Teaching Nature Conservation through Apps

There are times when the only way to get your message across is through a channel that’s familiar to your audience. Considering that having a smartphone is the norm in most cities, it’s logical to use this medium to spread awareness about abstract concepts like nature conservation.

It might sound ironic, given that man’s tech advancements have often impacted nature among its costs, and yet without the aid of technology, conservation may very well be a lost cause. Today, the highlight will be the apps that promote nature conservation. Whether direct or otherwise, these mediums amplify the need to care for the environment and its inhabitants.

Academic Approach

A US environmental agency has pioneered the use of augmented reality to promote nature conservation. According to Augmented Reality Trends, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has collaborated with tech students to create an app for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge which allows users to see native animals appear on their screens while touring the Refuge and scanning the surroundings via their smartphone cameras.

The developers have managed to conjure up working AR figures of deer and bald eagles. The agency hopes that more people share their talents in developing the technology, and the goal is to expand it to multiple national parks and wildlife havens.

Casual Approach

In the UK on the other hand, The Telegraph listed its pick of WWF wildlife apps, of which the majority fall under the casual use category. The likes of Project Noah give users the power to identify an animal that they’ve seen as well as other creatures that various people have seen nearby. Then there’s Birdtrack, which is a must-have for birdwatchers.

Most of these apps are connected with environmental agencies, allowing you to contribute any data which will then be used for further research. It’s a win-win situation, as you’ve enjoyed your nature walk while helping gather valuable information too.

Entertainment approach

Nature-themed games have begun to proliferate in the digital realm as well. Developers are sometimes joined by nature channels, such was the case with Animal Planet. The media platform AOL reviewed the game released by the network, entitled Animal Planet Wildlands, which features exotic animals collectible as trading cards. A card placed on a specific section on the screen triggers an animation of the selected animal, allowing the user to see it in all its glory. Not only that, specific information as well as related Animal Planet videos can be viewed as well.

Similarly, the wide array of mobile-playable games on the digital platform Slingo has new additions in the forms of virtual play rooms in the Slingo Boom collection as well as the slots title Jungle Spirit: Call of the Wild wherein the latter features portraits of the world’s most majestic beasts. These games spread awareness and respect for the animal kingdom. They increase curiosity with the hopes of one day seeing these creatures live freely, while subtly relaying the worldwide urgency to save the species for future generations to witness these wonderful beings not just on mobile screens.

It’s good to know that even in this hi-tech age, something as pure and raw as nature still gets the spotlight. Nature preservation might be a continuous battle, but with the help of technology, more people are welcomed to the possibility of joining the fight for our wildlife’s survival.

by Katie Hayward

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