Research:Crane Project

Duration:  2014-12 – 2016-06
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This page documents a planned research project.
Information may be incomplete and change before the project starts.

Key PersonnelEdit

  • Andrea Soriano
  • Stuart Bearhop
  • Geoff Hilton

Project SummaryEdit

I’m developing a project about the importance of flagship species (species appealing to the public that raise awareness for conservation) on the UK, on a regional scale. My aim is to determine if the programmes developed by some NGOs (RSPB, WWT) on those species have had an impact on the population awareness about conservation on those regions, I'd like to use the searches on those species in Wikipedia as a proxy. I also would like to use searches related to habitat and conservation threats to assess the degree of interest those projects have created. 


Initially I want to focus my research on Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus), that was reintroduced in Somerset in 2010. I would like to have access to the number of visits this term has had, from 2005 to the present, in a monthly basis and in a local scale in UK. I also would like the same kind of information for the terms: Wetlands & Wildfowl Trust (WWT), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Wetland. Depending on the results, I might want to expand my research on other projects (White-tailed eagle, Red kite). 


I want to public the results in a scientific paper on a peer-reviewed journal as well as share my finding with local NGO’s to help them improve their strategies to engage people in conservation.  

Wikimedia Policies, Ethics, and Human Subjects ProtectionEdit

Benefits for the Wikimedia communityEdit

It will allow us to understand if Wikipedia can be used as a proxy to assess population interest in nature conservation. 


I would like to analyse the data and submit a paper by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.


Wetlands & Wildfowl Trust (WWT) and the University of Exeter support my PhD.


-Barua M., Root-Bernstein M., Ladle R. J. & Jepson P. (2011). Defining Flagship Uses is Critical for Flagship Selection: A Critique of the IUCN Climate Change Flagship Fleet. AMBIO, 40:431–435. -Bride I. G., Griffiths R. A., Melendez-Herrada A. & Mckay J. E.(2008). Flying an amphibian flagship: conservation of the Axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum through nature tourism at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico. Amphibian conservation, 42:116–124. -Caro, T.M. & O'Doherty, G. (1999). On the use of surrogate species in conservation biology, Conservation Biology, 13:805-814. -Kim J.Y., Do Y., Im R.Y, Kim G.Y. & Joo G.J. (2014). Use of large web-based data to identify public interest and trends related to endangered species. Biodiversity Conservation, 23:2961–2984. -Leader-Williams, N. & Dublin, H.T. (2000) Charismatic megafauna as 'flagship species'. In Priorities for the Conservation of Mammalian Diversity: Has the Panda had its Day? (eds A. Entwistle and N. Dunstone), pp. 53-81. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. -Roberge J.M. & Angelstam P. (2003). Usefulness of the Umbrella Species Concept as a Conservation Tool. Conservation Biology, 18:76-85. -Schlegel J. & Rupf R. (2010). Attitudes towards potential animal flagship species in nature conservation: A survey among students of different educational institutions. Journal for Nature Conservation, 18:278-290. -Smith A.M. & Sutton S.G. (2008). The Role of a Flagship Species in the Formation of Conservation Intentions. Human Dimensions of Wildlife: An International Journal, 13:2, 127-140.

External linksEdit


Andrea Soriano