Management Monday! Earth Week Edition

When you’re out in nature do you sometimes wish you had a library of field guides to help you identify what you’re seeing all around you? Lucky for you, there is no need to pack your bag full with heavy field guides, there’s an app for that! This week, in honor of Earth Week we are exploring how iNaturalist can be used to help you identify everything from a rare flower to a common backyard weed. This smartphone app uses similar technology as facial recognition software to identify plants and animals anywhere you are in the world. Your observations are confirmation from crowd-sourced naturalists and experts. The data collected is shared with scientists and resource managers to help better understand the biodiversity of an area.  There are many different ways you can participate depending on what level you want to contribute.

    1. 1. If you want to just see what’s outside on your walk or in your backyard, go to this iNaturalist Getting started Guide


    1. 2. If you want to do a little more than just learn about what plants and animals you’re seeing you can join a project. If you’re out at one of our Public Conservation Areas join our project so we can all learn more about what everyone is seeing out there on these amazing properties in order to best manage them.


    1. 3. If you live in a city or suburban area you too can participate, with the City Nature Challenge to help scientists better understand urban biodiversity.


    1. 4. If you’re just interested in learning about what’s around but not collecting data, iNaturalist came out with SEEK, a family friendly version of their original app that does not require registration, and no data is collected, so you can still learn about all the species that you encounter.


    1. 5. If you’re not able to get out and collect data but are skilled at identifying plants or insects, you can help other people by confirming the observations they make by becoming an identifier for iNaturalist. All identifications are made by other users, there is no staff who are paid to confirm observations. Other users all volunteering their time and expertise to identify observations.