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COVID-19 lockdown measures impacted citizen science hedgehog observation numbers in Bavaria, Germany

Citation

Sweet, Fabio; Rödl, Thomas; Weisser, Wolfgang W. (2022), COVID-19 lockdown measures impacted citizen science hedgehog observation numbers in Bavaria, Germany, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gmsbcc2qp

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to temporary changes in human-animal interactions due to changes in human activities. Here we report on a surge in hedgehog observations during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany in 2020, on the citizen science web portal ‘Igel in Bayern’ (Hedgehogs in Bavaria) in Germany. This increase in comparison to previous years could be attributed to an increase in the number of people reporting hedgehog observations, rather than an increase in the number of hedgehog observations done by each observer. Additionally, in contrast to other studies on the effects of a COVID-19 lockdown on observations recorded by Citizen Science projects, the share of observations made in more urbanized areas during the lockdown time was not higher than the change observed in less urbanized areas. This is possibly a result of the differences in COVID-19 measures between Germany and other countries where preceding studies were carried out, in particular the lack of measures limiting outdoor activities for citizens.

Funding

Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, Award: 6100243