Instant Wild - Images from the wild sent directly to you
Thursday 1 December 2011
Wild animals living in unexplored forests are being captured on hidden cameras for a unique experimental iPhone app and website.
The Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Instant WILD app and website hopes to revolutionise the way conservationists monitor remote wildlife hotspots around the world.
Images triggered by wild animals walking past are sent straight to you in real-time – meaning users can get a rare glimpse into the lives of lions, elephants or wild dogs on their commute home.
Motion sensitive cameras have already been set up by forest clearings, watering holes and plains in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Mongolia.
The new technology will save field workers hours of vital time by asking users to help identify species from live camera trap photographs.
By recruiting thousands of ‘citizen scientists’ to assist with wildlife identification, ZSL conservationists hope users of Instant WILD on the free app and website will alert them to images containing possible new species within minutes of them being taken.
Traditionally it could take one conservationist days to sort through photographs from a camera in order to log information from the pictures.
Now with the public’s help these images will be sorted into species groups allowing conservationists to analyse the data much faster than ever before. This will help them determine whether threatened animal populations are increasing or decreasing and react quickly to unidentified species.
ZSL’s conservation director Professor Jonathan Baillie says: "Seeing a herd of elephants crossing the path of a hidden camera on the other side of the world is an amazing privilege. Now we can share that amazing experience with everyone.
He added: "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.
"Instant WILD will likely revolutionise the way we monitor many of the rarest and most threatened species on the planet."
You can also identify animals through Instant WILD on our website: Instant WILD online