Friday, 18 May 2012

Citizen scientists get to grips with moth survey


About 13,000 moths have been captured and recorded by citizen scientists in southern England in a project described as the largest of its kind.
Researchers hope the data will help them understand how species will migrate in response to climate change.
During the month-long survey, 87 different species were recorded.
The survey is one of the Earthwatch projects being highlighted at the organisation's annual lecture on Thursday evening in central London.
One of the speakers, Dan Bebber - Earthwatch's head of climate change research - will use his presentation to deliver some of the main findings from the survey.
During the course of a month in the summer of 2009, volunteers from the charity helped a team of researchers from the University of Oxford mark the wings of more than 13,000 moths.
The survey, known as a mark-release-recapture (MRR) experiment, was conducted in a well-researched woodland habitat in Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire.
More than 650 moths, from 41 species, were recaptured.
Dr Bebber said: "A small percentage of those marked moths were recaptured again, but from the number we did recapture we were able to determine what factors affect the ability of moths to disperse."
During a month long survey, 87 moth species, including the impressive poplar hawk moth, were recorded


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