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However box sites varied in relative proportions of small mammal, and hence prey availability. Results indicated that land use and landscape structure can affect breeding success in barn owls. Higher levels of poor quality small mammal habitat were associated with unsuccessful sites. However, at a landscape scale, the habitat mosaic across the study area lacked variation, limiting analysis and clear correlations between habitat type and positive breeding success, suggesting that a finer scale was needed in future studies utilising this approach. Unable to display preview.

Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. Research Article. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Environment Agency. Google Scholar. Jeanneret P. Biodiversity patterns in cultivated landscapes: modelling and mapping with GIS and multivariate statistics. In: Heterogeneity in Landscape Ecology. Raptor Res. Ramsar This disparity between the small number of respondents motivated by educational opportunity and the large number of respondents who benefited from knowledge gain might be attributed to the self-reported nature of motivation in our questionnaire.

It is important to note that self-reported results may be subject to self-deception, the unconscious bias people apply toward maintaining a certain perception of themselves Trivers , Hirschfeld et al. Similarly, surveys of British citizen scientists and environmental volunteers also found that although few respondents identified the desire to learn something new or develop new skills as their primary motivation, learning or developing new skills was a common benefit among environmental volunteers Hobbs and White , Geoghegan et al.

Consistent with our results, these studies also identified wildlife and nature-related benefits as among the most common benefits Hobbs and White , Geoghegan et al. However, opportunity for learning was a popular motivation in two local American citizen science projects with similarly well-educated respondents: the Neighborhood Nestwatch project Evans et al.

We also note that discrepancies in wording among surveys can make their results difficult to compare; nonetheless, it seems clear that interpersonal motivations were stronger than educational ones in our study.

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A subset of respondents indicated that their motivations had changed over time. Some respondents who were initially motivated by personal reasons were later motivated by conservation concerns see also Geoghegan et al. Shifting from career-related motivations to personal motivations has also been documented Geoghegan et al. In our study, several respondents also developed professional motivations for participating over time, which we have not seen documented elsewhere. This shift may indicate interest to pursue science professionally, perhaps inspired by citizen science participation. This suggests that participants may have developed or deepened their personal relationships with nature through citizen science participation Livingston , Bell et al.

For example, programs may benefit from incorporating a mentorship structure to provide social and learning benefits Ryan et al. Organizers could add a program whereby experienced participants accompany first-time participants and provide hands-on training, helping the novice learn about owl identification and habitat while providing the experienced individual with another meaningful way to contribute. This is particularly important because experienced individuals may be more motivated by social interactions than beginners Ewert et al.

Studies on sport and leisure volunteering have also found that developing social bonds with other participants promotes attachment to the activity Snelgrove et al. End-of-season data presentation and social events e. An alternative may be holding smaller celebratory gatherings in a few centralized communities across the province. Additionally, a private forum for participants within which participants can ask questions of researchers or the community at large e. Overall, program designers may benefit from promoting the citizen science experience beyond the data collection process e.

Future research should further explore interpersonal dimensions of citizen science participation, perhaps examining the role of social networks for recruitment and the specific benefits of informal mentorships in citizen science projects. Our results demonstrate the importance of taking personal motivations, including interpersonal experiences, into account when developing new projects, recruiting volunteers, and developing retention strategies for ongoing projects. Presenting citizen science projects as educational opportunities is not enough to attract participants; program developers need to appreciate that motivations are usually experiential, interpersonal, recreation, or conservation-related.

Advertising directly to a wide variety of different communities, including indigenous communities, outdoor recreation groups, and postsecondary student clubs may help reach out to more diverse audiences within frameworks that implicitly integrate and benefit from interpersonal and mentor-type interactions. In addition, reaching out to immigrant communities may provide a unique opportunity for newcomers to form relationships with Canadian nature. However, program designers must concurrently consider the costs and benefits of attracting possibly shorter-term participants when developing recruiting strategies.

If increasing exposure of the public to wildlife is a priority, engaging large numbers of new participants might be emphasized. However, if volunteer retention is necessary for program success, then a strategy that attracts participants of a diverse demographic mix, and includes a mentorship component for returning volunteers, may be most beneficial. Ultimately, organizers must always keep in mind their specific project goals and protocols when designing recruitment strategies to attract suitable and lasting participants.

We would like to thank all the participants of the Manitoba Nocturnal Owl Survey who took the time to answer our questionnaire and share their experiences with us.

