Alberta’s nature lovers now have an easier way to share information about their latest plant, animal, and bird sightings.
 
Hundreds of people have already downloaded the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute’s (ABMI) new smartphone app. NatureLynx, released on July 21, was designed to give users across the province a way to contribute to a potentially huge pool of data on biodiversity in the province.
 
The nonprofit ABMI, based at the University of Alberta, is one of the largest biodiversity monitoring programs in the world. Every year its staff get out in the field to collect valuable information on Alberta’s flora and fauna.
 
"But we can't do everything," explained Tara Narwani, director of ABMI’s information centre. "There are lots of species that we don't monitor and that people certainly have an interest in."
 
That’s where NatureLynx comes in. Anyone can make an account on the app to connect with other users, upload images of their nature finds, ask questions and share details about the things they see. Albertans who’ve already been collecting nature information for years will now have a quick way to find out what their fellow birdwatchers and mushroom hunters are up to.
 
"So citizens, just by making these observations, can contribute to science," Narwani said.
 
Newer nature hunters can use the app to learn how to identify common Alberta species, and NatureLynx experts are available to help when users encounter wildlife or plants they can’t put a name to – a mysterious insect or a bird they’ve never seen before, for instance.
 
Narwani said that ultimately the network of data could have a bigger purpose. One day the province might be able to use the crowdsourced information when making decisions about land use and conservation.
 
"So we hope that that data will really support better decision making in this province but also to really get people to appreciate the biodiversity that exists here, get out in nature and enjoy it, get a good dose of that vitamin N by participating with NatureLynx," she said.

More Local News

Super Blood Wolf Moon visible in North America

There will be a spectacular sight in the sky on Sunday (Jan.20).

15 taken into custody after drug bust

Area police detachments have teamed up in a recent drug bust.

Another massive load heading to Industrial Heartland

A second huge piece of equipment is about to travel on our highways.

Gibbons schools put on hold and secure

Gibbons School and Landing Trail School had to take precautionary measures.

EIPS hopeful for Sherwood Heights Junior High replacement school

Work on Sherwood Heights Junior High has become a top priority for Elk Island Public Schools.

Blowing snow advisory issued for area

The advisory has ended.

Made-in-Alberta to potentially invest up to $20 billion in the heartland

Premier Rachel Notley's Made-in-Alberta strategy could have a big payoff in the region.

St. Albert resident wins $7.9 million on LOTTO 6/49

An Alberta man recently hit the jackpot.

Bruderheim growing in population

Bruderheim's recent census results showed growth in the town.

Speeder caught going 149 km/h on Highway 15 bridge

A man was recently pulled over for excessive speeding in the area.

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login