Behaviour and attitude changes after using a turtle conservation citizen science app.

Published online
26 Feb 2021
Published by
British Ecological Society
Content type
Miscellaneous
Website(s)

Author(s)
Santori, C. & Keith, R. J. & Whittington, C. M. & Thompson, M. B. & Dyke, J. U. van & Spencer, R. J.

Publication language
English
Location
Australia & New South Wales & Victoria

Abstract

An online questionnaire to investigate the consequences of using TurtleSAT, a citizen science app that was developed to collect locations of freshwater turtles and their nests across Australia. Participants were asked whether their knowledge of turtles and their skills improved, and whether their behaviour and attitudes towards turtles and their conservation changed after contributing turtle sightings to TurtleSAT. 148 citizen scientists completed the questionnaire, mostly from the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. It was shown that the respondents adopted several turtle-friendly practices after learning about the current decline in turtle populations, such as habitat restoration or moving turtles out of harm's way, underlining the importance of increasing people's awareness on species declines. 70% of respondents claimed to have learned more about turtles by using TurtleSAT, and 47% reported an increase in their ability to identify turtle species. 84% of respondents also claimed to feel that their participation in TurtleSAT helps turtles, and 70% are now more concerned about turtle conservation than they were before participating. Engagement with citizen science projects like TurtleSAT could result in participants being more interested in the natural world.

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