Capture & Record Your Wildlife Encounters for Fun & for Science
WildObs: WILDlife OBServationsDoes your family snap photos of the wildlife you see in your yard? Have you accumulated images amass, all featuring a feathered friend, shy mammal, crawly bug, or slippery amphibians? Share your wildlife sightings with WildObs, an online wildlife-finding community that both supports nature-loving folks in learning to spot hard-to-find creatures, but also contributes data and other useful information to organizations that solicit input from citizen scientists.
WildObs allows users to upload their own photos, paired with a location tag and a caption describing the species pictured, the action in the photograph, or any other important details that help others to understand what they’re looking at. Not only do users add their own photos to the database, but they can browse through others’ photographs to see what it really looks like to be up close and personal with everything from a grasshopper to a bear! Of course, it’s likely that you’ve already had lots of close ups with grasshoppers on your own, but thanks to the fact that WildObs users hail from all corners of the map, you might find photos of a variety of species that you’ve never seen in real life. And, while a real-life encounter is always better than a photograph, the images on WildObs are mostly taken by amateur wildlife enthusiasts, whose encounters with creatures are possible to replicate and don’t require any fancy gear, exorbitant fees, or jobs at National Geographic.
In addition to being home to endless wildlife photographs, WildObs allows users to share insight with each other – families might, for example, find themselves giving advice on the best New England habitat for spotting moose while also searching for help in identifying vernal pools in western Massachusetts where Jefferson salamanders can be found. And, on top of giving and receiving advice, everything that you share with WildObs can be used to support organizations’ citizen science-driven research. Scientists might use your bird photographs to determine when and where species migrate to every year, or use your images of hard-to-find insect species to map out places where such creatures can be found.
In order to participate in WildObs, families must sign up for an account. Once you have an account, you can access all of WildObs’ photos, upload your own, and start learning how to find more and more creatures all around you at wildobs.com.