[Taxacom] Citizen Science

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sat Oct 25 18:48:05 CDT 2014


As I have already tried to explain, sites like NatureWatch are as good as you want to help to make them. Have a browse through my observations: http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/stho002
Yes, there are a lot of other contributors to these sorts of sites, who are very "limited", but so what? There is no way that any journal is going to publish all my observations, and, taken together, my observations are slowly building up a picture of local biodiversity and ecology. It is an ongoing and open-ended process, which is in part why one can't easily get this stuff published in journals. Every observation is another data point.

Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Sun, 26/10/14, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Citizen Science
 To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Sunday, 26 October, 2014, 12:34 PM
 
 Sorry Stephen, but I feel you are
 wrong this time. Lack of information
 is not an issue. I endured 3 hours of picture flipping
 through
 BowerBird, ProjectNoah and Nature Watch (the latter only 1/2
 an hour
 as I was beat by then) to at least know what we are talking
 about. I
 notice several things.
 
 People submit pictures hoping for an ID but they don´t seem
 to check
 if someone has already done so before. Sometimes it only
 takes
 checking last months pics to find a match. In addition they
 don´t even
 bother to narrow it down. Fully 1/3 are macroleps, for which
 there are
 plenty of guides around that can get you to at least tribe
 or genus.
 Couldn´t they at least post the picture with a tentative
 taxon name
 (Geometrid(?)). That would at least help those ungracious
 specialists
 find the pics.  And if the taxonomic sampling wasn´t
 biased enough if
 you checked the first 400 photos (done on friday BTW) in
 ProjectNoah
 and used this as a sampling of the Coleoptera, you would
 conclude that
 the fauna is composed primarily of buprestids, cerambycids
 and
 chrysomelids (Paropsids and bups in Australia, repeatedly
 the same
 paropsids). Big, showy and obvious. Not a criticisim but it
 is as
 expected based on people´s general interests.
 
 It takes considerable time and effort to photgraph a
 specimen from
 every angle in sufficient detail and even then it is only a
 tentative
 form of identification. What use is a detailed digital
 collection of
 mostly small, cryptic and difficult to find taxa to these
 very
 enthusiastic photographers if they don´t even check the
 Class or
 family or previous identifications? How will they locate
 the
 appropriate taxon to match with their picture, some sort of
 colour
 coding or size discrimination? I posit that it would be
 useful to
 amateur naturalists but they are not the ones posting there
 because
 they are going the way of the Moa.
 
 There is already a drive for open access articles and, as it
 is
 becoming increasingly apparent in many journals (Pensoft
 being the
 most obvious) for picture rich articles. Information has
 never been
 more accessible and it will become even more so. The blame
 belongs
 somewhere else.
 
 Best
 
 Jason
 
 On 26 October 2014 00:33, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 wrote:
 > And if you were to make your digital museum freely
 available online, then a "citizen science" site like
 iNaturalist would be a convenient repository for it, and we
 would have an all too rare case of a professional scientist
 making a really valuable contribution to a public resource.
 >
 > Stephen
 >
 > --------------------------------------------
 > On Sun, 26/10/14, Dr Brian Taylor <dr.brian.taylor at ntlworld.com>
 wrote:
 >
 >  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Citizen Science
 >  To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>,
 "Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu"
 <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>,
 "Michael Wilson" <wilsomichael at gmail.com>
 >  Received: Sunday, 26 October, 2014, 11:10 AM
 >
 >  Can I point you in the direction of
 >  Antweb.org who now have images of ant
 >  type specimens. Although an enormously useful
 resource to
 >  someone, like
 >  myself, seeking to verify what, without visiting
 museums or
 >  borrowing the
 >  type specimens (not really desirable for fragile
 dry mounted
 >  insects), were
 >  often "best guess" identifications of fresh
 material, the
 >  limitation is that
 >  the excellent quality Antweb images (photographs)
 not
 >  infrequently do not
 >  show diagnostic characters.  On the other
 hand I have
 >  found it possible to
 >  identify species from field photographs sent to
 me. The
 >  moral objections to
 >  taking specimens perhaps are misguided as,
 certainly if one
 >  is trying to
 >  make sound ecological conclusions, or similar,
 one does, in
 >  my view, need to
 >  know exactly what species one is studying. 
 I write
 >  this from in-depth
 >  experience of such research.  Cytotaxonomy
 studies in
 >  recent years have
 >  verified the existence of cryptic sibling species
 of
 >  Anopheles which I felt
 >  lay behind an apparent resurgence of malaria
 transmission in
 >  the Solomon
 >  Islands some 40 years ago. My conclusions had
 come from
 >  monitoring the time
 >  of man-biting before and after house-spraying
 operations had
 >  commenced.
