Over the last 50 years we’ve seen unprecedented declines in species populations.
In order to monitor and respond to these declines, Conservationists use large networks of camera traps (motion triggered cameras), to understand where species are, how many individuals make up the population and how they are responding to human activities. These camera trap networks provide a wealth of information, but it takes a huge amount of time and resource to process and extract useful data from the images they generate, which is where Citizen Scientists like you come in!
ZSL’s Instant Wild is a citizen Science platform and app that gives users an insight into the natural world whilst also allowing them to contribute to vital conservation work. You can travel all around the world without leaving the comfort of your sofa and you don’t need to be an animal expert! By IDing the species in the images you’re helping Conservationists to understand which species are present, determine population trends and lots more useful info whilst also reducing the amount of time taken to process the images.
Through our most recent project, based in the Italian Apennines, the Instant Wild community have been able to gain an insight into the world of wolves, porcupine and the critically endangered Marsican Brown Bear amongst many others! The results and data, generated by Citizen Scientists identifying species in the images, are then shared with conservation projects, who use the findings to inform management practices.
Piero Visconti, President of the Rewilding Apennines foundation, the organisation behind this project, explains how the data created through Instant Wild is used “We will use it to understand the distribution of species that are hard to detect with traditional survey methods, such as wild cats and other small carnivores”, and that “We will also use it to understand how all wildlife uses the corridors that we are working on, and to plan specific conservation actions to safeguard these species.”
Building on our partnership with Rewilding Apennines, ZSL plans to expand its work with Rewilding Europe, who are using camera traps to monitor wildlife comeback in Rewilding sites across Europe. We want Citizen Scientists to be able to help with that, so watch out for exciting new projects joining Instant Wild soon!
Want to help? Visit the Instant Wild platform or download the app (iOS or Android) for free and make a contribution to European rewilding and global conservation today!