Citizen Science with School Students for Nature Conservation of a Scorpion Species
2020 March 27
The northernmost outpost of the distribution area of Euscorpius tergestinus (Triestino Scorpion) is Krems (Austria). This species is included in the red list of Austria as “threatened with extinction”. Nonetheless, nobody knows about the status of this population. The latest publications on these topics are at the minimum 35 years old and anecdotal with vague estimations about possible threats. Therefore, policy, nature conservation and management lack data. This project unites local school students from an elective biology course aged 16-17, their biology teacher with an arachnologist and a biology educator. Research on this threatened species is done in the framework of Citizen Science (CS) with students as co-creators of the research and laypersons as contributors of data via questionnaires, followed by mapping of the project team. The aims are to find out what the inhabitants of Krems know about the scorpion population and to evaluate its status for policy makers and nature conservation. This contribution describes the CS approach and the overall design of the project as well as some results.