Codebreaker

Internet can help you track amphibians

John Moe Jun 2, 2011

Yesterday, we mentioned a story about a new startup using social data to help you find where the sick people are. Today, the story of AmphibiaWeb. It’s a website called Global Amphibian Blitz and when you’re traveling or walking about where amphibians might be, you can take photos and upload them. Experts will look at the photos and try to reference them against a big database of about 7,000 amphibians to see if they can find rare species far from home.

From Wired:

“The distributions of many amphibian species are so poorly known that every observation helps,” herpetologist Michelle Koo, a UC Berkeley research scientist who helps manage AmphibiaWeb, said in a press release. “Museums can’t be everywhere we need to be at once to get the data sets we need. Using social networks to partner with amateurs is a powerful new tool for scaling biodiversity data for science and conservation.”

The ultimate aim is to take a census of “every one of the world’s surviving amphibian species” which, according to AmphibiaWeb, currently stands at 6,813.

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