Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Evidence for Biodiversity Conservation in Protected Landscapes
Previous Article in Journal
The Effect of Landscape Composition on the Abundance of Laodelphax striatellus Fallén in Fragmented Agricultural Landscapes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Terrestrial Species in Protected Areas and Community-Managed Lands in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India
Open AccessArticle

The Community-Conservation Conundrum: Is Citizen Science the Answer?

Environmental and Animal Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology, Private Bag 92025, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
New Zealand Department of Conservation, Private Bag 68908, Auckland 1145, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jeffrey Sayer and Chris Margules
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity in Locally Managed Lands)
Public participation theory assumes that empowering communities leads to enduring support for new initiatives. The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, approved in 2000, embraces this assumption and includes goals for community involvement in resolving threats to native flora and fauna. Over the last 20 years, community-based ecological restoration groups have proliferated, with between 600 and 4000 identified. Many of these groups control invasive mammals, and often include protection of native species and species reintroductions as goals. Such activities involve the groups in “wicked” problems with uncertain biological and social outcomes, plus technical challenges for implementing and measuring results. The solution might be to develop a citizen science approach, although this requires institutional support. We conducted a web-based audit of 50 community groups participating in ecological restoration projects in northern New Zealand. We found great variation in the quality of information provided by the groups, with none identifying strategic milestones and progress towards them. We concluded that, at best, many group members are accidental scientists rather than citizen scientists. Furthermore, the way community efforts are reflected in biodiversity responses is often unclear. The situation may be improved with a new approach to data gathering, training, and analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological restoration; citizen science; monitoring; conservation volunteering; New Zealand; wicked problems ecological restoration; citizen science; monitoring; conservation volunteering; New Zealand; wicked problems
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Galbraith, M.; Bollard-Breen, B.; Towns, D.R. The Community-Conservation Conundrum: Is Citizen Science the Answer? Land 2016, 5, 37.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop