Track aliens across B.C. this Xmas with a new free app

Listening to an American Bullfrog, or seeing invasive “rock snot,” helps users identify these species and report them.

Short on gift ideas this holiday season? Don’t know what to get the nature-loving technophile this winter? How about an app that logs rocksnot?

The Royal BC Museum’s first iPhone/iPad app, Aliens Among Us, has launched and is available as a free download from the iTunes store.

There are more than 4,000 alien species in British Columbia and detailed information – images, sound recordings, descriptions – for 47 of these is now available via the app or website. Listening to an American Bullfrog, or seeing invasive “rock snot,” helps users identify these species and report them.

Not sure if you have a Large Yellow Underwing or a Widemouth or Smallmouth Bass? The website includes video demonstrating the differences. Or “Ask an Expert” by sending your question to one of the Royal BC Museum’s natural history curators.

Still not sure if you’ve got one? Spotters can take a photo of the suspected alien, pin it to their location on the interactive Google map, and send their field notes to the museum. Each upload will be reviewed, the spotter will be notified by email, and the alien’s image will be posted to the website.

The website also includes activities to bring aliens into the classroom. The Classroom has a collection of five learning objects, each comes with images, video, an interactive map and classroom activities about introduced plant and animal species in British Columbia.

These two new digital pieces are part of a multi-faceted project using new ways of reaching tech-savvy, mobile alien trackers.

 

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