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Who’s driving the future of conservation?


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As a marine biologist I have been inspired by citizen scientists and volunteers, who give me hope for the future of conservation. On the Isle of Man, more than 8,000 people (nearly 10% of the population) are involved in regular weekend beach cleans, rallied by the dynamic Beach Buddies organizer Bill Dale. At one recent event, 123 volunteers turned up and removed 183 bags of litter in just a couple of hours. Thanks to initiatives such as this, the island shares Unesco biosphere reserve status with Archipelago de Colón, better known as the Galápagos, Yellowstone in the US, Uluru in Australia, and hundreds of other sites. Recreational divers are making a real difference underwater too. They monitor the spread of invasive species, such as the Japanese sea weeds wake me and wire weed, and record how native species respond. Divers also document levels of marine litter and discarded fishing gear and other human impacts. Training to become a volunteer survey diver with Sea search, the volunteer dive arm of the Marine Conservation Society, can transform a diver’s experiences. Tony Glen, a Sea search co-coordinator, summed this up: “Before I knew what I was looking at I would speed along and not really take it all in. Now I can hover over the same rock for 20 minutes and keep on finding new things to look at, from a rare sea anemone to a multicoloured nudibranchseaslug.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/02/driving-future-conservation-ordinary-people-citizen-scientists-bbc-winterwatch

Posted by on Feb 4 2018. Filed under Biodiversity, News at Now, Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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