Projects

WaldrApp

  • behaviour
  • avian research
  • Citizen Science

WaldrApp is a Citizen Science project of the University of Vienna with the aim of gathering ecological information about the whereabouts of the northern bald ibises (in German: Waldrapp). Everybody is welcome to participate!

The northern bald ibis is worldwide one of the most threatened bird species. A free-ranging colony was established in 1997 at the Core Facility Konrad Lorenz Research Station for Behaviour and Cognition of the University of Vienna in Grünau im Almtal (Austria). This colony provided valuable information for reintroduction projects in Europe.

The project WaldrApp focuses on the ecological aspects of the areas used by the birds. Preliminary results show that they select their foraging grounds according to different ecological parameters: sites with a high distance to roads, houses and trees as well as short vegetation are clearly preferred.

Habitat selection depends mainly on the current resource availability. In addition, social animals are particularly prone to show site fidelity and to form traditions. The birds spend the winter and the breeding season in the Alm valley, while they can be found in about 30 km air-line distance from the Research Station over the summer (Kremstal).

Later on, the acquired information and the app itself could be adapted worldwide for other northern bald ibis populations and reintroduction projects.

NestCams

  • behaviour
  • avian research
  • Citizen Science

Since 2018, automatic camera systems have been mounted in the nesting places of greylag geese and nothern bald ibises in the Cumberland Game Park in Grünau im Almtal in Austria. The behaviour of the birds on the nest needs to be classified for scientific purposes. Therefore, we need your help! The NestCams project runs on the Zooniverse platform and you can participate directly there:

Open project

 

NestCams Zooniverse


 Citizen Science Award 2019

NestCams is part of the Citizen Science Award 2019 in Austria! Join in and have fun observing the behaviours of greylag geese and northern bald ibises on their nests.
If you are going to compete for the Citizen Science Award, please send us an email with your

  • Zooniverse user name,
  • email address and
  • contact information

to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This information will exclusively be used for Award purposes.

When: 1st April to 5th July 2019

Where: online on BirdScience.net or the platform Zooniverse

Who can participate: children, school classes, adolescents, adults, everybody who is interested

How can you participate?
During the research period citizen scientists can watch and code short video sequences of breeding greylag geese and northern bald ibises, i.e. determine what the birds are doing on the nest.

Just register on the platform Zooniverse and go to the project "NestCams" via this LINK!

Research goal:
The aim is to investigate the breeding behaviour of two bird species that use two different strategies.

Greylag geese: precocial, long-term monogamous, the nest is exclusively cared for by the female
Northern bald ibis: altricial, seasonally monogamous, the nest is cared for by both partners

The observation of breeding behaviour should reveal why there are successful and unsuccessful pairs within a flock or colony.

What happens to the contributions of the citizen scientists?
The contributions of the citizen scientists, the coded video sequences, represent the data set from which the results are statistically evaluated in order to relate the observed behavioural patterns to the reproductive success of the individuals. The results will be presented as papers at conferences and in journals.

How are the winners determined?
For organisational reasons, prizes will only be awarded to participants from Austria.
The winners will be determined by the quantity of coded videos. The more the better! The correctness of the observation is automatically checked by the system. The data of the winners will be sent to the Centre for Citizen Science for the award ceremony.

Prices:

1st price | 1000 EUR for the best school class

2nd price | 750 EUR for the second best school class

3rd price | Material price for the best single person

 

Photo credits: KLF archive & Verena Pühringer-Sturmayr

Forschen im Almtal

  • behaviour
  • avian research
  • Citizen Science

"Forschen im Almtal" is a Citizen Science project of the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Cumberland Game Park in Grünau im Almtal. Its aim is to actively involve the visitors of the game park in the research activities of the Core Facility Konrad Lorenz Research Station for Behaviour and Cognition (Austria). Everybody is welcome to join in!

The aim of the project is the monitoring of the time-space patterns of three avian species (greylag geese, northern bald ibises and common ravens) which are considered as models. Because of their availability and accessibility in the study area (Cumberland Wildpark, Grünau im Almtal, Upper Austria), as well as the interest given to them by the public, they are perfectly suitable for the project. Birds are individually marked, which allows recognition of the single animals in the field also for citizen scientists.
The greylag geese and the northern bald ibises are marked with coloured rings on their legs, whereas the ravens are recognizable by different wingtags.

We aim at investigating when and where exactly which animals are to be found: do they have preferences for certain places of the park or do they prefer the company of other conspecifics?

The Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami) is an endemic Australian bird species from the Megapode family. Birds in the Megapode family are also known as mound-builders. Brush-turkeys occur naturally in rainforests and woodlands, where they forage by raking through leaf litter and soil for fruit, seeds, insects, lizards, and almost anything edible. Despite being poor fliers, they are capable runners and climbers. What sets them apart from other birds is their unique reproductive behaviour. Rather than incubating their eggs with their body heat, Brush-turkey males construct huge nest mounds out of soil and leaf litter, often weighing up to 3 tonnes. The breakdown and decomposition of this material produces heat that keeps the buried eggs around 33°C. Once the chicks hatch they are completely independent of their parents and are capable of forging and flight from day one.