ARPHA Preprints, doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e79644
A framework for improving understanding of volunteers' motivations to monitor and control invasive alien species
expand article infoAna Anđelković, Lori Lawson Handley§, Elizabete Marchante|, Tim Adriaens, Peter Brown#, Elena Tricarico¤, Laura Verbrugge«»
‡ Institute for Plant Protection and Environment, Belgrade, Serbia§ University of Hull, Department of Biological and Marine Sciences, Hull, United Kingdom| Centre for Functional Ecology,University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal¶ Research Inst. for Nature and Forest (INBO), Brussels, Belgium# Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom¤ University of Florence, Department of Biology, Florence, Italy« University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland» Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Open Access
Citizens make an important contribution to the study and management of biological invasions, as many monitoring and control projects rely heavily on volunteer assistance. Understanding the reasons why people participate in such projects is critical for successful recruitment and retention of volunteers. While research attention for this topic is growing, it is published in journals from different disciplines. We used a meta-synthesis approach to extract, analyze and synthesize the available information from 28 selected studies investigating motivations of volunteers to engage in monitoring and control of invasive alien species (IAS). Our findings show how motivations fit three broad themes, reflecting environmental concerns, social motivations, and personal reasons. An important outcome of this study is the description of motivations that are unique to the IAS context: supporting IAS management, protecting native species and habitats, and livelihood/food/income protection or opportunities. In addition, our study reflects on important methodological choices for investigating volunteer motivations as well as ethical issues that may arise in practice. We conclude with a set of recommendations for project design and future research on volunteer motivations in IAS contexts, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with social scientists.
citizen science, motivations, biological invasions, biodiversity monitoring, public engagement