Science is saving animals with… Snapchat?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Studying wild animals in their natural habitat can be tough. Some animals only show up once in a while. Others only come out at night. How can scientists keep track of elusive animals?
Kasim Rafiq of Liverpool John Moores University came up with an ingenious solution. Tourists! Rafiq recruited tourists who were going on a safari. Volunteers wore a GPS while they roamed a wild animal park and snapped away. They shared their best shots upon their return.
Rafiq had more photos than he’d had in weeks! All were neatly time-stamped and had the GPS location of each lion, tiger and elephant sighting! The shutterbugs even got photos of rare species like leopards previously unseen by the researchers.
These citizen scientists can help ecologists keep tabs on how each species is doing.This ensures a healthy balance in the ecosystem. No animals left behind!
See? Instagram ISN’T a waste of time! Cat photos are GOOD for science!