 >
 >  In my ant taxonomy studies, I take a series,
 usually about
 >  20, of simple
 >  photographs from different angles and at
 different levels of
 >  magnification.
 >  I compile a "photomontage" to illustrate the
 species and
 >  maintain a digital
 >  museum of most of the specimens, or
 representatives from
 >  samples of more
 >  than one ant. The actual mounted specimens will
 all go into
 >  museum
 >  collections but, hopefully, not have to be loaned
 out and,
 >  so, risk damage
 >  or loss.
 >
 >  Brian
 >
 >
 >  On 25/10/2014 22:26, "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 >  wrote:
 >
 >  > The issue of photos vs. specimens is a
 complex and
 >  interesting one. In many
 >  > cases, photos are sufficient to identify a
 species. So,
 >  if one wants data on
 >  > spatiotemporal distribution, it is a better
 use of
 >  resources to make a
 >  > collection of digital photos than it is to
 accession
 >  all those specimens into
 >  > a collection which will require continual
 curation.
 >  That said, I am not
 >  > necessarily talking about photos of live
 specimens in
 >  the field, which have
 >  > limited utility. My vision is diagnostic
 images of dead
 >  specimens, with no
 >  > need to then preserve the specimen*. This is
 my
 >  approach on NatureWatch NZ.
 >  > Luckily, they, and also iNaturalist and
 BowerBird have
 >  no "ethical" objections
 >  > to this approach, but some other sites like
 ProjectNoah
 >  don't appear to be
 >  > open to such modifications of their initial
 purpose
 >  and
 >  > philosophy.
 >
 >  Stephen
 >
 >  *One objection to this is that taxonomy changes,
 and
 >  > species get split. However, in practical
 terms, it
 >  would be rare that good
 >  > diagnostic photos could not be re-evaluated
 in the
 >  event of taxonomic
 >  > changes.
 >
 >  --------------------------------------------
 >  On Sun, 26/10/14,
 >  > Michael Wilson <wilsomichael at gmail.com>
 >  wrote:
 >
 >   Subject: Re: [Taxacom]
 >  > Citizen Science
 >   To: "Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu"
 >  > <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 >   Received: Sunday, 26 October, 2014,
 2:35 AM
 >
 >
 >  > One aspect of the increasing use of
 >   digital images for recording does not
 >
 >  > seem to have been mentioned in this
 interesting
 >  discussion
 >   (if it has I
 >
 >  > apologise). Recording using images has
 become a
 >  substitute
 >   for taking any
 >
 >  > specimens. We often receive images and
 requests for
 >   identifications based
 >   on
 >  > images- when many groups would require
 examination of
 >   small characters.
 >   This
 >  > is fine- we point out that we need specimens
 to
 >  examine
 >   since there
 >   could be
 >  > many species that look almost identical. But
 many
 >   are morally
 >   opposed to
 >  > taking any specimens - even of small
 >   invertebrates on the
 >   grounds they are
 >  > conservationists- and not 'collectors'.
 >
 >   I do believe that if we cannot
 >  > encourage the 'next
 >   generation' to develop
 >   their skills and interests by
 >  > taking specimens home to
 >   examine under a
 >   microscope then we will have even
 >  > fewer taxonomists than we
 >   have now.
 >
 >   Mike Wilson
 >
 >   Entomology Section
 >
 >  > Dept of Natural Sciences
 >   National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK
 >
 >   On Sat, Oct
 >  > 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM, Mike Sadka <sadkamike at gmail.com>
 >   wrote:
 >
 >   > Ah
 >  > Stephen!
 >   >
 >   > You throw out such tempting
 bait...
 >   >
 >   > But I've promised
 >  > myself I am not rising again!
 >   >
 >   > Cheerio, Mike
 >   >
 >   > On Fri, Oct 24, 2014
 >  > at 10:31 PM, Stephen Thorpe <
 >   > stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
 >   > > wrote:
 >   >
 >   >
 >  > > It an issue of "reading between the
 lines" and
 >  the
 >   loading of neutral
 >   > >
 >  > facts with negative spin. Also, Dr. Ward set
 the
 >   Hymenoptera project up
 >   > >
 >  > only to shoot it down for not having
 associated
 >   protocols that he didn't
 >   > >
 >  > set it up with! I just think that this is a
 >   nonsense paper. It concludes
 >   > >
 >  > the blatantly obvious (i.e., that there are
 some
 >   geographical and
 >   >
 >  > taxonomic
 >   > > biases in "citizen science"
 data) from an
 >  analysis
 >   of a very
 >  > limited
 >   > > dataset, and fails to
 consider how sites like
 >   NatureWatch NZ
 >  > might evolve
 >   > > in such a way as to lessen
 these biases. One way
 >   would be
 >  > more engagement
 >   > > from professional
 scientists, but Darren
 >   contributed no
 >  > observations
 >   > > himself, so it all just
 seems to me to be a bit
 >  of
 >   a
 >  > hatchet job.
