Citizen Science postcards at Arundel

Our WWT wardens can’t be everywhere at once so acting Reserve Manager Suzi Lanaway decided to ask Arundel Wetland Centre visitors for help recording wildlife observations.

Suzi met with Arundel’s Marketing Manager Pat Warren to look for a way to have visitors to feed wildlife sightings back to the Reserves Team in a timely, safe manner. Together they developed a postcard for visitors to use to easily record birdy behaviours about two of this spring’s noteworthy subjects – lapwing and nesting kingfishers.

In the past Arundel Wetland Centre tried Wildlife Sightings sheets inside the wildlife hides but these were often vandalized (usually by snails eating the paper) and filled with unreliable information (with additions like unicorns by visiting children).

Using the new Wildlife Observations postcard Arundel staff can target “birders” when they arrive at the admissions desk and offer them a postcard to take with them on their visit and post back into a box in the visitors centre before they leave. The cards are simple, with tick and circle options and they collect no personal information.

Marketing manager Pat Warren said: "The postcards are a nice way to involve our adult visitors and let them know how valuable their feedback can be. Young birders are welcome to use them, too."

The cards will be changed seasonally to target different species the Reserve Team are focusing on. Many eyes make lighter work and will add to Arundel’s sightings data to help inform future habitat management at our wetland centre.