Here we hope to provide you with answers to frequently asked questions and just some good questions we thought you might like to know the answer to. We’re going to focus on the science here, rather than the bugs in the program. But we’ll also give some guidance on commonly asked questions about how to use the site.

Scroll down for commonly asked technical questions. If you have technical issues to report, visit the discussion boards on Condor Watch here.


1. It seems to be a difficult project and I think it will be the one where you will have only small number of classifiers but who are dedicated in return. What is more prioritized in this project: high fidelity or high accuracy?

We recognize some of the photos are hard to classify, but some are pretty easy! We can do a lot with partial data and also have quality controls in place to help assure accuracy. So we are hoping people try it out and have fun and not worry too much about making a mistake.

2. Just curious on the data for the other animals — the coyotes, ravens, turkey vultures and golden eagles. Is the project also looking at social interactions between condors and these other animals, or is there a plan for other use for the data collected for those animals? Just wondering why that information is being collected.

The current primary goal is to look at social interactions of condors with each other but we also thought it was important to gather data on the other animals to see how condors interact with them as well as the proportion of time these other animals spend at the feeding stations. Currently there are no data compiled on how many other animals (turkey vultures, raves, etc.) use the stations and how often compared to condors.

3. I know photos are reviewed by multiple participants, but how many times will a photo be reviewed, and will the number vary?

Good question! The number of times a photo is reviewed will depend in part to how consistent the data are from the different classifiers. For example, a photo that is easy, such as one with no animals and has 3-5 classifications which are all the same will get ‘retired’ so to speak. But for the more complicated photos we might have many more classifications until we can get some sort of consensus on the data.

4. I am assuming the calves are not placed there alive, so figure they are euthanized before being chained there, could you tell me just for peace of mind? I am not against the study, I think its a great idea, just want to know its done without the feeder animals suffering.

No, they are definitely not chained there alive! Glad you asked. These are stillborn calves donated by dairy farms. The carcasses are chained so they don’t get dragged off.

5. I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) California has established lead-free hunting zones in condor territory. If that’s the case, is the source of the lead poisoning that is occurring despite those zones known? Is it poor compliance in the lead-free hunting zones? Condors foraging outside the boundaries of those zones? Other sources of lead besides bullet fragments?

Hi, thank you for your comment. Our research has shown that lead-based ammunition is the principal source of lead poisoning to condors and that condors continue to be lead poisoned after the ban on lead for hunting in condor territory.  You can listen to this podcast that summarizes some of our research findings:http://www.pnas.org/site/misc/myraFinkelsteinPodcast.mp3


1. I got this remark below the All Animals Marked button – “Incomplete markings! Check for solid red dots’ in red letters. I do not see any red dots in the photo! and I can’t continue since the All Animals Marked button is slightly greyed out. What to do?

Is it possible that you might have accidentally marked something at the edge of the photograph? There was a bug that caused dots to be placed outside the photograph when things were selected at the very edge of the image. This had caused people to have red dots that were not visible and prevented them from moving on. This bug just got fixed a few minutes ago.

2. Can you make some sort of way to backtrack if you accidentally click ‘all animals marked’ before marking all animals?

We’re working on a back button as we speak! (er, type?)

3. I only get a gray screen.

This seems to be a browser issue, in particular older versions of Safari seem to have this problem.

4. What do I do if I encounter an image that’s all black or grey but that’s clearly a photo?

This just means that the camera went off at night. Go ahead and click All Animals Marked and move on to the next photo! No need to label these #dark.

4 responses to “FAQ”

  1. Aideen Byrne says :

    What about other animals in a photo, eg. I saw one photo that had a live cow. should that get marked down as a coyote – being a mammal not a bird, or just leave it out altogether?

    • Alex says :

      We’re not that interested in cows, per se, but we are working on an “other” button. Until that comes online, you can tag a photo with a hashtag… #cow would be fine!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Citizen Science Tuesday: CondorWatch | Gaia Gazette - April 29, 2014
  2. Progress Report | Condor Watch - May 28, 2014

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