
Kate Risely, GBW Organiser at the BTO said, “Many more people are turning to their gardens for interest and to watch wildlife, and we are delighted that so many want to contribute their sightings to our research. Garden BirdWatch has been running for 25 years, making the survey older than some of our younger volunteers. We hope some of the people who have joined this year will still be participating many years in the future!"
Make your garden wildlife observations count by joining BTO Garden BirdWatch free at www.bto.org/gbw
(BTO Media Manager)
Email: press [at] bto.org ()
Images are available for use alongside this News Release.
Please contact images [at] bto.org quoting reference 2020-17
Notes to editors
Garden BirdWatch is designed to find out how, when and why birds and other animals use our gardens. Participants send in weekly lists of garden birds and other wildlife, which are are analysed by scientists working under the BTO's urban and garden ecology research programmes, to investigate the links between changes in wildlife populations and factors such as garden management, food, weather and urban structure. www.bto.org/gbw
The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations. www.bto.org
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