Instant Wild delivers live photographs of wild animals to you from motion sensitive cameras placed in remote locations across the globe. And by identifying the animals that have been photographed, you can play a direct role in helping conservation scientists understand and protect wildlife.
Source: iOS description
Download: iOS 7.0 (12.1MB)
Runs offline: no
Last update: iOS 27/06/2014
This application for iOS devices enables you to help the scientific community identifying animals species from different parts of the planet through photographs taken with camera traps. The system currently has 11 cameras spread across Kenya, Costa Rica, Namibia, Sri Lanka and Scotland (not all operational), distinguishing two types of devices: those for monitoring (identified by a clip folder and pen), which are usually part of a network to control well-defined areas and provide accurate statistical data; and the cameras oriented to exploration (identified by a pair of binoculars), which aims to determine more generally the presence of specific species.
As a user of the application, first you must select the cameras that you would like to follow. This follow means that you receive a notification when the device take a new image (the application will ask permission to send you notifications). Clicking on the camera appears a short description of its location, the number of historical images or the most common species in the area. With the option “Show images”, you access to the photo gallery. When you see some animal species in the photo, maximize and choose the most suitable option from the list below (if the species is not included in the list, you can tap the image as “unknown species”).
Other options available in the application are the review of latest images from cameras previously selected, an option to mark images as favorites or comment them (you must open an account with a username) and a tab to configure the application that also provides information on its use. The application also includes a ranking of users.
Instant Wild : using technology to fight the illegal wildlife trade (video, 1 min 46 sec)
Images: Screenshots 11/07/2016. © EDGE / ZSL
The IUCN estimates that around 26% of world’s mammals are threatened. That is, they are species listed as “Critically Endangered”, “Endangered” or “Vulnerable”. Considering these data and the trend observed in the report “Global Biodiversity Outlook 4“, published by the Convention on Biological Diversity, it is essential to know the presence and distribution of the different species on the planet.
The citizen science and crowdsourcing, according to the definitions for both disciplines included in the paper “Understanding citizen science and environmental monitoring“, carried out by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the Natural History Museum, help to collect this information while bring closer the nature, increasing its knowledge. It is on this basis on which Instant Wild application is created, a tool which as mentions Worboys et al. in “Protected Area Governance and Management“, it has “an identification success rate (of species) of more than 90 per cent” and has helped to detect the presence of threatened species like Javan leopard or mountain mouse-deer (chapter 11, p. 337).
Regarding its design and management, it is an app simple to use, although identification can be very difficult in some photos, especially in night images (in some cases, the cameras are also driven by people and pets). Regarding possible improvements, it would be interesting to include the date of the last photograph obtained in the list of cameras, because it seems that some of the devices are not operating. It would also be interesting be able to scroll through the photo gallery but with the images maximized, since the size of thumbnails makes it difficult to know if there are animals on the image to identify.