One of the marvellous things of wandering about with a digital camera in tropical forests nowadays is the ability of capturing nature scenes, oddities and novelties with amazing ease. This opens up an entirely new world for the ‘army’ of nature lovers and widens the potential activity scope for people that share a common passion focused on some of Nature’s many faces; like bird or butterfly-watching, diving or nature photography.
A new branch of monitoring or even ‘tourism’ is arising: scientific citizen workmanship for registering and documenting biodiversity, new records, inventories, geotagging and data gathering.
Picking the old saying that a picture (example) is worth a thousand words, a very rare and endangered Cattleheart Brazilian swallowtail butterfly, known only from two populations more than 1000 km away from each other, has been spotted in a new location due to a picture of Ricardo Costa, a keen REGUA visitor and amateur photographer that uploaded his picture on the web for identification: http://borboletaskmariposas.blogspot.com.br/2014/05/parides-burchellanus-westwood-1872.html
His initiative already generated a scientific paper and prompted the discovery of a dozen more localities in Minas Gerais State in 2013: http://biotaxa.org/cl/article/view/11.3.1663
Another example of ‘citizen amateurship’ sourced science is the publishing of a Rio de Janeiro new butterfly state record based on pictures taken by REGUA visitors on the reserve trails and that still hasn’t been seen by the actual ‘researchers’ yet! – Another paper has been published based on these pictures and temporal-spatial data gathered by the photos tags: