Sweden bear expedition (June)

Sweden is now preparing to enter lockdown too as its herd immunity strategy seems to be failing, just like it did in the UK, with some arguing that, as a result, the crisis in Sweden is now likely to last months, rather than weeks.

At the same time the majority of expeditioners have already opted to defer to Sweden 2021 (9 – 26 June 2021) or to other expeditions (2021 expedition dates here).

Our local scientist is in the field at the moment in order to get as much work done as possible before restrictions come into force. She will continue the project and collect data as much and whenever possible, but it is now extremely unlikely that there will be a citizen science element to the project in 2020. Our recommendation for expeditioners is now to defer to the 2021 Sweden or another expedition.

Fighting the virus from home

The new EU citizen science platform has just gone online. This is full of projects you can take part in (from home and in the field) and in itself well worth a visit.

Two projects stand out in lockdown coronavirus times. Both use combined human brain and computing power to help fight the virus. The first is called FoldIt and is an online game with real-world outcomes. The second, Folding@Home, allows you to make your home computer processing power available in the fight against the virus.

The EU citizen science platform also has a very useful page with lots of citizen science resources related to the  pandemic.

Armenia leopard, lynx, bear & wolf expedition (June)

2020 was to be our inaugural year in Armenia with citizen scientists from all over the world helping us with our work. For obvious reasons they will now not be able to come to Armenia, which is a great shame. Still, our local partner will not stand still, because they will not abandon their local conservation efforts. They will use the year to run a reduced project with local staff and rangers only, conducting more preliminary research work and getting even more ready for the arrival of citizen scientists in July next year. In short, we will keep the project going, funding it as best as we can and helping our local partner obtain additional funding too via our appeal.

Costa Rica sea turtle expedition (May)

Our work in Costa Rica continues, albeit without the citizen science element this year, for obvious reasons. The citizen science element has been deferred to May 2021.

We must continue our work on the ground in Costa Rica, for without beach patrols, even if these are by a skeleton local team only, it is likely that 100% of all eggs and nests will be taken by poachers and sold on the black market, which would be a devastating blow to sea turtle conservation. So we need to keep the project going, throwing the resources we have at it and helping our local partner obtain additional funding via our appeal.