Fota Wildlife Park is urging people to register sightings of ladybirds this autumn for a project co-funded with the Irish Research Council.
The Irish Ladybird Research Project is based at Fota Wildlife Park and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences with the project scholar, Gill Weyman.
Gill is now calling on the public in the Glanmire, Ballincollig and Cork City areas to send images and the address details of the ladybird sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org All participants in the project will be in with a chance to win one of several fun spot prizes including a family day-ticket to Fota Wildlife Park.
Research scholar Gill Weyman said: “We are currently asking residents living in the Glanmire, Ballincollig and Cork City areas to send us in any sightings of ladybirds this season. When a member of the public spots a ladybird in their gardens or while out on a walk, we are asking them to email a clear photo showing the wing cases and head of a ladybird to email@example.com. Don’t forget to also send in the address and Eircode as this is a crucial part of the research.
The closing date is the 1st October so there’s plenty of time and you can enter as many times as you like of course.”
The ladybird research project is a citizen science project which means that the public nationwide is needed to get involved.
“Record the sightings of ladybirds wherever and at whatever time of the year you see them; this will help give a greater understanding of the impact of the invasive species, the Harlequin, on the native ladybirds.
The Irish Ladybird Research Project is part of research towards a PhD degree and involves a wider group of participants, including Fota Wildlife Park; University College Cork; The Irish Research Council; National Museums Northern Ireland (CEDAR); National Museum of Ireland; Dr Roy Anderson and www.biology.ie.