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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Citizen science project on Alpine ibex, Capra ibex, in the Orobie Alps


The Alpine ibex is one of the finest examples of how human’s attitude towards nature is changing by becoming aware of biodiversity conservation. On the 30th anniversary of the first Alpine ibex reintroduction in the Orobie Alps, a three year long Citizen Science Project started in June 2017 (‘Stambecco Orobie e Lombardia’). Nowadays, a complementary tool that can be used in data collection is citizen science; its use among scientific community is increasing and it is considered a new opportunity for the future of science. A three-year project (from 2017 to 2019) took place in the Orobie Alps (Bergamo, Italy), with the collection of 2,530 photographs of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex). A total of 735 citizen scientists took part in the project by gathering data and collecting pictures (225 in 2017, 248 in 2018 and 262 in 2019). Photographs, complete with technical descriptions, were posted on the project’s Facebook page and the Instagram page and each one was georeferenced on the ArcGis platform and a web mapping application. The georeferenced images helped comparing the expansion zones of Lombard Alpine ibex colonies to the ones identified in a preliminary study. The images also turned out to be a useful tool in monitoring population health. These methods may help to avoid data dispersion and may raise public awareness of Alpine ibex conservation policies.


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