For Friday, May 28, 2021
1 – When studies are properly designed, crowdsourced wildlife identification is a reliable way to help conduct research.
A University of Michigan study looked at the ability of volunteers to identify critters. With some “robust protocols” in place, the overall accuracy of volunteer identifications was 97%, scientists say.
Three sites used in the study included one at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County. One object was to study the state’s mammals, with an emphasis on “community ecology among carnivores.”
Mammals identified by volunteers with 90% or greater accuracy included raccoons, white-tailed deer, striped skunk, opossum, eastern gray squirrel, bobcat and porcupine.
The hope is that the research will give a boost to citizen science and that fewer researchers will be reluctant to use volunteers because of data-quality concerns.
The study was published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Wildlife Society Bulletin.
2 – The Saginaw Bay Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area is a conservation organization that covers the six counties of Arenac, Bay, Saginaw, Sanilac, Tuscola and Huron.
Their aim is to combat invasive species in the region.
Find more information about the group and its activities online at SBCISMA.com.
An Invasive Species 101 page there includes identification tools and more information on invasive species currently invading the Saginaw Bay Region. Those include non-native phragmites and Japanese knotweed.
3 – The Nature Conservancy is seeking nominations to recognize “extraordinary conservation achievements of farmers” working to improve soil health and protect water quality in the Saginaw Valley.
Nominations are open for established cash crop, vegetable, or livestock farms.
Categories include Conservation Newcomer, Conservation Legacy and Conservation Innovation.
The conservancy says awardees will join the ranks of prior “Soil Health Heroes” and be showcased in a professionally produced video of their farm.
Selections are determined by a committee of agricultural partners.
To learn more and submit a nomination, visit bit.ly/soilawards by July 1.
Find out more about local soil health and clean water efforts by The Nature Conservancy at soilsavings.com.