iPhone users can help conservation efforts

Nov. 14, 2011 at 3:13 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- British researchers say a new iPhone app that lets users spot leopards, elephants and other animals in the wild will determine if populations are under threat.

The free Instant WILD app, released by the Zoological Society of London, connects users to motion-sensitive cameras in animal habitats in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Mongolia, and will send images to the phones in real-time when a camera senses a nearby animal, NewScientist.com reported Monday.

The app then asks users to identify which species it belongs to.

Sifting through such animal images normally takes days, conservationists said, and they hope crowd-sourcing the activity will speed up the identification process.

"By asking people to help us identify species through the app, we are turning wildlife conservation into the massive team effort that it needs to be," said Jonathan Baillie, ZSL conservation director.

The free app can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes store, and a version of the app is also accessible online at http://www.edgeofexistence.org/instantwild/.

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