Hiking, camping, and exploring nature may be fun, but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. For those of us who do enjoy the occasional stroll through nature and have access to the state’s parks, the iNaturalist phone app helps us observe Colorado’s wildlife.
- Parts of Colorado belonged to France, Mexico, Spain, and the Republic of Texas between 1763 and 1848
- About 50% of Colorado residents visit a state park in an average year
- The most common activities in Colorado’s state parks include camping, hiking, and fishing
- Colorado has the highest altitude, on average, among all the United States
- The headwaters of nearly 20 rivers begin in Colorado
In an attempt to both raise awareness about the rich wildlife present in the state, as well as to raise the number of people interested in its abundant wildlife, the iNaturalist app has started being used in the state’s parks.
The app offers a variety of functions, like allowing you to make observations, post pictures and sounds of wildlife, as well as to browse other people’s entries. You also have an animal collection going, which you fill by walking through the park and taking noted regarding the animals you encounter.
Since the trend that has people share pretty much everything has caught on, the state park officials thought to take advantage of that and use it to promote hiking through the parks, as well as an interest in animals.
iNaturalist seems to be a very popular app, at least in areas with native wildlife, and the people taking care of the parks are also getting a huge help via the app. For example, you can upload a picture of an animal, and people will help you with details regarding it, allowing you to finish your collection.
However, if the animal is endangered, or rare, the details will be withhold for that particular post, so that experts can take a better look at the animal, without risking to frighten it.
Besides the fact that the app will be used by scientists to figure out the extent to which the park is affected by climate change, it was proven to serve other important causes. And Colorado isn’t the only state where the app is used, it having over 130,000 members worldwide.
For example, a snail found in California was determined to be of a very parasitic and invasive, and the officials were able to eradicate it before wreaking havoc on the environment.
Image source: Wikimedia