Spy on animals around the world while contributing to ecological research

You don’t need to go on a safari to see wild creatures in their natural habitats. There are a number of scientific studies of wild creatures that depend on the eyes of observers just like you.

Take part to be transported (virtually) to ecosystems around the world through images and videos (sometimes even livestreams!) where you can make observations that scientists need. Find sharks, iguanas, birds and more with the projects below!


The SciStarter Team

Credit: Project SIARC

Project SIARC (Sharks Inspiring Action and Research with Communities) is working with scientists, fishermen and communities to protect sharks and other elasmobranches (like skates and rays) in Wales.

You can take part from anywhere in the world by flagging elasmobranches in videos taken by underwater cameras. You never know what you may see under the waves!

Check out more shark projects on SciStarter!

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Credit: Railway Wildlife, UK

Wild animals don’t just live in the forest — they share human spaces, too. In the UK, Network Rail is hoping to find out what kind of animals can be found near train tracks, and what they’re doing.

In this Instant Wild project, you’ll sort through images, tagging the ones with animals in them for researchers to study.

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Credit: Offal Wildlife Watching Project

When hunters dress their deer in the field, they leave behind intestines and other organs, called offal. These leavings can be be an important source of food for other creatures. But which creatures exactly?

Help find out with Offal Wildlife Watching Project, which placed cameras near offal piles to see which species rely on them for nutrients. Tag images and see for yourself!

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Credit: Amy MacLeod

Marine iguanas in the Galapagos are an iconic, though threatened species. They’re also hard to study, because they hang out on remote, rocky beaches. This project solves the problem with drones, capturing stunning images of iguanas in their natural habitat.

Hop online and look for iguanas in drone footage.

Hear from the project scientists on why they created this project, how you can get involved, and what they’ve learned so far! View Video

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Credit: Siah St. Clair

Help researchers explore the drama-filled world of red-headed woodpecker cavities and the animals that use them, both woodpeckers and otherwise!

With images from trail cameras trained on woodpecker nests, scientists are gradually learning more about the hidden lives of these spirited animals. Peek inside yourself and lend a hand.

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WILD HOPE is a new series of short films highlighting the intrepid changemakers who are working to restore and protect our planet. Each half-hour episode inspires audiences with stories of bold interventions, unexpected alliances and nature’s resilience.

WILD HOPE is partnering with SciStarter to give viewers opportunities to act on the issues they’re learning about through citizen science. As you watch the series, explore projects that align with the topics featured in each episode on our new WILD HOPE microsite on SciStarter.

Start Watching (and Doing)!

SciStarter LIVE!

Join the SciStarter team Tuesdays from 2-3PM ET to hear from project leaders, get tips on participating and learn about the impact of contributing to volunteer-powered science. Join in from anywhere via Zoom or watch the live stream on SciStarter’s Facebook page.

Register here!

In case you missed it:

November 28th: Iguanas from Above

Join project leader Amy MacLeod as she introduces us to the marine iguanas of the Galapagos Islands! MacLeod is a zoologist who came up with an innovative way to study these fascinating but difficult-to-access creatures. With drone footage, her team is able to capture hours of footage of the iguanas in their natural habitats, and they need you to help sort through it! MacLeod will walk us through participating in Iguanas from Above and tell us why your help is so important.

Science Near Me

What’s happening near you today? With Science Near Me, find a broad range of local and virtual science-related discussions, festivals, policy forums and events. Discover activities to do at home, online, star parties with local astronomy clubs, science nights at nearby bars and much more!

Check it out!

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Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Categories: Animals, Biology, Birds, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Education, Featured Projects, Nature & Outdoors, Newsletter

About the Author

SciStarter Team

SciStarter Team

SciStarter connects you to thousands of searchable citizen science projects in need of your help. Use the Project Finder (SciStarter.org/Finder) to find a project to match your location, interests, and age level. Your free SciStarter account will help you earn credit for participating in projects across apps and websites (use the advanced search option at SciStarter.org/Finder to find Affiliate projects eligible for credit in your dashboard). Together, we can move the world forward!