 >   > >
 >   > > Stephen
 >   > >
 >   > >
 >  >
 --------------------------------------------
 >   > > On Sat, 25/10/14, JF Mate
 >  > <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>
 >   wrote:
 >   > >
 >   > >  Subject: Re: [Taxacom]
 Citizen
 >  > Science
 >   > >  To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 >   > >  Received:
 >  > Saturday, 25 October, 2014, 1:54
 >   AM
 >   > >
 >   > >  Continuing Stephen
 and
 >   > >
 >  > thread on Darren Ward and Citizen Science.
 >   I
 >   > >  am attaching an
 excerpt of
 >  > his abstract:
 >   > >
 >   > >  Darren Ward (excerpt
 from
 >   > >  abstract of the
 >  > article):
 >   > >
 >   > >  “Over the course of
 1 year 25 members
 >   > >  contributed
 >  > 360 records from 186
 >   > >  taxa,
 >   > >  including the
 discovery of several
 >
 >  > introduced species new to
 >   > >  New
 >   > >  Zealand. There was a
 strong
 >  > geographical
 >   > >  bias to the records,
 with the
 >   > >  majority being
 >   > >
 >  > based around the major cities. Aculeates
 >   (stinging
 >   > >  wasps) were
 >  > significantly over-represented
 >   in
 >   > >  the NatureWatch
 records.
 >   > >  Only
 >  > half (55 %) of
 >   > >  taxa were identified
 to species level, with
 >   a
 >   > >
 >  > further 28 % at genus level, and 17 %
 >   > >  identified above
 genus level
 >   > >
 >  > (family,
 >   > >  order). Furthermore,
 the majority (65 %) of
 >   taxa were
 >   > >
 >  > recorded only once, and only a few taxa
 >   were
 >   > >  recorded [5 times
 (top
 >   >
 >  > >  records were
 >   > > 
 ‘‘Ichneumonidae’’,
 >   ‘‘Hymenoptera’’,
 >   > >  Anthidium
 >  > manicatum,
 >   > >  and Apis mellifera).
 It
 >   > >  is probable that these
 same
 >  > biases also
 >   exist
 >   > >  for many other
 taxonomic groups in projects
 >   > >
 >  > operated by citizen
 >   > >  scientists lacking
 set
 >   > >  protocols. Caution
 >  > should be exercised on
 >   the
 >   > >  subsequent use,
 compilation, and analysis
 >
 >  > of
 >   > >  citizen science,
 >   > >  especially without
 prior
 >   > >  examination of
 >  > records and potential
 >   biases.”
 >   > >
 >   > >
 >   > >  (Stephen´s
 >   > >  opinion
 >  > crudely cut and pasted here) “I
 >   interpret this
 >   > >  to
 >   > >  have been a
 >  > deliberate attempt to
 >   > >  reinforce to the
 professional
 >   > >  community the
 >
 >  > > >  (false) idea that such
 "citizen science"
 >   projects
 >   > >  aren't
 >   > >
 >  > worth bothering with.”
 >   > >
 >   > >
 >   > >  Seriously,
 >   > >  what is the problem
 >  > with what Mr Ward is
 >   saying? If you
 >   > >  check any of the sites
 mentioned in
 >  > Taxacom
 >   you
 >   > >  will discover that
 >   > >  what he is saying is
 >   > >  true!
 >  > This is not a criticism of nature
 >   lovers,
 >   > >  it is a human
 condition: we
 >  > love
 >   butterflies
 >   > >  and colourful things
 and
 >   > >  dislike small
 >   > >
 >  > creepy-crawlies. Why would you expect
 >   different from the
 >   > >  subset of
 >  > nature macrophotographers?
 >   > >
 >   > >  Jason
 >   > >
 >   > >
 >   > >
 >   > >  On 24
 >  > October
 >   > >  2014 09:17,
 Alastair   Culham
 >   <a.culham at reading.ac.uk>
 >   > >
 >  > wrote:
 >   > >  > For the past year
 we've been
 >   > >  running a citizen
 science
 >  > project to survey
 >   powdery mildew
 >   > >  species around the UK
 in a joint
 >  > project
 >   with the Royal
 >   > >  Horticultural Society
 -
 >   > >
 >  > http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg/powdery-mildew-survey/
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > This has
 >  > resulted in
 >   > >  a data set of around
 200 samples in the
 >   trial year
 >  > including
 >   > >  59 different PM
 species
 >   > >
 >   >
 >  > http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/whiteknightsbiodiversity/campus-species-lists/fungi
 >  > /powdery-mildew-2014/
 >   > > .
