The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is creating a new citizen science project that will connect natural backyard bird habitats together. This project has the potential to create a huge boom for conservation as it will show how important individuals are to the big picture.
Backyard habitats can potentially connect large and small preserved land to create large-scale, mixed habitats that birds and other animals can use.
From the Lab’s website:
Now in development, the YardMap Network is an NSF-funded project that builds online communities to investigate the impacts of bird-friendly and carbon-neutral practices in backyards, community gardens, and parks. Participants will locate their yards or parks on a Google maps interface, then document their sustainable practices, such as adding native plants, putting up bird feeders, installing a solar panel, or biking to work.
YardMap will serve as a detailed site description for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen-science bird observations. By providing access to rich media resources for learning about sustainable practices and enabling people share their maps and practices with each other, YardMap strives to create online conservation communities engaged in real life sustainable practices.
The YardMap Network will be tested and launched in 2011, in partnership with the National Audubon Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Empire State College’s online alumni program, and the American Community Gardening Association.