Kaibab National Forest encourages visitors to participate in year-long biodiversity study
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — A citizen science project to identify and document the biodiversity of the Kaibab National Forest that began Jan. 1 and continues through all of 2017. During the year-long project, forest visitors can explore the North and South Kaibab National Forest and report their discoveries of plants and animals to help improve forest managers’ understanding of the abundance and distribution of species.
Visitors can use their smartphone to capture a photo of any plant or animal and share them on the free online platform “Kaibab NF 2017 Citizen Science Project” via iNaturalist.org. Those who post will receive expert feedback on their discoveries. Kaibab National Forest biologists will also help participants
identify or confirm findings.
“See, snap and share! There’s really nothing more to it,” said Natasha Kline, forest biologist for the Kaibab National Forest. “It’s a great way to explore the forest, contribute to our knowledge of biodiversity in the area, and experience the awesome flora and fauna that the Kaibab National Forest has to offer.”
Submissions must meet the following criteria: all submissions must be made between now and Dec. 31, 2017; they must have a photo or audio recording attached; they must be observed within the boundaries of the Kaibab National Forest, north or south.
If someone isn’t clear on the boundaries of the forest, the project will seek out any observation meeting these criteria and add them to the project.
“We are excited to get members of the public involved in making observations out in the field,” said Mark Christiano, geographic information specialist for the Kaibab National Forest. “Throughout the year, we hope to also offer events at which forest employees and members of the public join forces to capture images of specific plants and wildlife for this project. It’s a great way to connect with people and places while enjoying our beautiful northern Arizona landscape.”
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