 >   > >   We are
 hoping for over 1000
 >   samples next
 >  > season.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > Samples are
 >   > >  identified using a
 combination of
 >
 >  > morphological and
 >   > >  molecular techniques
 by a research council
 >   funded
 >  > PhD
 >   > >  student and the
 results are emailed back to
 >   the sample
 >   > >
 >  > providers as well as posted on our
 >   blogs.  Engaging the UK
 >   > >  public in
 >  > this scheme has allowed a more
 >   widespread sampling
 >   > >  and allows the
 >  > student doing the work to
 >   focus on lab work
 >   > >  rather than chasing
 around
 >  > the UK for
 >   samples.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > The challenge
 has
 >   > >  been to keep the
 >  > survey in people's minds so
 >   that we get
 >   > >  samples sent on a
 regular basis
 >  > throughout
 >   the long mildew
 >   > >  season.  This is
 a non-trivial job and
 >
 >  > requires a lot of
 >   > >  forward planning.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  Ours is a
 >  > small CS scheme compared with
 >   large scale
 >   > >  monitoring of the UK
 flora by
 >  > the BSBI which
 >   has a network
 >   > >  of local (usually
 highly expert) regional
 >
 >  > recorders and a
 >   > >  further network of
 taxonomic experts to back
 >   them up.
 >  > The
 >   > >  common feature of
 effective CS schemes is
 >   that there is an
 >   > >
 >  > ongoing investment in management of them
 and
 >   close
 >   > >  monitoring of data
 >  > quality.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > CS can be highly
 effective and can be
 >   a
 >   > >  very
 >  > cost effective way of gathering data if
 >   the scheme is
 >   > >  run well.  All
 >  > science risks a rubbish
 >   in, rubbish out
 >   > >  scenario and CS is
 just as
 >  > sensitive to this
 >   as any other
 >   > >  science is.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >  > Alastair
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >   ____________________________________________
 >   > >  >
 >
 >  > > >  > Dr Alastair Culham
 >   > >  > Centre for Plant
 Diversity and
 >   > >
 >  > Systematics
 >   > >  > Harborne
 Building, School
 >   > >  of Biological
 Sciences
 >   >
 >  > >  > University of
 >   > >  Reading, Whiteknights,
 Reading, RG6 6AS
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >  > U.K.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > Associate
 >   > >  Professor of Botany
 >   > >  > Curator,
 >  > Reading
 >   > >  University Herbarium
 (RNG)
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >
 >  >
 ____________________________________________
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >  > ________________________________________
 >   > >  > From: Taxacom
 >  > [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 >   > >  on behalf of Stephen
 Thorpe
 >  > [stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
 >   > >  > Sent: 23 October
 2014 21:35
 >   > >  > To:
 >  > KenWalker; John Grehan
 >   > >  > Cc: Taxacom
 >   > >  > Subject:
 >   > >  Re:
 >  > [Taxacom] De-extinction & Rhachistia
 >   aldabrae
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > Ken may be a
 >  > little
 >   > >  bit oversensitive,
 given that he probably
 >   has to constantly
 >   >
 >  > >  battle the indifference to (and
 sometimes
 >   obstruction of)
 >   > >  citizen
 >  > science, by entomologist colleagues.
 >   In my view,
 >   > >  biodiversity
 recording
 >  > sites like Project
 >   Noah, iSpot,
 >   > >  iNaturalist,
 BowerBird, NatureWatch NZ,
 >  > etc.
 >   are not
 >   > >  actually all that
 useful *as initially
 >   conceived* (photos
 >  > in
 >   > >  the field of live
 organisms), but can evolve
 >   into something
 >   > >
 >  > far more useful. I agree that there is not
 >   much point in
 >   > >  thousands of
 >  > records of monarch butterflies,
 >   and no little
 >   > >  brown micro moths.
