Quadrupling of P.E.I. spider list earns research award

A collaboration between P.E.I. naturalists and citizen scientists means we know a lot more about the Island's spiders, and the work has also earned a research award.

The project was an initiative of Nature P.E.I. It recruited citizen scientists to gather 4,300 spiders, which were identified as 198 different species. That's up from just 44 species previously known.

The results were published in the 2018 volume of the Canadian Field Naturalist, and won the James Fletcher Award for the best paper of the year in that journal. It tied with a paper on lichen and fungi in the Toronto area.

About 10 per cent of the spiders identified were non-native.

The P.E.I. paper was cited for showing the effectiveness of collaboration among citizen scientists, naturalists, and professional researchers to further our knowledge of species diversity and distributions.

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