New Citizen Science Effort to Map Invasive Species on the Siuslaw National Forest
Corvallis – The Siuslaw National Forest is expanding citizen science volunteer opportunities with a new pilot program called Wild Spotter. The Wild Spotter program provides tools the public, local communities, states, tribes, and many other groups can use to help locate, quantify, map, and report invasive species infestations in a simple and effective manner, while raising public awareness about invasive species and promoting collaborations across the landscape.
Through a collaboration with over 20 partners, University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health and Wildlife Forever are working with 12 pilot National Forests and Grasslands across the United States, including the Siuslaw National Forest, to gather important data on invasive species and how they are impacting wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, and other natural areas.
By downloading the free Wild Spotter Mobile App on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, you can identify, map, and report invasive species found in your favorite wild places. Once a Wild Spotter volunteer identifies and reports a species, the data is verified by experts and then made publicly available through a networked invasive species inventory database hosted by the University of Georgia. The database will be the first nationwide inventory of invasive species in America’s natural areas.
“We are happy to be part of the Wild Spotter program and to offer the public a way to enjoy their national forest while helping us gather information on the locations of invasive species,” said Forest Supervisor Angela Elam. “Invasive plants, pathogens, and animals can threaten recreational activities, productivity, and ecosystem health. This tool will help the forest to implement better strategies for prevention, control, and eradication.”
If you want to become a Wild Spotter or learn more about the program, visit the website www.wildspotter.org