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We would like to acknowledge Manitoba Sustainable Development for providing funding in support of our study through the Alice Chambers-Hyacinth Colomb Assistantship Program. Finally, we thank Dr. Iain Davidson-Hunt for his help and feedback. Asah, S. Lenentine, and D. Benefits of urban landscape eco-volunteerism: mixed methods segmentation analysis and implications for volunteer retention. Landscape and Urban Planning Bell, S.

Marzano, J. Cent, H. Kobierska, D. Podjed, D. Vandzinskaite, H.

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Reinert, A. Armaitiene, M. What counts? Volunteers and their organisations in the recording and monitoring of biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 17 14 Bonney, R. Cooper, J. Dickinson, S. Kelling, T. Phillips, K. Rosenberg, and J. Citizen science: a developing tool for expanding scientific knowledge and scientific literacy. BioScience 59 11 Philips, H. Ballard, and J. Can citizen science enhance public understanding of science? Public Understanding of Science 25 1 Campbell, L.

Volunteering for sea turtles? Characteristics and motives of volunteers working with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Mast 3 2 Cooper, C. Dickinson, T. Phillips, and R. Citizen science as a tool for conservation in residential ecosystems. Ecology and Society 12 2 Ecology and Society 15 4 Domroese, M.

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Why watch bees? Motivations of citizen science volunteers in the Great Pollinator Project. Biological Conservation Duncan, J. Manitoba nocturnal owl survey - annual report. Increase in distribution records of owl species in Manitoba based on a volunteer nocturnal survey using Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus and Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa playback.

Pages in J. Duncan, D. Johnson, and T. Nicholls, editors. Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere: second international symposium. Forest Service, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Swengel, and A. Ardea 97 4 Edwards, R. Evans, C.


  1. Conserving Owls Through Education and Research.
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Abrams, R. Reitsma, K. Roux, L. Salmonsen, and P. The neighborhood nestwatch program: participant outcomes of a citizen-science ecological research project.

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Conservation Biology 19 3 Ewert, A. Gilbertson, Y. Luo, and A. Journal of Leisure Research 45 1 Farmer, R. Leonard, J. Mills Flemming, and S. Observer aging and long-term avian study data quality. Ecology and Evolution 4 12 Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior 26 4 Gahwiler, P. Toward a relational understanding of leisure social worlds, involvement, psychological commitment, and behavioral loyalty. Leisure Sciences Geoghegan, H. Dyke, R. Pateman, S. West, and G.

Understanding motivations for citizen science. Harrell, F.


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    Hirschfeld, R. Thomas, and D. Implications of self-deception for self-reported intrinsic and extrinsic motivational dispositions and actual learning performance: a higher order structural model. Educational and Psychological Measurement 68 1 Hobbs, S. Motivations and barriers in relation to community participation in biodiversity recording. Journal for Nature Conservation Jordan, R. Crall, S. Gray, T.

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    Phillips, and D. Citizen science as a distinct field of inquiry. BioScience 65 2 Gray, D. Howe, W. Brooks, and J. Knowledge gain and behavioral change in citizen-science programs. Conservation Biology 25 6 Land-Zandstra, A.

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    Devilee, F. Snik, F. Buurmeijer, and J. Lee, S. McMahan, and D. The gendered nature of serious birdwatching. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 20 1 Livingston, J. The fallacy of wildlife conservation. McClintock, N. Understanding Canadian volunteers: using the national survey of giving, volunteering and participating to build your volunteer program. McDougle, L. Greenspan, and F. Miller, J. Public understanding of, and attitudes toward, scientific research: what we know and what we need to know.

    Public Understanding of Science 13 3 Nisbet, E. Zelenski, and S. Environment and Behavior 41 5 Ordubegian, L. An analysis of the motivations of volunteers in a short term environmental project. Pages in B. Smale, editor. Leisure challenges: bridging people, resources, and policy into play.

    Paik, A. Social networks, recruitment, and volunteering: are social capital effects conditional on recruitment? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 40 3 Pandya, R. A framework for engaging diverse communities in citizen science in the US. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10 6 Phillips, T. Ferguson, M. Minarchek, N.

    Porticella, and R. R Core Team. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria. Raddick, M. Bracey, P. Gay, C. Lintott, P. Murray, K. Schawinski, A. Szalay, and J. Galaxy zoo: exploring the motivations of citizen science volunteers. Astronomy Education Review 9 1. Rotman, D. Preece, J. Hammock, K. Procita, D. Hansen, C. Parr, D.