When we think about the prospects of exposing wildlife to technology, you can imagine the world of industrial wastelands and endangered animal species. And indeed, the history of humanity is filled with horrifying examples of technology being used by Mother Nature.
Still, the very concept of technology has evolved, and, as time goes by and our society grows increasingly aware of these environmental problems. The rise of technology is now helping to keep our precious wildlife.
Learning about Nature with Apps
Smartphones have been of tremendous help in improving many areas of our lives. It should not be too much of a surprise that they can bring us closer to wildlife than ever before. Here are some of the ways they are capable of doing that:
Identifying Different Species.
Using the same technology behind face recognition, apps like LeafSnap can name trees based on the pictures of their leaves.
Identifying Endangered Species.
One of the prime examples of such apps would be Species Finder created by The Center for Biological Diversity. Based on the current GPS location Species Finder will list the endangered animals in users’ area and help them stay aware of the local ecology.
One of the best ways to learn about wildlife is to experience it firsthand. Most of the major National Parks are making this task easier with dedicated apps that help visitors navigate their trails and give them useful info about the animals and plants they will meet along the way.
Studying and Protecting
Although they didn’t escape the fair share of controversy since the day they breached mainstream, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or how we like to call them – drones, are proving to be very helpful assets in an interaction between wildlife and humanity.
First, with their virtual tagging and remote sensing capabilities, UAVs are fundamentally changing the way we collect and accumulate the data about wildlife, helping us reach a new understanding of nature in the process. Second, UAVs have, by now, become an essential part of the anti-poaching arsenal.
Popularizing Mother Nature
The influence of various media outlets on public opinion should never be underestimated. Still, even though in the past we have seen some great shows about Mother Nature, it was evident when the general population got access to shooting equipment ranging from regular smartphones to professional trail cameras like Cuddeback the animal videos became genuinely popular.
These days, the internet is filled with viral user-recorded videos of baby elephants, lions playing with their cubs and, unfortunately, even animal abuse. All these videos show us the side of the animal life we have rarely had an opportunity to experience before, and bring us all closer together as a result.
Raising Awareness of the Environmental Issues
Finally, wild animals don’t always suffer as a direct result of human actions. The fate of some species is closely tied to the overall environmental issues. Apps like Fragile Earth that show before and after photos of the human influence on the Earth take upon themselves to cast some light on these matters and improve environmental awareness.
Also, various parties like Stanford and PETA are working on their Virtual Reality projects that should allow users to take a look at the world through animals’ eyes or experience the consequences of the climate change firsthand.
As we can see, technology and wildlife don’t always have to work against each other. On the contrary, if properly used, the latest offerings from the ever-developing world of tech can bring us closer to nature than we have been ever before and help us keep this beautiful planet for the future generations.