How to Assist Ecologist Experts in Documenting Biodiversity in a City Using a Smartphone App?

How to Assist Ecologist Experts in Documenting Biodiversity in a City Using a Smartphone App?

Ecologist Experts Gain Valuable Insight with the Help of Community Scientists

The City Nature Challenge, a four-day event held recently in the greater Burlington area, has provided ecologists with a wealth of data on biodiversity in the region. The key to this successful effort? Thousands of community members who took to the field armed with a smartphone app to document their nature observations.

Citizen Scientists Empower Ecologists

The INaturalist app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices, allows users to take photos of plants and animals and share them with a global community of scientists and naturalists. The app uses artificial intelligence to identify species and provide information about their habitat and behavior.

“We’re focused on urban ecology with this project because we know biodiversity is declining due to habitat loss and climate change,” said Walter Poleman, an ecologist at the University of Vermont. “The data we collect from the City Nature Challenge will help us understand how these changes are affecting our local ecosystems.”

Enhancing Biodiversity Documentation

The City Nature Challenge coincided with the height of spring, a time when plant and animal life is at its peak. By capturing a snapshot of biodiversity at this time of year, ecologists can track changes over time and identify areas where conservation efforts are most needed.

“With an effort like this, it’s clear that nature is right here in the city as well,” said Poleman. “We often think we need to venture deep into nature to experience biodiversity, but this project shows that it’s all around us, even in our own backyards.”

How to Participate

Even though the City Nature Challenge has ended, ecologist experts encourage community members to continue using the INaturalist app throughout the year. Every observation helps contribute to a better understanding of the biodiversity of our region. To participate:

– Download the INaturalist app and create an account.
– Take photos of plants and animals that you see in your neighborhood.
– Upload your observations to the app and include information about the location and date.
– Review and identify species using the app’s artificial intelligence and community feedback.
– Share your observations with the world!

A Legacy of Discovery

The City Nature Challenge has not only provided valuable data for ecologists, but it has also fostered a greater appreciation for nature among community members. By participating in this project, residents have gained a deeper understanding of the biodiversity that surrounds them and the importance of protecting it for future generations.

By Divya

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