This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Exotic animals are a growing problem in Florida. From Burmese pythons to Nile monitors, these animals are invading Florida and destroying the ecosystem. A fast, accurate way to identify the many exotic animals is needed by professionals and volunteers in the field. With over 6.4 million iPhones active in the United States alone, what better solution than an iPhone app?
The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has developed an iPhone app, called IveGot1, to help identify native and non-native reptiles in Florida. It is a user friendly, mobile application that allows users to quickly and easily search for species identification characteristics.
The IveGot1 app is based on a publication developed through the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA). The CISMA is made up of various interest groups managing invasive species in the greater Everglades area. Everglades restoration poses new challenges for invasive species management, requiring a high level of cooperation and coordination among the many groups managing this vast ecosystem. The core members are the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, South Florida Water Management District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. The Center is working with the Everglades CISMA to report, share and store species sightings and distribution information using EDDMapS. EDDMapS is a national invasive species reporting and mapping system developed by the Center.
“The iPhone app is becoming another tool in the fight against invasive animals in Florida,” says Chuck Bargeron, Technology Director at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. “However, this is only the first step, we are always improving and expanding the EDDMapS to make it easier for users to report and access information wherever they are.”
Since its launch on July 15, the app has already had 188 downloads proving people want invasive animal identification characteristics available on their mobile phone and that a promising future lies ahead.
The IveGot1 iPhone app is available for free through the iTunes Application Store.
For more information, contact Chuck Bargeron at 229-386-3298 or click here.