Some more info on the citzen science project

Aims:

1) To collect data for wild cephalopods from areas where data is missing

2) To make SCUBA divers aware of how best to interact with cephalopods

3) To engage with the citizen scientists in a number of meaningful ways

Methods • Having seen many videos and images uploaded to various forms of social media we created a Facebook group specifically for reporting observations of cephalopods • Due to the immediate success of this UK group, eight more groups were created with the help of students at Anglia Ruskin University • The new groups covered: Italy, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands & Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and Mexico • To help educate the public on cephalopods broadly, we wrote ID guides for the regions which were translated into the relevant local languages • Guides included potential warning signals provided by cephalopods (and see Cooke&Tonkins, 2015) to help SCUBA divers avoid stressing then • I conducted a speaking tour of the SW UK SCUBA groups to promote the project in person and to engage with those providing the data • Surveys were conducted after the talks to measure behavioural changes in the SCUBA divers.

Results, Membership and observations provided • After 12 months the groups have ~1200

members who have provided ~ 1600 images or videos Scientific findings (being analysed) • New data on squid egg-laying sites and behaviours, vital for fisheries assessment currently being written up into a peer-reviewed article with CEFAS • Observations for key or new behaviours, such as: male-male competition (cuttlefish and bobtail squid); female aggression (cuttlefish); sleeping and resting (cuttlefish); schooling and shoaling (cuttlefish); burying behaviours (octopus); habitat preference (octopus); hunting strategies (cuttlefish, bobtail squid); egg laying preferences (squid, cuttlefish) and many more • Analysis of behaviours are ongoing but include; social network analysis; hierarchical cluster analysis of behaviours by species and reproductive phenotype; sequential analysis of agonistic interactions; alternative mating strategies and many more.

Societal Impact The project has already received widespread national and international exposure: • BBC worldwide website (500,000 reach) • BBC Radio Wales (50,000 reach) • The Conservation article x 2 (36,000 + 4000 reach) • SCUBA magazine article on wild cephalopod welfare (25,000 reach) Self-funded public speaking tour of SW England saw a: • 2100% rise in observations posted to the groups • 96% of responders agreed to share more observations with 100% agree that they will change their behaviour when diving with cephalopods • The Royal Society Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has invited the lead me to give a talk on wild cephalopod welfare in early 2019 • Observations provided to the project are being collated into an art exhibition to be displayed at Anglia Ruskin University Ruskin Gallery and at the Cambridge Science Festival (UK) in spring 2019.


Cephalopod report groups

- UK

- France

- Malta

- Portugal

- Germany

- Spain

- Cyprus

- Italy

- Netherlands/Belgium

- Mexico

- Japan (Okinawa)


(Groups added since original blog post are Norway, Central America, Greece and Ireland).

Guides to cephalopods for the public:

Drerup & Cooke 2019 – Cephalopod ID Guide for the North-East Atlantic

Drerup & Cooke 2019 – Cephalopod ID Guide for the North Sea Drerup & Cooke 2019 – Cephalopod ID Guide for the Mediterranean Sea



Originally posted on National Geographic Open Explorer to cephalopodcitsci.

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