Top Apps for Wildlife ID & First Aid

There are a variety of apps to help you identify wildlife (flora and fauna) and even participate in citizen science projects. All you need is a smart phone. Best part? These apps are FREE!

iNaturalist
This is my #1 go-to app for identifying wildlife, both plants and animals. Plus, you get to do some good by recording species for National Geographic & the University of California Natural Science.

Merlin: Bird Identification
This is great because you don’t have to have a picture. Merlin can help you identify birds by asking questions about size, colors, etc. Birds are very tricky to ID, especially when you get into ‘little brown birds’. Sometimes I throw my hands up and say “let’s go with sparrow”. This app has been very helpful in those tricky times.

Plantsnap
I haven’t had to use this app as much as since iNaturalist covers my needs but if iNaturalist can’t identify it, this is my backup. Just try to eliminate background plants by placing your hand or a paper behind it. I have used this with success for my houseplants.

Leafsnap
I have never used this app so I can’t say much about it.

vTree
While this app is helpful in identifying trees, what I really like is the website with loads of information about trees. I don’t use the app but I definitely reference the website if I need information on trees.

Project Noah

Project Noah was introduced to me at a conference. It is a “global citizen science project to discover, share and identify widlife”. What I like about this program is the classroom project and education. There seems to be a lot of support for classroom teachers in their environmental studies.

The American Red Cross First Aid
If being a State Park Naturalist has taught me anything, it is to be prepared. Now this app doesn’t make up for a ‘9-1-1’ call, but it can help with minor injuries. It can also help with the anxiety of “Should I call 9-1-1?” I always err on the side of caution and say YES but this app can give you more confidence in that situation.

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