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Citizen Science: Exploring the Animal and Plant Life around the West Highland Way

Citizen Science Animal and Plant Life

As part of our Talking Science project SRUC is running a citizen science project looking at the flora and fauna found on and around our Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farm.

As walkers on the West Highland Way wend their way through our farm they will be able to find out more about Scottish science thanks to a variety of information boards which cover current land use issues such as greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and ecosystem services. The boards also introduce walkers to some of the key features of the area they are walking through and tell them about the research activities on the farm.

Also on the trail are boards which explain how to take part in the experiment, and the necessary equipment (a pencil and a form to fill in!) to do so.

Walkers are asked to look out for five different animal species; bats, butterflies, rabbits, midges and birds, as well as two different plant species; bracken and cotton grass. All they have to do is fill in a simple table stating whether they saw none, some, or lots!

Result will be updated regularly from mid September to the end of October 2014.

Results as of 23 September 2014

So far there have been 53 surveys, results shown below.

 None  Some  Many
 Bats  45  8  0
 Birds  2  23  28
 Butterflies  21  29  3
 Bracken  5  13  35
 Cotton Grass
 24  22  7
 Midges  13  28  12
 Rabbits  36  15  2

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