Today sees the launch of a new smartphone App and website designed to help people learn more about Abu Dhabi’s wildlife and report sightings to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). The App was launched during GITEX which is taking place from 10th to 14th October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Abu Dhabi Nature species App is a free tool to educate adults and children on over 4,000 species of animals and plants living in the emirate.
One of the App's key features – 'Citizen Science' - enables registered users to submit photographs or videos of any species they spot in the wild. Using the exact GPS location of the observation, the EAD's team of experts will review each submission and add any new species or habitats to their database.
People can also search the App's extensive database and learn more about over 4,000 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, plants and habitats that EAD has already identified. The database combines videos, audio, images and information such as brief descriptions of each species, their size, colour, habitat, taxonomic classification, and sightings in the emirate.
Based on EAD's previous observations, users can also search for locations within Abu Dhabi Emirate where they will be able to spot the species that are likely to be found. People will also be able to 'Ask an expert' questions about the environment, and a team of EAD scientists will respond.
Other key features include the latest news section keeping users up to date with the news from EAD; a public forum; quizzes for testing knowledge on species and habitats; and conservation information about the protected areas and eco-tourism sites in Abu Dhabi.
The App is for adults and families with children, as well as students to provide research information.
The App is part of EAD's commitment to helping raise environmental awareness by informing and connecting with the public and using technology for preservation activities to help protect biodiversity and preserve the quality of life.
Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director, Environmental Information, Science & Outreach Management, said: “The launch of Abu Dhabi Nature species App is a significant milestone in EAD's efforts to promote environmental awareness and educate the public on the diverse species present in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We have selected GITEX as the launch platform because it is a significant hub for digital technology, which is what this App represents.”
“Anyone with a smartphone can now contribute to conservation and documenting Abu Dhabi’s unique biodiversity. It’s also a great way to educate children and youth about the nature around us and encourage a love of the environment at a young age. With our ‘Public Forum’ feature, this App will also be an essential tool for us to connect with the community and share our wealth of knowledge about the environment", he added.
Baharoon noted, "With a few clicks of a button, users will be able to access key information on the habitats and species found in Abu Dhabi while also playing a key role in helping EAD identify and locate new species. I encourage everyone to download this App or visit the website."
The App is available on both the Android and iOS platforms. Android users can download the App by visiting Google Play Store, while the Apple iOS version is available in the App Store. Alternatively, you can visit adnature.ead.ae.