"Crows in the zoo" is a Citizen Science project of the Department for Behavioral and Cognitive Biology of the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Konrad Lorenz Research Center and the Zoo Vienna. The researchers aim to find out more about the species and subspecies of crows that use the zoo area. All visitors of the Zoo Vienna are welcome to join in and contribute collecting behavioural data by using an app developed for smartphones.
As typical cultural followers, corvids regularly profit from human settlements as places to stay and as a source of food. The birds often form flocks of varying sizes. Recent research results suggest that these groups are not completely anonymous aggregations of random composition, as several birds meet again and again. In the present study, participants are to investigate which species of crows are found in Zoo Vienna, where they prefer to be and what they do in different places.
The aim is to record which species/subspecies of crows are present at Zoo Vienna and what behaviour they display. This will allow their group dynamics and the influence of ecological factors (e.g., availability of food or presence of zoo animals) to be investigated.
What is the influence of socio-ecological factors such as the behaviour of zoo animals, the distribution and quality of food, and the enclosure size on the behaviour and group size of crows at Zoo Vienna?
Using a free app ("KraMobil") for smartphones, interested zoo visitors can collect sightings of wild crows (hooded crow, raven crow, rook crow) at Zoo Vienna. In addition to information on species, group size and localization, data on behaviour such as feeding, plumage care, aggression or interactions with zoo animals can also be entered. Various help for species identification, interpretation of behaviours or general application instructions are provided to the users via the app. The project is expected to contribute evidence about crow behaviour in human environment.
Everyone who owns a smartphone and downloads the app "KraMobil". The app is available in both languages, German and English, and can be downloaded free of charge for Android and IOS. It runs on the Citizen Science App System SPOTTERON. Just download the app and join in!
Observations can also be entered via computer or laptop: Web app.