Oxford university want you to help them spy on penguinsBy Editor
Spying on animals is one of the last great freedoms that us British enjoy on daily basis, or is that just me?
Well, it cannot be. Because Oxford University are leading a project that launches today called Penguin Watch. What is it, you ask? Let me explain.
Penguin Watch is a scheme that Oxford's scientists are running that allows the average, totally normal animal-voyeur entry into a database where you can look at 200,000 or so pictures of penguins from the Southern Ocean. In setting up the project, the scientists have also paired up with the Australian Antarctic Division, in an attempt to capture the movements and behaviour of over 30 colonies of the flightless bird.
Speaking of the new initiative, Oxford University's Department of Zoology and head of Penguin Watch, Dr Tom Hart:
"Most penguin colonies are so remote and the environment is so hostile the most practical way to study them is to leave something recording for us. Between the Australian Antarctic Division and ourselves, we have a network of over 50 automated cameras."
Moreover, the team plan on investigating the recent trend of the decline of certain species such as the Adélie and chinstrap breeds, and so with the help of the public, researchers can bolster intel on what is exactly going on.
Furthermore, keen naturalists will be able to learn a wealth of knowledge relating to penguins, which will definitely come in handy during pub quiz’s and wooing potential love interests.
As member of Penguin Watch and Oxford University Zoology researcher, Citlin Black acknowledges: "Counting penguins in images enables our team to learn more about penguin behaviours; every penguin people tag in these images will help us to extract vital information about the birds' winter activity, the impact of predators, and the timing of breeding."
If you're interested in the project, visit Penguin Watch for more information.