Protocol-Adherence Behaviors of the American Kestrel Partnership’s Citizen Scientists Efforts

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Sarah Schulwitz


Given that they adhere to researchers’ protocols, citizen scientists can aid scientists interested in tracking continental-scale patterns due to their potential to collect data across vast geographic expanses. The American Kestrel Partnership (AKP) is a citizen science-based project of The Peregrine Fund that aims to gain a greater understanding of demographic trends in the widespread but declining falcon, American Kestrel (Falco sparverius). AKP partners across North America are asked to follow protocols regarding installing and consistently monitoring nest boxes. Here, we analyze some of the protocol-adherence behaviors of AKP’s citizen scientists, including box-installation and box-monitoring behaviors and their relationship to the number of boxes a partner owned (i.e., <10 vs. >10 boxes). We found that the number of boxes installed increased steadily over time, but that across years and regardless of the number of boxes a partner owned, the majority of boxes were installed at a time contrary to the protocol’s guidelines. Further, regardless of installation year or the number of boxes a partner owned, we found that box monitoring decreased steadily with each year since installation. This study elucidates the tendencies of AKP’s citizen scientists and informs program managers on topics that may require alternative communication strategies.

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