Pollinator Monitoring

For those who aren’t aware, the Lake Placid Land Conservancy runs a citizen science monitoring project. Citizen science is when any person of any age collects data that can then be used for research. This is important because there simply will never be enough scientists to gather data from all over the world. That means we’re counting on you to help out!

While our conservation monitors look at all kinds of plants and animals, you can take part in our program to specifically monitor for pollinators. Using your smartphone, you can walk your property, snap photos of pollinators, and submit the data you collect to our project in the iNaturalist app. Monitoring for pollinators in this way helps us and other researchers to track how their abundance (number) and richness (number of species) change over time. Monitoring your property also helps you to better understand your land and the habitat it provides to wildlife of all types. It will also help you and the Land Conservancy to see how the area is changing over time.

To start:

  1. Download the iNaturalist app and create an account.
  2. Join our project, “LPLC Conservation Monitoring Project.”
  3. Take photos of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, moths, flies, etc., as well as the plant they are on.
  4. Upload the photos to iNaturalist.
    1. Identify the species if you know it, choose one of iNaturalist’s suggestions, or wait for someone else to identify it if you’re not sure what you’ve photographed.
    2. Include information relevant to your observation, such as the cloud cover and temperature.
    3. Tag your photo with “LPLC Conservation Monitoring Project.”
    4. Share it with the iNaturalist community!

IMG_3690We encourage you to monitor for pollinators or any other wildlife and plants whenever and wherever you are! It is a great way to get involved with a community that is passionate about conservation, just like you. It is also a great way to identify species that you may not know. Based on where you are and what your photo looks like, iNaturalist will suggest a species identification. Experts and others in the iNaturalist community can then weigh in, “like” or comment on your post, and even suggest a different identification if they think you’ve guessed incorrectly.

If you want to make the most of your pollinator monitoring experience, we suggest that you set up a regular monitoring route. Doing so allows you to have some control in your “study.” By going to the same places at regular intervals, you can see how pollinator populations adjust due to temperature, humidity, land use, or perhaps if their preference, use, or presence changes over time. For complete directions on downloading iNaturalist and how you can join our monitoring program, click here. If you need help getting started with any of this, whether with ideas for a route or how to download and use the app, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Happy monitoring!