Natura Alert: Using citizen science to protect nature
Since the late 1970s, the BirdLife Partnership has worked together to identify, document and protect the most important places to protect the world’s birds. Since then, over 13,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) have been identified. However, without proper monitoring of the condition of these IBAs, an increasing number of them are threatened by damaging development.
By Sofia Capellan
As part of our Horizon 2020-funded LandSense project, BirdLife developed Natura Alert: a mobile and web platform which enables anyone to sound the alarm when they discover nature at risk, in any corner of the world. Natura Alert allows you to report the location of the threat you discover, upload photos and videos of the sites and submit reports.
Once you have submitted this information, it will be verified nationally by IBA and Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) coordinators, as well as by BirdLife International.
Natura Alert is already being used by the volunteer networks of our BirdLife Partners SEO/BirdLife in Spain and Burung in Indonesia. In Spain, volunteers are using it to report threats to birds and habitats within IBAs and Natura 2000 sites, while Indonesian communities are validating alerts from satellite-image analysis of forest change on the Flores island.
This week, as BirdLife celebrates its 100th birthday, we also celebrate the 30 years of Natura 2000, the world’s largest coordinated network of protected areas! The network ensures the conservation of a wide range of rare, threatened or endemic animal and plant species.