Birds have long been considered indicator species of biodiversity and so ecologists use them as indices of abundance and diversity in order to assess environmental health. These indices are based on surveys which assess the number of species and number of individuals counted in an area over a set time. We can modify citizen science approaches as a way to increase the involvement of undergraduate students in research. However, undergraduate students may have little experience in ecological surveying. Therefore, we tested whether bird counts collected by inexperienced undergraduates were consistent and repeatable among observers. We also examined bird communities at three sites of different size in and around Kyoto University in Kyoto Prefecture. First, we found that there was a high level of consistency among inexperienced observers. We also found a positive relationship between urban park size and avian abundance and diversity. Finally, we found that the bird communities at the two larger sites were most similar to one another whilst the community at the smallest site was quite distinct from the two larger sites. Therefore, this study shows that using citizen science methods may be an effective tool for gathering meaningful scientific data with inexperienced undergraduate observers.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 18 • No. 1