 For
 >  > some idea of my
 >   vision for these
 >   > >  biodiversity recording
 sites, I invite
 >  > you
 >   to browse my own
 >   > >  2489 contributions to
 NatureWatch NZ, here:
 >   > >
 >  > http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/stho002
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > Stephen
 >   > >
 >  > >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >   --------------------------------------------
 >   > >  > On Fri,
 >  > 24/10/14, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
 >   > >  wrote:
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >  > Subject:
 >   > >  Re: [Taxacom]
 De-extinction & Rhachistia
 >   aldabrae
 >   > >  >  To:
 >  > "Walker, Ken" <kwalker at museum.vic.gov.au>
 >   > >  >  Cc:
 "Taxacom"
 >  > <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 >   > >  >  Received:
 Friday, 24 October,
 >   2014,
 >  > 2:51
 >   > >  AM
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  Ken,
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  Admittedly
 I only
 >   > >
 >  > read postings in a fragmentary way and I
 >   > >  >  know I
 sometimes
 >   > >  >
 >   >
 >  > >  miss items, but I am confused by
 your
 >   reference to Jason
 >   > >  >  Mate
 >  > saying the
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  the efforts of citizen
 science can be
 >   dismissed as
 >  > "
 >   > >  are
 >   > >  >  taking
 pictures of
 >   > >  >  "bugs":
 bigger, smaller,
 >  > red,
 >   > >  blue or yellow." What
 I read
 >   > >  >  was
 >   > >  that he said
 >   > >
 >  > >  that "The decline
 >   > >  in "natural history"
 amateurs is global
 >   > >  >
 >  > and cannot be
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  compensated by the
 explosion of
 >   macrophotography
 >  > since
 >   > >  they
 >   > >  >  (mostly)
 are
 >   > >  >  taking
 pictures of "bugs":
 >   >
 >  > >  bigger, smaller, red, blue or
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  yellow." This made
 >   > >  >  no
 >  > reference
 >   > >  to 'citizen science'
 and I did not see any
 >   > >  >
 >  > implication of
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  such. It was only a
 criticism of a
 >   particular
 >  > mode of
 >   > >  >  information
 gathering
 >   > >  >  or sharing.
 I would be
 >  > grateful
 >   > >  therefore for how you
 made
 >   > >  >  that link
 >   > >  the
 >   > >
 >  > >  way you did.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  John
 Grehan
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  On Wed, Oct
 22,
 >
 >  > > >  2014 at 9:04 PM, Walker, Ken
 <kwalker at museum.vic.gov.au>
 >   > >  >  wrote:
 >
 >  > > >  >
 >   > >  >  > Hi
 Jason,
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  > I
 totally disagree
 >  > with
 >   > >  your assessment of
 citizen
 >   > >  >  science
 >   > >  being on the
 >   >
 >  > >  >  > decline and that
 >   > >  the efforts of citizen
 science can be
 >   > >  >
 >
 >  > > >  dismissed as " are
 >   > >  >  >
 taking
 >   > >  pictures of "bugs":
 bigger,
 >  > smaller, red,
 >   blue
 >   > >  >  or
 yellow."
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  > Here
 is
 >  > Australia, we have
 >   > >  a citizen science
 website
 >   > >  >  called
 >   > >
 >  > BowerBird
 >   > >  >  > which
 is a socially
 >   > >  interactive website
 somewhat
 >  > like
 >   > >  >  the
 >   > >  northern
 >   > >  >  >
 hemisphere equivalents
 >   > >  of
 >  > Project Noah, iNaturalist and
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  iSpot.  For me,
 the
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > quality of
 >   > >  a citizen science
 website is whether or not
 >   > >  >  the data
 >  > it
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  generates is on-shared
 with national or
 >   international
 >   >
 >  > >  >  biodiversity
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  databases.
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  > Let
 me
 >  > give you one
 >   BowerBird
 >   > >  example that came in
 this
 >   > >  > 
 month.  A
 >   >
 >  > >  citizen
 >   > >  >  >
 science person submitted
 >   > >  an image of a
 >   > >  >
 >  > ladybeetle.  He had
 >   > >  tried to
 >   > >  >  >
 identify it himself but
 >   > >
 >  > could not place the
 >   > >  > 
 species.  In
 >   > >  Australia, we have
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > a wonderful
 >   > >  CSIRO website
 displaying all known extant
 >   > >  >
 >  > Australian ladybeetle
 >   > >  >  >
 species.  The BowerBird
 >   image did
 >   > >  not
 >  > match any of
 >   > >  >  the images
 on the
 >   > >  >  >
 diagnostic website.
 >   So,
 >  > we sent
 >   > >  the image to the
 >   > >  >  BMNH
 ladybeetle
 >   > >  expert
 >   > >  >
 >  > > who came back with the
 >   > >  statement "Back from
 the
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  Dead".
 >  > The species
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  photographed was
 presumed to be extinct as
 >   it
 >  > had not
 >   > >  >  been seen
 or recorded
 >   > >  >  > since
 1940.  The story
 >   of
 >  > this
 >   > >  citizen science
 >   > >  >  find was
 told in one
 >   > >  of our
 >   > >  >
 >  > > national newspapers:
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >
 >   >
 >  > http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/extinct-ladybird-back-from-the-de
 >  > ad-20141014-115u4j.html
 >   > >  >  > (where
 you can see an image
 >   of the
 >   > >
 >  > beetle).
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > To me, the
 essence of science is to
 >
 >  > observe and ask
 >   > >  > 
 questions.  What
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > better way is
 there
 >  > than to have
 >   thousands of
 >   > >  "natural
 >   > >  >  history
 amateur
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > eyes" documenting spatial
 >   and
 >   > >  temporal data for the
 >   > >  >
 >  > Australian
 >   > >  (swap
 >   > >  >  >
 Australia for any other
 >   > >  country)
 >  > biota.  BowerBird
 >   > >  >  has
 >   > >  discovered new
 >   > >  >  >
 species and
 >   >
 >  > >  helped to track invasive
 species.  The
 >   > >  >  exotic
 carder bee
 >   > >  >
 >
 >  > > >  > (Afranthidium
 (Immanthidium)
 >  repetitum)
 >   was first
 >   > >  >  reported
 in
 >  > Brisbane in
 >   > >  >  >
 2000.  By 2007, it had
 >   been
 >   > >  recorded  south
 >   >
 >  > >  >  in Sydney but since
 >   > >  the Sydney
 >   > >  >  >
 records no further
 >   > >
 >  > distribution extensions had been
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  recorded.  Then
 in
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > February and
 >   > >  March 2014, two
 amateurs noticed a
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  "strange
 >  > bee" in their
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  garden.  They
 photographed their
 >   strange bee
 >  > and
 >   > >  >  posted the
 images on
 >   > >  >  >
 BowerBird with the question
 >   > >
 >  > "Bee ID?".  We bee
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  "experts" immediately
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >
 >  > recognised it as the South African carder
 >   bee and the
 >   > >  >  records
 came
 >  > from
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > hundreds of
 kilometres north of
 >   Brisbane and
 >   > >
 >  > hundreds
 >   > >  >  south of
 Sydney - on
 >   > >  >  > the
 state of Victoria's
 >   >
 >  > >  border.  Australia has
 >   > >  >  many
 exotic
 >   > >  "sleeper weeds"
 >   > >  >
 >  > > but
 >   > >  they remain in small
 numbers as they lack
 >   their
 >   > >  >
 >  > effective pollinator.
 >   > >  >  > The
 spread of any exotic
 >   pollinator
 >   > >
 >  > needs to be
 >   > >  >  monitored
 and watched for
 >   > >  a
 >   > >  >  >
 possible
 >  > explosion of a
 >   > >  sleeper weed. It was
 citizen
 >   > >  >  science
 >   > >  who
 >  > alerted us
 >   > >  >  > to
 this alarming
 >   > >  spread.
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >  > > BowerBird "favourites" are often
 >   created by
 >   > >  an "expert"
 >   > >  >
 >  > mentoring
 >   > >  "natural
 >   > >  >  >
 history amateur
 >   > >  eyes" .  One
 such
 >  > case is the
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  humble but
 extraordinary life
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >
 >  > styled and bizarrely coloured flatworms.
 >   > >  >  Australia
 has only one
 >  > flatworm
 >   > >  >  > expert
 located in north
 >   > >  Queensland. 
 However, he
 >   >
 >  > >  >  has
 >   > >  inspired many
 >   > >  >  >
 BowerBird members
 >   > >  from around
 >  > Australia to roll back
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  logs in search of
 >   > >  >  > these
 >   > >
 >  > flatworms.  The expert identifies each
 >   > >  >  flatworm
 image posted to
 >   > >
 >  > >  > BowerBird but he adds
 >   stories about
 >   > >  how the scientific
 >   > >  >
 >  > name was derived
 >   > >  and
 >   > >  >  > about
 the species
 >   > >  behaviour.
 >  > There are now almost
 >   > >  >  50
 >   > >  BowerBird members on
 >   > >  >  > the
 >   >
 >  > >  Flatworm project who have image
 captured
 >   many of
 >   > >  > 
 Australia's
 >  > flatworm
 >   > >  >  >
 species.  The expert
 >   has told me
 >   > >  that for many
 >   >
 >  > >  >  species, the
 >   > >  BowerBird
 >   > >  >  > images
 were his first
 >   > >  live
 >  > images for many species - he
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  usually sees them
 >   > >  >  > as
 >  > pickled
 >   > >  individuals.  The
 expert has also
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  requested and
 >  > been able to get
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  these amateurs to
 collect and send him
 >
 >  > specimens for
 >   > >  >  DNA
 analysis.  If you
 >   > >  >  > have
 never seen a
 >  > flatworm
 >   or want
 >   > >  to read something
 >   > >  >  about them,
 then
 >   > >  I
 >   >
 >  > >  >  > recommend the
 flatworm
 >   > >  project:
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > http://www.bowerbird.org.au/projects/1633/sightings
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   >
 >  > >  Finally, the Australian GBIF node
 is ALA
 >   (Atlas of
 >   > >  >  Living
 >  > Australia).
