Do you enjoy watching wildlife? Trying to identify that beautiful bird or butterfly that just flew by?
We've got plenty to see here in Florida, but now you can do more than watch -- you can help the people trying to save our native flora and fauna.
It's as easy as downloading an app on your smartphone, like FWC's Gopher Tortoise app, for
Gopher tortoises have lived in Florida for millions of years, but their numbers are dwindling.
"They typically occupy the habitat that's desirable for building and development so it's constantly in decline," explained FWC biologist Chad Allison.
Now you help Allison and other tortoise biologist by using the app. When you encounter a gopher tortoise or an active burrow, you take a photo and upload it to the FWC.
Allison says the GPS tracker on your phone lets them know exactly where that tortoise is.
"There's a location attributed to each photograph, so we know exactly where it was taken and where that occurs on the landscape, and that's very important."
If you come across one of the many critters that doesn't belong here, tell the Florida Invasive Species Partnership, "I've got one!" That's the name of the app to report all kinds of invaders, from pythons to plants.
Lionfish are becoming such a threat to Florida's native marine life, they just got an app of their own.
"So if you're out there diving and you see or catch a lionfish, you can take the app, open it up and submit certain information about that catch, including how many lionfish you saw or took, where you saw them, what the depth was," said FWC spokeswoman Amanda Nalley.
If you like hummingbirds, now you can do more than just admire them. Audubon's new "Hummingbirds at Home" app helps you collect and submit information to scientists who are working to save hummingbirds around the world.
And Audubon's "Ultimate Florida Nature Guide" is one-stop shopping for everything to enjoy our great outdoors.
"You can identify reptiles, birds, trees, wildflowers," offered Jonathan Webber of Audubon Florida. "It's got some really good images. It's got maps. Everything you want to know to learn more about the species around you, it's all right there at your fingertips."
Many of the apps are free. Some of the Audubon apps cost a few dollars.
Here are the links to the ones we tried out:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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