CITIZEN SCIENCE

Falkland Islands Big Seaweed Search

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The Falkland Islands Big Seaweed Search (FIBSS) invites you to explore the coast with your friends or family and contribute to scientific research in the Falkland Islands. We need people like you to search for seaweeds all around the Falklands to help us better understand and conserve this vitally important habitat.

The FIBSS is a collaboration between Falklands Conservation, the Natural History Museum, and South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute. It is funded by the Falkland Islands Government and Darwin Plus.

Seaweeds and the habitats that they create are vital to the coastal ecosystems of the Falkland Islands. Giant kelp forests that girdle the many islands of the archipelago support an amazing diversity of invertebrates and fish, provide feeding grounds and shelter for marine birds and mammals such as cormorants, sea lions and dolphins, and are home to economically important squid populations.

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Currently, around 250 red, green, and brown seaweed taxa are recognised, of which about 100 species have been added to the list since the expeditions of Juliet Brodie and Rob Mrowicki in 2018 and 2019. The Falkland Islands are home to some particularly charismatic and recognisable seaweeds, which are important indicators of the health of coastal ecosystems. The Falkland Islands Big Seaweed Search will focus on these species, including kelps and coralline algae.

These species and their habitats are known to be affected by environmental changes, sea temperature rise, ocean acidification, and the spread of non-native species. This project will provide baseline data on species distribution and how that changes with time. It is important to collect information on the current distribution of these species (the baseline data) so that monitoring efforts can more accurately measure changes over time.

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Getting Involved

Anyone can be a part of the FIBSS project. To get involved, download the Falkland Islands Big Seaweed Search guide and the recording form, which are both available on this page.
Results can be returned via the postal address on the form or submitted online.

Submit here

 

Thank you for taking part in the Falkland Islands Big Seaweed Search!
For any further questions, contact Falklands Conservation on outreach@conservation.org.fk