Tag Archives: citizen-science

A slideshow menagerie of wildlife in Acadia National Park

We dug deep into our archives of wildlife in Acadia photos, to add to the growing Anecdata.org citizen science database, “Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park.”

Here’s a  slideshow of the photos we’ve just uploaded, of Spruce grouse, Double-crested cormorants, loon, garter snake, Red Admiral butterfly, porcupine, turkey and deer.

wildlife in acadia wildlife in acadiawildlife in acadiawildlife in acadiawildlife in acadiaschoodic woods campgroundwildlife in acadiawildlife in acadiawildlife in acadia

We also uploaded some historic information for garter snakes, dating back to 1939, just as we did earlier for snapping turtles, so that the citizen database could perhaps serve as a baseline of wildlife in Acadia.

In 1939 and 1987, the common garter snake was considered “to be the most common and widespread snake on Mount Desert Island,” according to the 2005 National Park Service report, “Acadia National Park Amphibian and Reptile Inventory.” With 138 such snakes encountered during the course of the inventory, on Mount Desert Island and Isle au Haut, “it still appears to be so.” Continue reading

New way to track sightings of wildlife in Acadia National Park

If you’ve ever taken photos of wildlife in Acadia National Park – whether of turkeys, a barred owl, a butterfly, a porcupine or a snapping turtle – and wanted to share it with the world, not just with family and friends, there’s a new online citizen science project to allow you to do just that.

wild turkeys

When we saw this flock of wild turkeys near Acadia National Park’s Sieur de Monts entrance, we had to stop and take a photo. We just uploaded this photo to Anecdata.org. (C) MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

“Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park” is the name of the project, which we here at Acadia on My Mind just created on Anecdata.org, the online citizen science portal by the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s Community Environmental Health Lab.

While there have been ways to upload sightings in Acadia of birds like Snowy owls, to the online database eBird, we haven’t found a way to keep track of other Acadia wildlife sightings. That’s why we decided to start this wildlife sightings project. Continue reading

Of snapping turtles, citizen science and Acadia National Park

UPDATED 7/11/2015: Added map from 2005 National Park Service report showing 29 sites where snapping turtles were found in Acadia and excerpts from conclusion, along with link to full report. And also created a new Anecdata project, Wildlife Sightings in Acadia National Park.

Perhaps you’ve seen a snapping turtle on the trails of Acadia National Park or along the roads of Mount Desert Island this time of year, and wondered if it was a female looking for soft sand or gravel to lay her eggs.

snapping turtle and anecdata

Baby snapping turtle seen while we were hiking near Hadlock Brook in July 2014, uploaded to Anecdata. © MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

Or maybe you’ve seen a snapper sunning itself on a rock, or a baby turtle making its way toward water, and wondered if such sightings are common.

Now there’s a citizen science database with a snapping turtle project to satisfy your curiosity, as well as to allow you to upload photos and document observations of the reptiles, or of any other aspect of the natural world on Mount Desert Island and beyond.

Anecdata.org, developed by MDI Biological Laboratory’s Community Environmental Health Lab (CEHL), allows crowd-sourcing of data to better create a picture of the changing environment, whether it involves eelgrass, wastewater outfall, the MDI coastline or snapping turtles.

“What I like most about citizen science is that it fundamentally shifts the balance of information, and therefore the balance of power in the favor of ordinary people – in this period of climate change, I think this is extremely important,” said Duncan Bailey, lead developer of Anecdata, which is so new, it is still being beta tested.

snapping turtle

Don’t get too close to this snapping turtle, seen by the side of the road in Brooksville, ME, in May by Anecdata user Acadia. © MDIBL, Anecdata and contributors

So far, the snapping turtle project has 8 contributors with 9 photos, including 2 that we at Acadia on My Mind recently uploaded, of a snapper sunning itself on a rock off the shores of Lower Hadlock Pond, and of a baby turtle near Hadlock Brook.

The project isn’t limited to Mount Desert Island, although Anecdata is based there. One spectacular close-up photo of a snapper by the side of the road was taken in May in Brooksville, ME, by a citizen scientist going by the screen name Acadia. The project lead, going by the screen name NUMAHA, said he came up with the idea because “I wanted to find out where the snapping turtles in Maine are because I think more of them are being killed.”
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