Citizen Science Opportunities - Mammals
Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer your time helping wildlife? Are you willing to help collect data on species and their habitats? Maybe you want to teach others about fishing or hunting. Chapter 5 of the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan lists education and outreach efforts as one of the fundamental strategies needing implementation in South Carolina to benefit priority wildlife species and their habitats. In particular, SCDNR and its partners should "promote volunteer participation, both in education and outreach programs as well as in data collection. [High priority]."
There are many opportunities for the public to help gather information that biologists and researchers can use in assessing species and their habitats. Sometimes our biologists need seasonal help with specific projects. That's when our volunteers become vitally important. Listed below are some citizen science weblinks. Some are for SCDNR programs while others take you to our conservation partners' websites.
- Want to help SCDNR net bats? See https://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/bats/volunteers.html to learn more.
- Monitor bats emerging from roosts sites through SC Bat Watch!
- Are bats using your bat box? If so, please fill out one of our online survey forms so we can document it!
- If you are interested in having a cave or mine on your property surveyed for bats and/or tested for White-nose Syndrome, please contact Jennifer Kindel at Kindelj@dnr.sc.gov or 864-419-0739.
Additional Mammal Opportunities
- Black bear – Report black bear sightings to SCDNR.
- Bottlenose dolphin – Report stranded dolphins, marine mammals, and sea turtles to the South Carolina Stranding Hotline 800-922-5431.
- Eastern Spotted Skunk - Help researchers document occurrences of spotted skunks in South Carolina and neighboring states by reporting sightings on iNaturalist’s spotted skunk page. South Carolina reports can also be sent to SCDNR Furbearer Biologist, Jay Butfiloski. To learn more about this reclusive species, please visit the Eastern Spotted Skunk Cooperative Study Group website.
- Southern Fox Squirrel – Every other year, a fox squirrel sighting survey is conducted by SCDNR as part of the Small Game program. Sign up and help before your next hunting or hiking trip! Read about the Southern Fox Squirrel and contact the small game biologist to get on the mailing list.
- West Indian manatee – Report sightings in South Carolina waters to the SCDNR. To report an injured manatee in South Carolina please contact the SCDNR hotline at 1-800-922-5431.