First discovered in Lake Ontario in 1982, The spiny water flea, Bythotrephes longimanus was transported from its native Eurasia to North America via ballast water and has spread to almost 50 inland lakes within Ontario province. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H) initiated a citizen science program for monitoring the population of Bythotrephes throughout Ontario.
Stephanie A. Boudreau and Normand D. Yan of the Department of Biology at York University, Toronto have been validating the accuracy of this volunteer-based monitoring program. Boudreau and Yan acquired data from Sugar Lake and Harp Lake. Next they determined the probability that volunteers would collect Bythotrephes at the time of sampling, if the size of the O.F.A.H required nets were sufficient for data collection, whether three sample stations per volunteer and the amount of Bythotrephes in each sample location were sufficient.
They concluded that the citizen science program especially O.F.A.H’s three sample stations requirement was accurate in monitoring Bythotrephes populations
Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 91: 17-26, 2004
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Introduced to North America in 1982, the Bythotrephes longimanus has been successful in establishing their dominance in over 50 lakes in Ontario, Canada. Native to Eurasia, this invasive predatory species is believed to have been introduced through none other than the most commonly form of introduction, ballast water.
Its infuriating presence in the lake initiated the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H) to develop a program where trained volunteers monitored the Bythotrephes population size in various lakes. However, since the O.F.A.H data had not been validated and reexamine, information on the population size and existence had not been accounted for.
In order to prove that volunteer data and analysis can be accurate, Yan and Bourdreau, professors at York University, Ontario, Canada reenacted the experiment with larger nets and more testing locations. They concluded their experiment with fairly similar results, even seeing that some locations monitored by volunteers were 100% accurate. In addition, several people became educated and funding for a volunteer monitoring program is relatively cost-free.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 91: 17–26, 2004
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Citizen science has been used to detect the aquatic invasive animal Bythotrephes longimanus or the spiny water flea. Bythotrephes are primarily a problem in Ontario, Canada where they tamper with fishing lines and the zooplankton population. Ontario Federation of Anglers (O.F.A.H.) and Hunters’s volunteer program have recruited volunteers to track the Bythotrephes.
To determine the accuracy of the volunteers’ ability, Stephanie A. Boudreau and Norman M. Yan of the Department of Biology at York University in Toronto, collected data from Harp Lake and Sugar Lake. They looked at the probability that the volunteers would collect Bythotrephes if they were present at the time of the sampling, the abundance of Bythotrephes in sample locations, whether 3 sampling locations were efficient, and that the size of the volunteers’ nets were ample. Although the precision of the captured estimates declined with larger sample areas, scientists concluded that citizen science was accurate in tracking Bythotrephes invasions.
Reference: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 91, 17–26, 2004.
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