The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with fishing app developer FishBrain to create a new app that will help officials monitor the condition of endangered and threatened species of animals.
The GPS enabled app will allow users to report sightings of around 50 animal species that are threatened or endangered. The data will provide conservationists with details on their movements, health, preferred habitats and reason for decline.
John Attby, CEO of FishBrain, was quoted in a FWS press release as having said that their audience of anglers are “among the best” when it comes to understanding the need for conservation.
Of all the different hobbyists, anglers are among the best when it comes to being aware of the need for conservation (…) The natural world is such an important aspect of everyone’s lives, but it is anglers who are able to experience and appreciate it on a day to day basis. Our users marvel at the beauty of animals and fish as a matter of course; the fact they can now channel this interest into something as constructive and helpful as data collection is a very special opportunity indeed. We are proud to be reaching our dedicated angling audience to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carry on the amazing work they do.
According to Gary Frazer, Assistant Director of the FWS’s Ecological Services Program, anglers are an “extremely important” aspect of aquatic conservation and the new app will help “expand our understanding of various species.”
The first step towards conservation is always education and engagement, and we are excited to work with FishBrain to help us reach a new audience (…) Anglers are extremely important to protecting and maintaining healthy aquatic habitats. This is a unique opportunity to synthesize recreational anglers’ information and knowledge in local waterways and expand our understanding of various species.
The FWS narrowed the thousands of species included in the app down to just 50 of the most threatened species most likely to encounter anglers.
Fish are not the only animals included in the list, as users can also report sighting whooping cranes, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the California red-legged frog and the Columbia white-tailed deer.
In other endangered species news, Minnesota’s Blanding turtle and the Arizona toad were recently placed under review for protection by the FWS.
So what do you think about this new FWS-backed conservation app for anglers?