Recording impacts of invasive species through citizen science: a pilot study

Project: Research

Project Details


Globally and in the UK, invasive alien species (IAS) continue to increase and are one of the main drivers of biodiversity decline. To facilitate management and policy responses, evidence of their impacts is crucial for risk assessment, prevention measures and resource allocation. However, evidence of impacts is scarce for many species and not collected with standardised protocols. This project will employ a novel approach by testing if citizen science could be successfully used for recording the impacts of invasive plants. In collaboration with an existing volunteer network of Local Action Groups coordinated by the North Wales Wildlife Trust we will train and work with volunteers across Wales to test three different kinds of recording standards, two field standards and one digital standard which will be implemented in a smartphone application. We will focus on three case study species in the project, but standards will be designed to be adaptable to other species in the future. In addition, in selected sites and with a smaller group of participants, we will use audio recorders to collect data on the occurrence of birds in invaded and non-invaded habitats.
Our results will provide guidance on how citizen scientists can be involved in recording impacts of invasive alien species therefore helping to close an important gap both in invasion science as well as for policy support. Furthermore, the standardised protocols for recording impacts of alien species will support management prioritisation, horizon scanning for possible future invasive species and comparative analyses of invasive species impacts across taxa and regions.
The work is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (Grant NE/X013332/1).
Short titleRecording Impacts ISCS
Effective start/end date1/11/2231/10/23


  • Natural Environment Research Council


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