Pictured: Raghuvansh Saxena (middle), Country Director, India and Dr. Gururaja K.V. (far right), Chief Scientist, Gubbi Labs with three Citizen Science Leaders at Mapping Monsoon Messengers launch
Earthwatch has launched the innovative programme on the urbans spaces of Bengaluru combining Mapping Monsoon Messengers (monitoring amphibians) with FreshWater Watch.
This exciting new citizen science project incorporates Earthwatch’s flagship FreshWater Watch programme with amphibian biodiversity surveys. Corporate employees, teachers, students and local communities will map diversity and distribution of amphibians and trees in Bengaluru’s urban ecosystems.
Urban freshwater ecosystems are under pressure from growing human populations and pollution in cities. However, healthy water ecosystems provide natural drainage systems and absorb heat generated in urban environments giving a significant cooling effect on their surroundings. This is why the HSBC Water Programme and Earthwatch are protecting waterbodies by training HSBC employees to research with scientists in order to protect their local waterbodies
Surbhi Sharma, Programme Associate at Earthwatch India said: “We’re very excited to bring together FreshWater Watch with mapping amphibians. Trained citizen scientists have the power to influence their local freshwater to protect them from degradation meaning the ecosystems can help people to manage modern challenges.”
Frogs, toads and trees are a key indicator for the health of these ecosystems, Mapping Monsoon Messengers highlights the diversity and value of the nature on the participant’s doorstep. The results of the citizen scientist’s amphibian observations and water quality research will be used by scientists and key decision makers to help identify which regions should be prioritised for conservation status.
Earthwatch trained 27 HSBC employees as Citizen Science Leaders (CSLs) at the Mapping Monsoon Messengers launch in September. Participants discussed global and local freshwater issues and factors affecting the biodiversity of their urban ecosystems.
The CSLs are asked to make measurements of frogs and water quality in their own time at waterbodies near their home or workplace. Frogs and toads are active in the evenings and will be easily spotted by the new citizen scientists.
In total, Earthwatch will host seven Citizen Science Leader training days at the Mapping Monsoon Messengers project.
Three CSLs test water quality in Bengaluru at the Mapping Monsoon Messengers launch