June 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 11)
Strong Points: Reference photos of invasive species included
Weak Points: Somewhat slow downloads of park information
What do kudzu, white poplar, and the Asian longhorned beetle have in common? They are all invasive species in one location or another, and as you may be aware, invasive species have a nasty habit of wreaking havoc on the ecosystems in which they are introduced. The What’s Invasive! app allows regular tablet- or phone-carrying people to help professionals track the presence of invasive species in a number of national parks within the U.S. (as well as in a few non-U.S. locations, too). App users can download the invasive species information for a given location, with the locations being displayed on the homepage according to their proximity to the user. From there, users can submit reports (complete with photos) of invasive species that they encounter, using the app’s photos as species identification aides. Users can add their own notes to the report, as well as specify the approximate size of the infested area and the infestation density.