Download Tigatrapp and participate in AtrapaelTigre.com, a citizen science project to study the tiger mosquito
Source: Youtube ICREA-Movement Ecology Lab
Language: English / Spanish / Catalan
Runs offline: partially
Last update: Android 31/07/2015 – iOS 04/09/2015
Website of the developer: CEAB
Notes: article updated on 26/10/2015
AtrapaelTigre.com (Catch the tiger) is one of the major citizen science projects which is currently being developed in Spain. It aims to record the breeding areas and the presence of specimens of tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), an annoying insect from Southeast Asia. In recent years, this invasive species has settled in the Iberian Peninsula, with special emphasis on the Mediterranean area. Besides producing an annoying bite, this mosquito is related to the transmission of some tropical diseases such as dengue or chikungunya.
The mobile application designed to record sightings of the tiger mosquito has the following features:
- “Report breeding site”, option to inform about a breeding area containing larvae and/or pupae of the tiger mosquito. This task is made through a short form. The fields to fill are description (required), a procedure that is performed by a battery of questions very well documented; location (required) via GPS or selection on a map; images (required), where you must add photographs of the area; and notes (optional), where you can write reviews.
- “Report tiger mosquito”, tab with a form similar to the described above. The only difference are the questions that are made into the description field and which serve to make the correct identification of the specimen. In this case, it is not required attach images, although it is recommended (the website include some helpful tips to get photos).
- “My map”, where sightings that you have notified as user are geolocated. The general map with all records can be viewed on the website. The appointments are added when they are validated by experts.
- “Gallery”, section that includes numerous photographs of remarkable quality and descriptions of the species throughout its life cycle which facilitate the identification.
The application also has a secondary menu (accessible from an icon at the top) which includes options such as “Missions” (currently only for Android users), where specific campaigns and voluntary actions are proposed, “News”, “Settings”, etc.
A recent update for iOS devices has introduced a new form to register breeding areas.
http://atrapaeltigre.com/ (now Mosquito Alert)
Images: Screenshots 19/08/2015 ©CEAB
Numerous studies claiming that climate change and rising temperatures are expanding the area of disease traditionally linked to tropical areas because the conditions to the development of mosquitoes, one of the main vectors for spreading, are now more favourable. Hence the importance of the development of tools such as Tigatrapp where citizen cooperation becomes a key factor for the success of the initiative. The application stands out in many aspects, from the clear notification of what kind of data are collected, requesting the user consent (this screen only displays the first time the application is opened), to the amount of information that includes application, making the identification of adult tiger mosquito fairly simple (the larval stages may be more difficult to confirm). The “Missions” introduce an incentive among users of the application (soon will be also available to users of IOS) that encourages them to continue collaborating. One of the missions active this summer, for example, is avoid that mosquitoes travel as stowaways in our cars. Likewise, and since it is a tool with a clear scientific character and data are not accurate (the location is determined within a range of 3 km), the fact that app sent automatically our location 5 times a day to know what areas are able to be explored should not be a concern, as an user expresses on the platform of Google Play.