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Title enlisting citizen-scientists in the war on tiger mosquitoes

AuthorsOltra, Aitana CSIC ORCID ; Palmer, John R. B. CSIC ORCID; Bartumeus, Frederic CSIC ORCID
KeywordsDisease vectors
Asian tiger mosquito
Citizen science
Volunteered geographic information
Invasive species
Issue Date2016
PublisherUbiquity Press
CitationOltra, A, Palmer, J R B and Bartumeus, F. 2016. enlisting citizen-scientists in the war on tiger mosquitoes. In: Capineri, C, Haklay, M, Huang, H, Antoniou, V, Kettunen, J, Ostermann, F and Purves, R. (eds.) European Handbook of Crowdsourced Geographic Information, Pp. 295–308. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: License: CC-BY 4.0. (2016)
AbstractThis chapter describes, a citizen science project focusing on the Asian tiger mosquito in Spain. Commonly known for its aggressive biting during the day, the tiger mosquito represents a global environmental problem. It is an invasive species and a vector for dengue, chikungunya and other diseases, making it a serious public health risk. It is also an everyday nuisance and a threat to tourism and related industries. The management of invasive species, and particularly disease vectors, requires integrated programs that combine public communication and education with research, surveillance and control. aims at achieving this by engaging citizen scientists to raise awareness and collect data on tiger mosquito adults and their breeding sites with a smartphone app (Tigatrapp) and a multi-proxy data validation system that combines expert, crowd, and app-user input. Lessons learned during the first year of implementation in Spain, in 2014, have guided our current strategies with respect to both tiger mosquitoes and the formal integration of citizen science into the research, surveillance and control of invasive species and disease vectors generally. We address the challenges of implementing such frameworks and discuss their fitness for use in public health systems. The goal of is not only to enhance participation and raise awareness, but also to promote novel research and a more informed and cost-effective management of the tiger mosquito across Spain.
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