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WSB: Mobile app gathers plover data across vast range

Cara J

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The threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nests on North American coastlines from Maine to North Carolina, where biologists fear it faces growing threats from rising sea levels associated with climate change. Those threats could make understanding its habitat selection particularly important, but gathering that kind of information across such a broad range isn’t easy. Neither is standardizing data collection from contributors in so many locations. But a group of biologists came up with a novel way to bridge that expanse. They developed a smart phone app to link together more than 30 managers and conservation practitioners from government agencies and nonprofits up and down the coast to input data they gathered about where the bird nests. They called it “iPlover,” and they wrote about the project in a paper in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. The iPlover app lets wildlife managers log the characteristics of the sites where they find plover nests. Courtesy of Sara Zeigler. “It worked extremely well,” said lead author Sara Zeigler, a research geographer and postdoctoral fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. “It was a fairly minimal amount of money and extra time on [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/wsb-mobile-app-gathers-plover-data-across-vast-range/

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