It’s National Wildlife Week from April 7th to 13th. Celebrate our wildlife this week with these apps that can help you identify, track and share what you see. Even on campus there is a surprising variety of wildlife out there! We also provide as a couple of resources that will help you make conscientious sustainability decisions. Anyone out there have favourite nature apps? Let us know!
Record and share what you see in nature, crowdsource identifications, contribute to knowledge. Join fellow citizen scientists in learning and discussing what’s out there waiting to be found!
Use the Seek app, also by iNaturalist, to help you identify plants and animals from your photo from a list of nearby plants, animals and fungi. It also gives suggestion of species you are likely to see based on your location (though I don’t see any groundhogs on that list).
- iTrack Wildlife Lite
This one’s pretty cool – enter a description of the tracks using the options provided and the app will show you who was just in your backyard.
- The Audubon Bird Guide
This is a free and complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you’ve seen, and get outside to find new birds near you.
This app was built on Virginia Tech’s single largest database of tree pictures in North America and is the preeminent app for tree identification in North America.
Use your smartphone to identify flowers and plants! With PlantNet Plant Identification you can get and share information about flowers and plants.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch
This app is great for checking if the seafood you are buying is over-fished or damaging to the environment. For instance, in the mood for some crayfish? Red swamp crayfish farmed in the US has low environmental impact so it’s the best choice. When it’s caught with traps in Louisiana it’s a good alternative, although there is concern that the stock is not assessed or routinely managed. Avoid crayfish farmed in China – there is little or no regulatory enforcement and there are serious concerns about escaped stock and effluence.
- When Seafood Watch doesn’t have the Canadian information you need, check OceanWise. It is associated with the Vancouver Aquarium.
- Project Noah
Project Noah is another way to share wildlife sightings with the community, and is supported by National Geographic. You’ve got to love contributors who say “my favorite thing about dung beetles is that they’re the first animal known to navigate at night using the Milky Way!!”
- Merlin Bird ID
ID a bird from a wizard or a photo.
Honourable mention: Google Lens, available as an app for Android or as a feature of Google Photos on IOS, is amazing at recognizing and identifying images. It may not be geared specifically for wildlife spotting, but it’s pretty handy!