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Saving Species on BBC Radio 4 explores biodiversity, conservation and natural history, both in the UK and across the globe. Recently the term Citizen Science has evolved to describe amateurs workin...g with professionals at public events such as Bioblitz events, which were first held in 1996 in Washington DC. These involve an intense period of biological surveying within a defined area and so Brett Westwood travels to Oxford to attend the World's first Urban Bioblitz and find out for himself what over 1000 coordinated events in one weekend hope to achieve. But can the amateur really add to the science? Many scientific communities, such as an academic study by Jeremy Thomas (Professor of Ecology at Oxford) and colleagues acknowledged that without the input from these amateur wildlife watchers much of today's understanding of the natural world would be impossible. Brett Westwood discusses this with Dr Helen Roy who has recently been asked to review the benefit of amateur observations for the scientific community. Meanwhile, Andrew Dawes travels to Sheffield to meet Paul Richards, an invertebrate specialist, who recently found a species of giant harvestman measuring 20 centimetres across at his local bioblitz. But what effect is this alien species having on the native harvestmen, as well as on flora and fauna? And Sarah Pitt joins Daniel Hargreaves on the shores of Blagdon Lake in Somerset as he goes in search of the Nathusius' pipistrelle - a small species of bat rarely seen in many parts of the UK. Also in the programme - news from around the world with our regular news reporter, Kelvin Boot. And we'll update you on the activities of the Open Universities iSpot.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Series: Saving species; Series 3
Episode 9
First transmission date: 2012-10-30
Original broadcast channel: BBC Radio 4
Published: 2012
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OU Digital Archive web pages.
Duration: 00:27:34
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Producer: Mary Colwell
Presenter: Brett Westwood
Contributors: Kelvin Boot; Andrew Dawes; Dominic Mc Donald; Daniel Hargreaves; Sarah Pitt; Paul Richards; Helen Roy; Brett Westwood
Publisher: BBC Open University
Production number: AUDA573B
Available to public: no