Latest news on the CLEVER Cities project
5 September 2022
CLEVER London Surveys Local Ecology
5 September 2022
CLEVER Cities London spent multiple days in July and August working with local residents to monitor the local flora and fauna in the Thamesmead CC Project area. Members of the public were invited to join experts in spotting, identifying, and recording sightings of birds, bumblebees, butterflies and bats–important pollinators and seed distributors. The biggest highlight of the day was finding a shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum), in a wildflower hedge next to Southmere Square. The Shrill Carder Bee, an avid forager of plants in the mint (Lamiaceae) and pea (Fabaceae) families, is one of the rarest bumblebees in the UK, and is also threatened by climate change and habitat loss.
Participants used two citizen science, also called community science, data collection programs: BeeWalk and the Big Butterfly Count. These programs make data collection accessible to non-specialists, allowing individuals to monitor wildlife in their community, contributing to a UK wide dataset.
The data collection process was spiced up using a novel technology called acoustic monitoring. AudioMoth, a low-cost and full-spectrum acoustic logger that can record sounds at audible and ultrasonic frequencies, was made available to participants. This approach allows participants to record-and sometimes even here- species that might otherwise be overlooked. Furthermore, it is well suited to the long-term monitoring of bad and bird species as they make use of their new improved habitat. Monitoring over time will allow CLEVER Cities London to identify changes in species present in the area as well as their behavior. The detectors were placed with support from the Thamesmead Nature Forum, and collected data will be analysed later this year. Stay tuned for updates on what CLEVER Cities London learns.
Bumblebee by "Cole Keister"