Pinoy scientists develop WildALERT tracking app to help stop wildlife trafficking

HSBC Philippines
Pinoy scientists WildALERT tracking app
The mobile application dubbed WildAlert is developed by Fheter John Calanday. Photo courtesy of Fheter John Calanday.

Pinoy scientists have developed a mobile application to help forest rangers and law enforcement partners stop wildlife trafficking in the Philippines.

The mobile application “WildAlert” was developed by Fheter John Calanday through a partnership between Department Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Biodiversity Management Bureau and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

WildAlert is a system made up of a mobile interface, a species library, and a report management platform that will aid users in identifying wildlife species, reporting wildlife crimes, and managing reports submitted from the fields.

The app is an easily accessible offline digital reference for DENR personnel and law enforcers to help them correctly identify various species of wildlife. WildAlert has 480 species in its library which is easily searchable using the app’s filtering tool.

The features of the app are very useful for identifying unfamiliar species by narrowing down descriptive categories.

The Species library is also publicly available online at wildalert.ph

REPORTING WILDLIFE CRIMES:

Wildlife law enforcers can report poaching, trafficking, and illegal trade of wildlife using the app.

Photos and key information can be recorded, geotagged, and submitted to the WildAlert. Reports are then accessed by and managed by the DENR field units and the biodiversity Management Bureau for appropriate action.

Wildalert users can also access a directory of DENR offices across the Philippines if users want to reach out a DENR personnel regarding a report or incident.

Calanday said they are targeting to make WildALERT accessible next year to the public so everyone can contribute to the protection of wildlife in the country.

A DNA barcoding-based tracker for wildlife was earlier developed by a team from the University of the Philippines.

A De La Salle University (DLSU) multidisciplinary team had also developed the mobile application Crabifier to help fisherfolk distinguish crab species.

Eye surgeon and field biologist Dr. Miguel David De Leon had photographed birds in the wild including the celebrated first-in-over-a-century image of a dwarf kingfisher fledgling and many other endemic birds which he shared with the public during the community quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the team behind WildALERT for innovating on how to protect the Philippines’ wildlife.

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Blesilda Dela Cruz
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