Open Access

Involvement of young people in the citizen science of invasive alien species in Bulgaria


Citizen science plays an important role in the early detection of invasive alien species (IAS). The involvement of young people in initiatives related to citizen science in Bulgaria could contribute to better monitoring of IAS because of mobility and digital skills of those people. Based on a questionnaire survey, key aspects of involvement of young people in citizen science initiatives were analysed. Two groups of respondents, including professionals (with an educational background in biology or with professional activities related to the bioresources) and non-professionals (not connected with bioresources) were asked to make judgments about their own level of knowledge about: (1) IAS issues, (2) the level of awareness of citizen science; (3) the motivation and preferable ways to participate in citizen science; and (4) the most appropriate approaches for IAS awareness raising. A total of 337 young people in the age range of 15-30 years were questioned during the period 2019-2021. The results show that there is no significant difference between the responses of the two groups of respondents to the questionnaire - professionals and non-professionals. In both groups, less than 50% of respondents are aware of issues related to IAS. Less than 40% of respondents indicated the correct definition of citizen science. The leading motivation factor to participate in citizen science initiatives is “caring for nature” followed by “to contribute to nature conservation” and “to learn more about nature”. Most of the respondents are interested in additional information related to IAS and prefer online sources for information.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Chemistry, other, Geosciences, Geography, Life Sciences, Physics