 >   > >  >  >
 BowerBird went live in May
 >   2013 and
 >   > >  there are
 >  > automatic
 >   > >  >  weekly
 data
 >   > >  >  >
 (images. Identifications,
 >   > >
 >  > spatrila/temporal etc)
 >   > >  >  uploads to
 >   > >  ALA.
 >   > >  >  >
 Currently,
 >  > there are almost
 >   > >  11,000 BowerBird
 records on
 >   > >  >  ALA (to
 >   > >  see
 >  > the
 >   > >  >  > spread
 of records from
 >   > >  around Australia see:
 >   > >  >  >
 >
 >  > > >
 >   >
 >  > http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=data_resource_uid:dr893#tab_ma
 >  > pView
 >   > >  >  >
 ).  This represents
 >   about a 60%
 >   > >  identification
 >   > >
 >  > >  success rate for
 >   > >  images that
 >   > >  >  > you
 describe as
 >   > >
 >  > "pictures of "bugs": bigger, smaller,
 >   > >  >  red, blue
 or yellow."
 >   > >  >
 >  > >
 >   > >  >  > New
 >   > >  species have been
 nominated, new
 >   distributions have
 >   >
 >  > >  >  been recorded, new
 >   > >  >  >
 stories have been told about
 >   the
 >   > >
 >  > Australian fauna, new
 >   > >  > 
 friendships
 >   > >  have
 >   > >  >  > been
 made and
 >  > these new
 >   > >  "friends" now go out
 together
 >   > >  >  on their
 own
 >   > >  >
 >  > >
 >   > >  photographic
 BioBlitzes and on-share their
 >   finds to
 >   > >  >
 >  > BowerBird to ALA to
 >   > >  >  >
 GBIF.  I'm happy with
 >   this
 >   > >  deal !!
 >   > >
 >  > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > I am sure these
 stories here can be
 >   repeated for
 >   > >
 >  > >  Project Noah, iNaturalist
 >   > >  >  > and
 iSpot.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > For me, citizen science is
 >   > >  on the up not the
 >   > >  >  decline.
 >   > >
 >  > Getting
 >   > >  >  >
 "professional"
 >   > >  scientists to engage
 with this "new"
 >
 >  > > >  >  data source is
 the next
 >   > >  >  >
 "challenge".
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > Best
 >   > >  Ken
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  -----Original
 Message-----
 >   > >  >
 >  > > From:
 >   > >  Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 >   > >  >  On
 >  > Behalf Of JF
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > Mate
 >   > >  >  > Sent:
 Thursday, 23
 >   > >  October
 >  > 2014 2:14 AM
 >   > >  >  > To:
 >   > >  Taxacom
 >   > >  >  >
 Subject: Re: [Taxacom]
 >   >
 >  > >  De-extinction & Rhachistia
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  aldabrae
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >  > > Hi Bob,
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  > I
 agree the scale is
 >   altogether
 >   > >
 >  > different but even in
 >   > >  >  densely
 >   > >  populated
 >   > >  >  > areas
 in
 >  > Australia
 >   > >  even basic
 invertebrate biodiversity
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  knowledge
 >  > is
 >   > >  >  >
 lacking. The
 >   > >  decline in "natural
 history" amateurs is
 >   >
 >  > >  >  global and cannot be
 >   > >  >  >
 compensated by the explosion
 >   of
 >   > >
 >  > macrophotography since
 >   > >  >  they
 (mostly)
 >   > >  are
 >   > >  >  >
 taking
 >  > pictures of
 >   > >  "bugs": bigger,
 smaller, red, blue
 >   > >  >  or yellow.
 If
 >  > you
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  > don´t know what
 you are photographing
 >   then it is
 >   > >
 >  > like
 >   > >  >  it doesn´t
 exist. For
 >   > >  >  > Europe
 (with some
 >   exceptions)
 >  > the
 >   > >  decline may not be as
 >   > >  >  damaging.
 The
 >   > >  fauna
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > is well known and there
 >   > >  are plenty of guides
 and keys
 >   > >  >  that
 >   >
 >  > >  digital
 >   > >  >  >
 enthusiasts could use.
 >   > >  The goal here has at
 least
 >  > been
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  partially achieved.
 >   > >  >  > In
 >   > >  Australia, other
 >  > than butterflies and a
 >   couple of
 >   > >  >  other
 popular groups
 >   > >  >  > you
 >  > are out of luck.
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  Cristian. Spain is in
 a similar
 >  > (albeit not
 >   as extreme)
 >   > >  >  situation
 to
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  Australia.
