App provides plant, animal ID to public

People curious about the name or nature of plants, animals and insects they encounter in Alberta may soon have a quick way of getting and giving information.

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) expects to launch a smartphone app and website called NatureLynx in early summer.

Joelle Chille Cale, citizen science co-ordinator with ABMI, told those at the March 29 Southern Alberta Land Trust Society meeting that citizen science will help the institute better understand the breadth of species and improve citizens’ knowledge of the natural world.

People can take a photo of the species with their phone and post it to, which will act as a central database for publicly generated biodiversity data.

Users can have the subject of their photo identified and verified by experts and potentially participate in biodiversity related research.

The app and site are still being tested but Chille Cale said they are expected to be available for use in coming months.

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