Get involved as a citizen scientist and participate in research!

Citizen Science means something like "citizen science". In Citizen Science projects, citizens are invited to participate in science and research and to contribute their interests and ideas. Citizen scientists can get involved in many areas and scientific topics - such as species monitoring and biodiversity research!

The background of our Citizen Science project

The BioWaWi project is researching the influence of the water balance on biodiversity in the water catchment area of the Bühl municipal utility. The municipal utility is responsible for the water supply of the region from the Rhine valley up to high in the Black Forest. The goal is to develop an environmental management system for the water supply that preserves and promotes species diversity. The availability of healthy water can also be considered a "service" provided by natural ecosystems, hence the term "ecosystem services." Conversely, different ecosystems, each with their own particular animals and plants, depend on the supply of water. So how can we protect and preserve these habitats, which are equally important for humans and nature? This is one of the questions addressed by the BioWaWi project and the associated Citizen Science sub-project!

Calling, singing, croaking - the voices of wildlife as a reflection of the landscapes

The sounds that animals make are the starting point of our Citizen Science subproject: Citizens are invited to use their smartphones to make sound recordings of the calls, songs and croaks of wild animals in different landscapes and upload them to a map of Europe. This creates sound profiles that are typical for the respective habitat. For example, a forest sounds different from a meadow orchard, a bog sounds different from a drained cornfield, and rivers and lakes also have their own unique sound characteristics. This is due to the birds, frogs, toads, crickets or grasshoppers that occur in the different habitats and whose songs, sounds and calls we hear. In this way, the sound recordings can be a mirror of the different types of landscapes.

In a first step of the scientific project, the sound recordings will be assigned to the different habitats and landscape types (e.g. the forest, the field or the city) with the help of artificial intelligence. Thereupon, statements about the condition of the habitat are to be made on the basis of the animal voices. This is based on the assumption that the moisture of the soil also determines the quality of the habitat of animals and plants. For example, animal and plant species that live in water-rich habitats differ from those that live in drier areas. For example, the "swamp cricket," a grasshopper species, can be recognized by the "song" it makes with its wings. This sounds completely different from the "song" of the "common grasshopper", which is found in all types of meadows, or that of the "nightingale grasshopper", which "sings" in dry rough pastures. Thus, if soil water content determines biotope type, there should be differences in sound profile as a function of moisture parameters.

Sound recordings

Here are some sound recordings made in our study area!

Früher Zilpzalp

Früher Zilpzalp im Waldhägenich (Gisela Wachinger, 10. März 2022)

Nachtigallgesang im Waldhägenich

Nachtigallgesang im Waldhägenich (Carolin Reichert, 30. März 2022)

Video/Audio

Ein Morgenkonzert

Ein Morgenkonzert im Waldhägenich (Gisela Wachinger, 1. April 2022)

Pirole Auwald

Nachtigallgrashüpfer am Hochkopf

Sommertag auf der Grinde am Hochkopf: Der Nachtigallgrashüpfer singt (Gisela Wachinger, 23. Juli 2022)

Goals of our Citizen Science project

The aim of the Citizen Science project is to develop a species monitoring system based on sound patterns that can be used by citizens and that provides scientifically reliable results. If the soil water content changes, for example due to drought events, the species monitoring should indicate changes in the sound patterns and thus in the species compositions that are related to changes in the water content. In this way, protective measures regarding water management should be able to be taken at an early stage in order to protect the affected areas from drought or desiccation.

Who's calling, singing and quacking? This is how you can join in

Anyone:r can make sound recordings for our project with their smartphone! In particular, we need recordings from the Bühl area, from the Rhine Valley to the Black Forest, but also throughout Germany and Europe! In the city, in the village, in fields, meadows and forests - wherever you are and hear something beautiful animal. This could be birds, frogs, toads, crickets or grasshoppers. To join in, all you have to do is download BIOTOPIA's free mobile app "Dawn Chorus" to your smartphone (via popular app stores) or here : https://dawn-chorus.org//.

You don't need any previous experience and one recording takes one minute. If many participate in the Citizen Science project, this method could revolutionize species monitoring! A large number of audio recordings are needed for this: So we are happy about every recording!

Step by step to the first animal voice recording

1. hold the phone as still as possible and press "Single shot" - after one minute the shot will be saved automatically.

2. you can select bird species. However, recordings without this information are just as valuable!

3. in which landscape are you at the moment? If you select "other habitat", you can describe the landscape yourself.

4. enter "Biowawi" as the name of the group. This way we know that the photo belongs to our Animal Voices project.

5. if you want to add a photo, please take it in the direction where you heard the animal.

6. click on "save" or "upload". DONE! Uploading is also possible later if you have a good internet connection.

And this is how you continue with your recordings

The audio recordings, which are created with the help of the app "Dawn Chorus" of our cooperation partner BIOTOPIA, are analyzed by the cooperation partner MicroDoc(https://www.microdoc.com) with the help of artificial intelligence and assigned to certain biotope types.

In this way, everyone:r can contribute to the monitoring of biodiversity and immediately see and hear their own results in the Dawn Chorus map.
In a co-design process together with the participating citizen scientists, it will also be worked out in which form the participants would like to receive, use and publish the results: They will be involved from the methodological design to the evaluation and exploitation of the results. The aim is to provide the participants with information about the biodiversity of the different biotope types directly and site-specific in the future.

Videos

Here are some videos that were also taken outside the study area.

Video/Audio

Feldgrillen im Weinberg (Gisela Wachinger, Mai 2022)

Video

Klappergrasmücke in alten Schrebergärten (Gisela Wachinger, Mai 2022)

Erdkröten beim Laichen

Erdkröten beim Laichen. “Befreiungsrufe der Männchen" (Gisela Wachinger, Mai  2022)

Video/Audio

Wasserfrösche_in_einem_künstlichen_Teich_(Gisela Wachinger, Mai 2022)

Video

Verschiedenen Heuschrecken in Landmatt (Gisela Wachinger, August 2021)

Contact

Do you have any questions or would you like to participate in our Citizen Science project? Then please contact us!

E-mail: biowawi∂dialogik-expert.de
Phone: +49 711 3585 2167
Links: https://www.buergerschaffenwissen.de/projekt/biowawi-biodiversitaet-und-wasserwirtschaft