If you want to help protect endangered species, there’s a new app that might facilitate that. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said Monday it’s teaming up with Sweden-based FishBrain to develop a social, free-to-use app that might make a difference for local wildlife.

The app can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices.

Anglers are among the most likely people to encounter endangered species, and this app is aimed at them and people who spend a lot of time outdoors. The app already tracks weather, wind direction, water quality and other data points of interest and will now include a feature to identify endangered species.

Users can log up to 50 “at-risk species” and help conservationists and researchers figure out exactly where these creatures live, as well as what sort of habitat they need and perhaps the reasons for their decline. It’s basically a crowdsourcing effort that could take advantage of people’s outdoor time and their interest in helping protect endangered 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.” said Gary Frazer, Assistant Director of the Service’s Ecological Services Program.

The FWS provided a list of threatened or endangered species as well as possible candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act. It might seem odd to target anglers as conservationists – but that’s actually normal. Most fishermen today catch and release, and the last thing they want is a shortage of fish. Also, spending so much time in nature, you almost can’t help but developing a sense of admiration and respect for it.

As Gary Frazer added in a statement:

“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.”

 

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