Connecticut Bird Atlas seeks citizen scientists at WCSU workshop
The Connecticut Bird Atlas citizen science project will host an informational workshop at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 26, for residents interested in assisting in gathering data about birds in the state. The workshop will be in Room 125 of the Science Building on the Western Connecticut State University Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The session is free and the public is invited.
Craig Rapasz, director of the Connecticut Bird Atlas, will explain the project and how the public can participate in helping to map all bird species found statewide.
From 2018 through 2020, citizen scientists will document the distribution, abundance and breeding activities of birds at sites throughout the state. The resulting data will be used to analyze and compare changes from the last count in the early 1980s. Additionally, the data will inform the State Wildlife Action Plan to determine priority areas for bird conservation and land protection.
WCSU Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Dora Pinou explained the importance of the workshop.
"The public should attend because their familiarity with the birds of our area can help contribute to the cataloging of the diversity and frequency of Connecticut birds," Pinou said. "Birds are critical in managing small mammal and insect pests known to carry disease. By feeding on these animals, birds can help keep the incidence of human infection low. This presentation will educate the public on how they can maintain a healthy bird habitat, and why they should be concerned with changes in Connecticut bird distributions and diversity. It also will explain how the public can be involved in the tracking and reporting of birds as part of the Atlas Program."
The Connecticut Bird Atlas is a joint project of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division and the University of Connecticut. The presentation is sponsored by Praxair and Finding Our Way, a science education program managed jointly by the WCSU Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Danbury Public Schools.