|Welcome to Tracking the Wild for iPhone.
We are extremely excited to announce that Tracking the Wild is now available for iPhone! So, now there is no excuse for all of you iPhone users out there not to be snapping your wildlife sightings and giving back to conservation.
We think we've created a pretty cool app that is not only easy and fun to use but has real value for wildlife research. And just to put you in the picture, we thought we'd take this opportunity to answer some of the recent questions our users have been sending us.
Can't I just share my sightings on social media like Facebook or Twitter, or even on the Whatsapp groups in the park?
We believe that it is much better to share your sightings on Tracking the Wild because standard social media platforms have not been designed for capturing wildlife sightings and are therefore not ideal tools for sharing sensitive wildlife data. This is predominantly due to users inadvertently posting the location data of species via the metadata embedded in a GPS tagged photo without being aware of the risks of doing so.
Although Whatsapp groups, Tweets and Facebook posts might be great if you are in the park and looking for wildlife, research organisations are not able to easily collate this sightings data. The Tracking the Wild platform captures the specific fields that conservation organisations need but displayed in a user-friendly way to make it quick and easy for you to add a sighting. The newsfeed of other user's sightings works in a similar way to Facebook so you can keep updated on the sightings happening around you too.
Can I add sightings outside formal conservation areas? I'm sure that the ADU, for example, would value photos of such records.
Yes, you can upload sightings outside of protected areas. All of the sightings data is shared with the Animal Demography Unit at Cape Town University (ADU) and they then use this information to understand the distribution, and change in distribution, of species throughout Africa. Remember to enter your ADU number into your profile on the website and all of your sightings will be credited to your ADU account.
Isn't it dangerous for threatened species to be posted on Tracking the Wild?
Tracking the Wild uses a proprietary system to manage how the location of sightings is shared with it's users. The system does not permit the posting of any rhino sightings and actually has the ability to completely exclude location information for any species whose safety could be jeopardised by its location being made public. This can be done on a park-by-park and individual species basis. Each park information page within the app also carries telephone numbers where people can directly report poaching.