• Six Projects for the Citizen/Scientist- Pick your Species

    Volunteer to Monitor Spiders, Toads, Birds and More!

    COLUMBUS, OH – Six programs utilizing citizen scientist volunteers in statewide wildlife monitoring efforts were this year’s honorees at the 25th annual Wildlife Diversity Conference according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

    “These dedicated volunteers help to identify vulnerable species, track population trends and document species’ richness in Ohio,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “Citizen scientists promote a sense of stewardship and conservation ethic for Ohio’s wildlife and their habitats.”

    The Ohio Frog and Toad Calling Survey utilizes the efforts of volunteers from around the state to conduct audio surveys at selected breeding sites. Interested individuals can learn more by visiting the Frog and Toad Calling Survey Website.

    The Ohio Lepidopterists, in conjunction with other conservation organizations, initiated a volunteer-based Long-Term Butterfly-Monitoring Program. The Ohio Lepidopterists provide expertise to train volunteers. Trained volunteers then walk transects once weekly and count butterflies according to a standard protocol. Visit www.ohiolepidopterists.org for more information.

    Ohio’s second breeding bird atlas is a state-wide cooperative effort that will rely upon the participation of bird enthusiasts to document the current distribution and abundance of breeding birds in Ohio. For more information about the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II,
    visit www.ohiobirds.org.

    The Ohio Salamander Monitoring Program is a program to monitor the occurrence and abundance of Ohio’s salamander species. The program works by partnering with park districts, nature preserves, wildlife areas and other groups and individuals to monitor salamanders using standardized monitoring protocols. Interested individuals can learn more by going to www.ohioamphibians.com.

    The Ohio Spider Survey was an effort to find out how many species of spiders live in Ohio. The first list of Ohio spiders was completed in 1924, identifying 306 species. The current project begun in 1994 and the list of spider species known for Ohio has now reached 583. There are probably many more species yet to be discovered. The aim of the Ohio Spider Survey is to fill the major gap in our understanding of natural spider communities in Ohio. More information about the Ohio Spider Survey can be found at http://www.marion.ohio-state.edu/SpiderWeb/mainpage.htm.

    While there have been many breeding bird atlases conducted in this country, the Ohio Winter Bird Atlasis the first atlas of winter bird distribution. The research was completed in 2008 and the manuscript is now being prepared. Those interested in the atlas’ progress should visit www.bsbo.org/winter_bird_atlas/winter_bird_atlas.htm.

    These projects were partially funded by donations to the state income tax check-off program for Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species. They were also funded by the sale of Ohio conservation license plates.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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