WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Amateur Photographers and Citizen Scientists Wanted: UCF Studies Native Birds in the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons


Play Audio
Birds are coming back to the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Birds are coming back to the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A team of University of Central Florida biologists just got a grant to teach people to be citizen scientists. The data they collect will be used to study the health of native bird populations.

UCF’s Linda Walters says right now teams of students are studying birds on the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons. They use binoculars to determine whether they’re being lured back by an almost decade-long oyster reef regeneration project. But Walters says:

“That is pretty limiting. We can’t have students out there 24/7. Or I can’t be out there 24/7. We’re hoping to get the community involved and all they have to do is take pictures of birds.”

She says anyone living around Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons can use their smartphones to take pictures of the birds they see. Then scientists will use the photos to determine which birds are being lured back to the troubled waterways by a decade-long oyster reef conservation project.

“Taking the photographs, identifying the bird species, looking and seeing what behaviors they can identify from the photographs. And once you know what you’re looking for, it’s not hard to do.”

Walters says these birds aren’t just pretty to look at – they’re also major contributors to the local economy. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says almost 50 percent of Floridians participate in wildlife viewing activities, including bird watching, each year.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Health Reporter

Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan, and then taught high school writing and literature for four years before ... Read Full Bio »

TOP