The endangered Bonytail needs your help!
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has partnered with FishBrain, a UK-based network for sport fishing enthusiasts, to launch a mobile phone-based application which will allow enthusiasts to log sightings of 50 different types of freshwater and marine species.
These species include fish, birds, mammals, amphibians crustaceans, insects and reptiles; representing federally recognized threatened, endangered and candidate species (species which meet the criteria for being threatened or endangered but have not been officially categorized as such) from all over the US.
The list of 50+ species was vetted by USFWS field biologists to ensure that the selected species were those known to be directly in contact with the fishing community, and therefore likely to be encountered.
This effort represents one of the largest ever crowd-sourced data collections for endangered animals and fish. The data collected reported sighting will help conservationists and academics work out where these animals are living and in what numbers, so as to help people understand the habitats and behaviour of these animals on the brink of extinction.
“The first step towards conservation is always education and engagement, and we are excited to work with FishBrain to help us reach a new audience,” said Gary Frazer, Assistant Director of the Service’s Ecological Services Program. “This is a unique opportunity to synthesize recreational anglers’ information and knowledge in local waterways and expand our understanding of various species.”