Free App is a Virtual Butterfly Net for Wildlife Watchers At Chesapeake’s National Wildlife Refuges

| 11/6/2012 12:08:29 PM

Tags: National Wildlife Refuge, wildlife watchers, iPhone app, Press Release,

Butterfly Net iPhone App
With iPhones in hand, visitors to national wildlife refuges in the Chesapeake Bay region can now photograph and share their sightings with a worldwide community of wildlife watchers.  The free National Wildlife Refuges Chesapeake Bay app is a new tool for exploring the outdoors and is available for download from the App Store (

The app comes online just as the nation celebrates National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14-20, when the Chesapeake Bay-region refuges are holding wildlife walks and other events that are perfect opportunities for people to use the app. 

App users can post photos of the plants and animals they find on refuges and tap into a global network of experts for information about the species.   As the postings accumulate, scientists and refuge managers will be able to view the data to see where and when species inhabit specific locations.

The app was developed through a partnership between the Chesapeake Conservancy and National Geographic Society with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It incorporates the popular Project Noah wildlife photo-sharing service.

Project Noah allows users to create “missions” to pursue, and the app includes a mission for 11 national wildlife refuges in the Chesapeake Bay region, the largest estuary in the U.S. The app also includes location, maps, operating hours and guides for these refuges.  Users who visit the refuges and post photos can earn virtual “patches.” There is one patch for each refuge. 

Joel Dunn, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, which developed the idea and gained financial support to build it through a partnership with National Geographic and Project Noah, said, “Our goal was to produce a fun and innovative app that allows people to explore the Chesapeake region’s National Wildlife Refuges, so everyone can better understand and appreciate the extraordinary value of these protected areas and our wildlife in the Bay and along our great rivers.”

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