Want to “geocache” wildlife? There’s an App for that!

Record and share wildlife encounters with WildObs' suite of smartphone apps.  Photo: WildObs
Record and share wildlife encounters with WildObs' suite of smartphone apps. Photo: WildObs

Ever spotted an amazing critter and wanted to tell your nature-loving friends where it was located? Ever wondered where you could view a white-tailed jackrabbit? WildObs is the app for you!

Short for “wildlife observations,” the WildObs website and suite of iPhone and Android apps allow nature enthusiasts to record wildlife observations and then share photos, stories, and locations of these sightings with other interested people. In short, WildObs is working to connect people, places, and wildlife.

Want to know where to find a Bohemian Waxwing? Looks like one was recently sighted near Manchester, NH! Hoping to spot a baboon? Well, another fellow had luck seeing one in Amboseli National Park in Kenya!

Members post sightings and also list their hopes for sightings-to-come. The most wished-for observation these days is the reclusive cougar.

The WildObs iPhone collection, including Naturalist, Observer, Lookout, and Lookup allows spotters to record their viewing events in near real-time and to figure out what species they are looking at. The app uses GPS to tag the wherebouts of your own sightings, and will also let you see what animals fellow WildObs members have spotted near your current location. To learn how to use WildObs, check out their “how to” videos.

WildObs is partnered with the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Watch and is working to put these citizen observations to good use in scientific studies. They are also working to create a sense of community among naturalists through their emailĀ newsletter and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Now that your smart phone is a mobile research lab, get out there and snap some pictures of your favorite critters!

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Categories: Animals, Apps, Biology, Birds, Citizen Science, Computers & Technology, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors

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