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Article

Citizen Science Mosquito Surveillance by Ad Hoc Observation Using the iNaturalist Platform

1
UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
2
Australian Centre for Precision Health, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
3
Medical Entomology, NSW Health Pathology, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
4
Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
5
UniSA Allied Health and Human Performance, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paul B. Tchounwou, Prisco Piscitelli, Alessandro Miani and Giovanni S. Leonardi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106337
Received: 25 March 2022 / Revised: 13 May 2022 / Accepted: 18 May 2022 / Published: 23 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health and Epidemiology)
Citizen science mosquito surveillance has been growing in recent years due to both increasing concern about mosquito-borne disease and the increasing popularity of citizen science projects globally. Health authorities are recognising the potential importance of citizen science to expanding or enhancing traditional surveillance programs. Different programs have shown success in engaging communities to monitor species of medical importance through low-cost methods. The Mozzie Monitors project was established on iNaturalist—an open citizen science platform that allows participants to upload photos (i.e., observers) and assist identification (i.e., identifiers). This article describes the likelihood of citizen scientists submitting photos of mosquitoes, assesses user submission behaviour, and evaluates public health utility from these citizen science-derived data. From October 2018 to July 2021, the Mozzie Monitors project on iNaturalist received 2118 observations of 57 different species of mosquitoes across Australia. The number of observers in the system increased over time with more than 500 observers and 180 identifiers being active in the project since its establishment. Data showed species bias with large-bodied and colourful mosquitoes being over-represented. Analyses also indicate regional differentiation of mosquito fauna per state, seasonality of activity, and ecological information about mosquitoes. The iNaturalist citizen science platform also allows connectedness, facilitated communication and collaboration between overall users and expert entomologists, of value to medical entomology and mosquito management. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; mosquito; mobile application; public health citizen science; mosquito; mobile application; public health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Braz Sousa, L.; Fricker, S.; Webb, C.E.; Baldock, K.L.; Williams, C.R. Citizen Science Mosquito Surveillance by Ad Hoc Observation Using the iNaturalist Platform. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 6337. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106337

AMA Style

Braz Sousa L, Fricker S, Webb CE, Baldock KL, Williams CR. Citizen Science Mosquito Surveillance by Ad Hoc Observation Using the iNaturalist Platform. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(10):6337. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106337

Chicago/Turabian Style

Braz Sousa, Larissa, Stephen Fricker, Cameron E. Webb, Katherine L. Baldock, and Craig R. Williams. 2022. "Citizen Science Mosquito Surveillance by Ad Hoc Observation Using the iNaturalist Platform" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 10: 6337. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106337

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