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Penguin spotting

Photograph of King penguins

A waddle of King penguins. (Courtesy: F Jones)

By Louise Mayor

Those of you who enjoyed Peter Barham’s Physics World feature “Penguin physics” might have – like me – come away enamoured of these little creatures, but not imagining that you could contribute to penguin research yourself.

Imagine my delight then when I discovered that the team behind British Science Week (BSW), which starts today, has teamed up with Penguin Watch, a citizen-science Zooniverse project that is calling for volunteers. The volunteer activity involves looking at photographs and, in each one, marking penguins, chicks, eggs and other animals such as humans. These crowd-sourced data will then then help the University of Oxford project Penguin Lifelines to better understand how threats to the ecosystem disrupt the dynamics of resident wildlife.

Photograph of researchers setting up cameras for the Penguin Lifelines project

Researchers set up cameras for the Penguin Lifelines project. (Courtesy: D Allcorn)

During BSW, which spans from today until 19 March, the team is aiming to get an extra 250,000 interactions on Penguin Watch. I signed up this morning and found it straightforward and fun. Fancy joining in?

Oh, and if you are a penguin fan, don’t miss our short taster video about Barham’s feature:

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