 >  > High biodiversity, incomplete
 >   knowledge but
 >   > >  >  a declining
 body of
 >   >
 >  > >  >  > amateurs (and
 legislation
 >   that
 >   > >  doesn´t help
 either).
 >   > >  >
 >  > >
 >   > >  >  > Best
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  > Jason
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >
 >  > >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  > This
 e-mail is solely for
 >   >
 >  > >  the named addressee and may
 >   > >  >  be
 >   > >  confidential. You
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > should only
 >   > >  read, disclose,
 transmit, copy, distribute,
 >   > >  >  act in
 >  > reliance on
 >   > >  >  > or
 commercialise the
 >   contents if
 >   > >  you are
 >  > authorised to
 >   > >  >  do so. If
 you
 >   > >  are
 >   > >  >  > not
 the intended
 >  > recipient
 >   > >  of this e-mail,
 please
 >   > >  >  notify
 >   > >  mailto:
 >   > >  >
 >  > > postmaster at museum.vic.gov.au
 >   > >  >  by email
 immediately, or notify
 >   the
 >
 >  > > >  sender
 >   > >  >  > and
 then destroy any copy
 >   > >  of this message.
 Views
 >
 >  > > >  >  expressed in
 >   > >  this email
 >   > >  >  > are
 those of the
 >   > >
 >  > individual sender, except where
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  specifically stated to
 be
 >   > >
 >  > >  > those
 >   > >  of an officer of
 Museum Victoria. Museum
 >   Victoria
 >   > >  >
 >  > does not represent,
 >   > >  >  >
 warrant or guarantee that
 >   the
 >   > >  integrity
 >  > of this
 >   > >  > 
 communication has
 >   > >  been
 >   > >  >  >
 maintained nor that
 >  > it is
 >   > >  free from errors,
 virus or
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  interference.
 >   > >  >  >
 >
 >  > > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >
 >   _______________________________________________
 >   >
 >  > >  >  > Taxacom Mailing
 List
 >   > >  >  > Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > >  >  > The
 >  > Taxacom Archive back to
 >   1992
 >   > >  may be searched at:
 >   > >  >  >
 >  > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  Celebrating 27 years
 >  > of Taxacom in 2014.
 >   > >  >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   > >  >  Taxacom
 Mailing List
 >
 >  > > >  >  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > >  >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > >  >  The
 >  > Taxacom Archive back to 1992
 >   may be
 >   > >  searched at:
 >  > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >  Celebrating
 27
 >   > >  years of
 >  > Taxacom in 2014.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   > >  > Taxacom Mailing
 List
 >
 >  > > >  >
 >   > >  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > >  >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > >  > The Taxacom
 >  > Archive back to 1992 may
 >   be
 >   > >  searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >
 >  > >  >
 >   > >  > Celebrating 27
 years
 >   > >  of Taxacom in 2014.
 >   > >  >
 >   > >
 >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   > >  > Taxacom Mailing
 List
 >
 >  > > >  >
 >   > >  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > >  >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > >  > The Taxacom
 >  > Archive back to 1992 may
 >   be
 >   > >  searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >
 >  > >  >
 >   > >  > Celebrating 27
 years
 >   > >  of Taxacom in 2014.
 >   > >
 >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   > >  Taxacom Mailing List
 >   >
 >  > >  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > >  The Taxacom
 >  > Archive back to 1992 may be
 >   > >  searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >
 >  > >
 >   > >  Celebrating 27 years
 of
 >   > >  Taxacom in 2014.
 >   > >
 >   > >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   > > Taxacom Mailing List
 >   > >
 >  > Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   > >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > > The Taxacom
 >  > Archive back to 1992 may be searched
 >   at:
 >   > > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >
 >  > >
 >   > > Celebrating 27 years of
 Taxacom in 2014.
 >   > >
 >   >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   > Taxacom Mailing List
 >   >
 >  > Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   > The Taxacom
 >  > Archive back to 1992 may be searched at:
 >   > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >
 >   >
 >  > Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
 >   >
 >
 >  >
 _______________________________________________
 >   Taxacom Mailing List
 >
 >  > Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >
 >  > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   The Taxacom
 >  > Archive back to 1992 may be searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >
 >
 >  > Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
 >
 >  >
 >  _______________________________________________
 >  Taxacom Mailing
 >  > List
 >  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.eduhttp://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/list
 >  > info/taxacom
 >  The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched
 at:
 >  > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >
 >  Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
 >
 >
 >
 > _______________________________________________
 > Taxacom Mailing List
 > Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 > The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >
 > Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
 _______________________________________________
 Taxacom Mailing List
 Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 
 Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
 



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