Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Enhancing the Garden Bird Survey

We are working in partnership with the Garden Bird Survey to enhance its communication strategy and indicators for reporting.

Garden Bird Survey

The Garden Bird Survey is a citizen science project established to monitor the population trends of common garden birds in New Zealand. Since 2007 over 2000 people have, every winter, recorded  birds visiting in their gardens. This dataset is unique for a number of reasons.

  • It is New Zealand’s first annual survey of biodiversity at a national scale.
  • It involves a diverse range of people in a  biodiversity monitoring initiative.
  • It provides new insights into bird populations  living within urban and rural gardens.

Key questions

  • What do people want to know about garden birds?
  • Where do people want to go to access this  information?
  • How should the indicators be calculated for reporting?
  • Are those indicators reliable and able to detect change?
  • How can we present the data in an interesting and meaningful way?
  • What motivates people to do the survey?
  • How can we get more people involved?

Our research

To begin to address these questions, we are evaluating different analytical approaches for summarising regional and national trends. This requires making decisions about how to best edit, process and interpret the data. We are also exploring a range of mechanisms for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the survey's communication strategies.