Citizen science refers to the involvement of the public in scientific research. We believe that anyone can get involved in our research, even from the comfort of their home. Usually, monitoring for large animals such as sharks can be time-consuming, require a significant investment of time, and get expensive. Contributions from citizen scientists are very important as they complement our work and enable us to collect data in less time and faster! The collaboration between the public and scientists can lead to a greater understanding of marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. Citizen science is also a powerful tool to raise awareness about the threats faced in marine conservation and help engage the public in meaningful ways.
Over the years, we have developed two citizen science projects in which you can get involved:
Eagle ray photo-ID
Spotted eagle rays have beautiful and very distinct markings that facilitate photo identification of individuals. Whether you are a diver or snorkeler you can provide valuable information to our scientists by submitting your spotted eagle ray images. The images can help us understand the movements of eagle rays and seasonality around the Bay Islands and regionally in the Mesoamerican Reef.
This is a collaborative effort between Ilili and the Roatan Marine Park.
Shark Sightings Database
In 2011, Honduras became a Shark Sanctuary and prohibited shark fishing and the commercialization in both coasts. While this was a huge step forward in the conservation of sharks in the region, we still know very little about sharks and their status in Honduras.
As a first step, we have teamed with the Roatan Marine Park, Whale Shark Oceanic Research Center and Sea Leucas, to establish a shark sightings database for the Bay Islands of Honduras. We need your help! Please report your shark sightings below.