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Condor Watch
April 15, 2014 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Hunt the endangered California condor -- for science!

"There are only around 200 California Condors living in the wild and they are in serious danger from lead poisoning, which they get by eating carcasses shot with lead bullets. Getting a better idea of how they interact and socialise is crucial to ongoing conservation efforts.

Using camera traps, ecologists in the US have been observing them in the wild. However the sheer volume of images is now overwhelming. Starting today we need your help to look through the first set of data: 264,000 images of condors eating, socialising, and nesting. Ecologists need everyone's help to identify the individual birds from their numbered tags. Your efforts on this project will help preserve an endangered species - and we think that's really special."


View the pictures, click on the animals, to help narrow the pool for ecologists. From the folks who brought us (the very addictive) Snapshot Serengeti.
posted by mudpuppie (9 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh no! Birdwatching and data gathering? I hate that!

Really have to get back down to Pinnacles to look at condors again sometime soon...
posted by rtha at 12:12 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


(Warning: Some of the bait carcasses are, um, cute baby cows.)
posted by mudpuppie at 12:14 PM on April 15


Metafilter's own scientist and I got to discover how politicized this whole topic can get on our blog a while ago
posted by Blasdelb at 12:38 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I got one picture taken in the dark (no animals seen!) one with a single raven (one animal seen!), and then one with about fifteen large birds covering the bait carcass, with no way to distinguish what part belonged to what bird, and what kind of birds any of them were.

I gave up, so I failed at being an amateur condor scientist but now I DO have a greater appreciation for the people that actually have to do this type of thing professionally.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:55 PM on April 15


I've seen a few condors, a lot of ravens, a couple coyotes, one TV, and a couple golden eagles. And some pictures of darkness, like I used to take of the inside of my pocket back when I had a cell phone that would do that!
posted by rtha at 1:11 PM on April 15


Blasdelb: I don't know if Gabe Fiorini is you or scientist, but I wanted to give him a standing ovation for this comment: http://linkstothedamnpaper.org/2013/03/05/condors-lead-poisoning-and-success-stories-in-conservation/#comment-65. It's respectful, informative, open-minded and
awesome. (I wish comments were still open on that post.)
posted by jjwiseman at 1:49 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I'm Bob Blasdel in there, that is all scientist's awesomeness.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:35 PM on April 15


I had one today that had like 17 condors!

And one that had one raven and a blurry coyote photobombing it.
posted by rtha at 5:29 PM on April 16


Ooh! And I just got one of a wild boar eating the calf carcass. Nature!
posted by rtha at 5:31 PM on April 16


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