Dr. Louisa Richmond-Coggan, Ecology Manager at Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia has partnered with the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia to develop a Citizen Science App, Carnivore Tracker, for anyone interested in documenting carnivore sightings in Namibia. The sightings are recorded using GPS location in real time. The information collected through Carnivore Tracker includes the species sighted, number of individuals and the GPS location, even outside of Wi-Fi and network coverage. Each carnivore species has a photographic icon for clear identification and a short description on its ecology and rarity. Carnivore Tracker is free to download and is available for both Apple and Android.
More information can be found on the website: http://www.carnivoretracker.com/. The website has an interactive sightings map where you can specify certain (or all) species within a specific time frame. Researchers can request raw datasets after answering questions about the intended use. The app is only for recording carnivore sightings in Namibia. There is potential for applying this technology to other countries in the future. There was a recent news posting on the website (18.October.2016):
"Today our first 506 sightings were uploaded to the Environmental Information Service, Namibia and are now live on the Atlas of Carnivores. This data sharing is part of a long-term collaboration between The Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia and the EIS, to foster open source data for the benefit of researchers both here in Namibia and internationally."
Karin Schwartz, PhD