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A review of volunteers’ motivations to monitor and control invasive alien species

Anđelković, Ana; Lawson Handley, Lori; Marchante, Elizabete; Adriaens, Tim; Brown, Peter; Tricarico, Elena; Verbrugge, Laura


Ana Anđelković

Elizabete Marchante

Tim Adriaens

Peter Brown

Elena Tricarico

Laura Verbrugge


People 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. 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.


Anđelković, A., Lawson Handley, L., Marchante, E., Adriaens, T., Brown, P., Tricarico, E., & Verbrugge, L. (2022). A review of volunteers’ motivations to monitor and control invasive alien species. Neobiota, 73, 153-175.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2022
Online Publication Date May 25, 2022
Publication Date May 25, 2022
Deposit Date May 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2022
Journal NeoBiota
Print ISSN 1619-0033
Electronic ISSN 1314-2488
Publisher Pensoft Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 73
Pages 153-175
Keywords Biological invasions; Biodiversity monitoring; Citizen science; Perceptions; Public engagement; Social dimensions
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Published article (539 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Copyright Ana A. Anđelković et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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