Gone are the days when we had to carry guides and guides to enjoy identification of species in the sea or field. Despite the nostalgia of those printed guides, today, thanks to mobile applications, any nature lover can carry in a pocket all kind of information.
As a lover of nature or biology, do not miss these 18 applications to identify and learn from everything around you. Do you need more than 18? Don’t miss part two.
BIODIVERSITY AND MAPPING
MAP OF LIFE
We start with a highlight: this wonderful application lets you know what wildlife is around you anywhere in the world. Setting on a map our location, the app will indicate us which species can be found in the area where we are classified by groups (birds, amphibians, insects, trees, plants, fish…) in a database of more than 900,000 species.
In addition to the description, pictures, etc, of the species, we can mark if we have done any sightings, helping to provide data on the frequency of appearance of the species and having a record of our own observations.
We can also find species directly from the browser or search field.
BIOGUIDE – FIELD GUIDE WORLD
Bioguide allows us to have in our Android mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, moths, plants and mushrooms. When you open the app, it gives you the chance to choose which data download from a total of 100,000 photos and 1,000 sounds. This allows you to use them later offline in nature.
You can search by color, region, name, diet, type of flowering … Within the tab of each species, we will find all kinds of features such as habitat, conservation status, diet, locomotion, systematics, morphology and physiology, trails, similar species… a complete app to keep in mind.
This application allows us to upload photos of our observations (animals, plants, lichens or rocks) to a database of georeferenced photographs. The species will be identified and you’ll be able to save your picture with the correct name. We will also contribute to help in the understanding of biodiversity and conservation of the environment.
iNaturalist is another application that will allow us to raise our observations to the database Global Biodiversity Information Facility, to contribute to a better understanding of biodiversity providing data to scientists.
It is a citizen science project where you can start your own project or join one that has already started, contact the experts who identify the species you see and expand your knowledge exchanging experiences with other naturalists.
How it is called the mountain in front of you? Just point your mobile towards it and you’ll know the name of the peak anywhere in the world, since its database has 250,000 references. The application has a cost of 3.39 € and works offline.
If you are looking for a free alternative, Geodetic Points will inform you about the name, altitude and how far it is the peak are you looking at . It must be installed with the augmented reality app Layar and only reports on Spanish peaks.
BOTANY AND MICOLOGY
This is a guide to wild trees of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands.
In the guided search, you can describe as in a dichotomous key how the tree is until you reach its species. Then you’ll get a description of it, photographs and distribution. There is also the open search, where from the location, leaves, fruits, flowers and other features the app will guide you to the desired tree. It also has a glossary with more than 80 words and does not require internet connection to use it.
If you need a field guide to trees in Europe and North America, you can try iKnow Trees 2 LITE, with a database of more than 200 species (Android only).
The “Shazam” of plants. Upload up to 4 photos of the plant you want to identify, indicate whether if it is a flower, fruit, stem… and the application will search among more than 4,000 species registered and show you what plant it is. If it is not in the database, you can register it for the rest of the community to identify it.
Application for identifying mushrooms with 250 species in its free version. In addition to information on the mushroom and possible toxicity of the species, in the thescription we will find the most common mistakes included, to avoid unnecessary collection of species allowing them to continue fulfilling their role in nature. The application allows working offline if you have previously downloaded the libraries with the data.
In the Pro version (6.99 €), we can save the GPS location of the mushrooms that we have found. If a species is not referenced, we can add it to the database.
BIRDS OF SPAIN
If you love ornithology dot not miss this app developed by SEO Birdlife. It is divided into two sections:
- The bird guide itself , with sheets of the 563 species of birds which are present or have been cited in Spain. In each sheet you will find the layout, drawings, photos, videos, songs and a brief description as well as the months of sighting.
- Ornithological Itineraries: informs us of the areas of Spain where we can make our observations, with information about the ecological importance of the area and which birds can we find.
SEO Birdlife also has specific app Water birds to computerize census, identify wetlands closest to our location and view photos and current census of each wetland.
WARBL, TWIGLE AND MERLIN BIRD ID
These three apps offer similar functions. We can consider Warbl the “Shazam” of birds. With just recording the song of a bird, the app will recognize it and it will give us information on the bird species without being connected to the network. Warbl can identify 220 UK birds. It has a cost of 5.29 €.
Field Guide birds Twigle (for iPhone) is another app that not only allows us to identify birds by their song, as Warbl, but allows us to upload photos of any bird that we sighted and it will recognize the species from our image. It identifies species in North America, Ireland, UK and South Africa.
If you do not have iPhone, Merlin Bird Id in its web version also allows you to recognize a photo from hundreds of species of birds in North America. It also has an application in Android and iOS for identifying birds from a few simple questions.
If you’re a fan of insects, with this application you can identify insect orders from Australia. If you do not live in Astralia, still it is a good way to learn to distinguish the characteristics that define each order, also present in your country.
iFelix – WOLF
The field notebooks by emblematic Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente revisited. If you’re a fan of wolves, with this app (€ 2.20) you will have illustrations, 3D animations, photographs, dynamic maps, sounds, utilities (camera geolocation sightings and others) and an area to practice field drawings .
For the moment it is only available the notebook of the wolf, but they are preparing the notebooks of the imperial eagle and the Iberian lynx .
ANIMALS TIME: ENCYCLOPEDIA
Although the description of this application (available only in Android) indicates that it is aimed at children, the truth is that we will find a lot of information about hundreds of animal species. Curiosities, distribution, habitat, behavior, food …
It also has specific sections for endangered and even extinct species.
This is the selection of All You Need is Biology of mobile apps touse in the field. In future articles we will complete the list with more applications like maps, compasses and other essential utilities for any naturalist. We eill also discover other applications related to biology.
Do you know other applications to complete this list? Add it in the comments below!
- Cover photo
- All other photographs, unless otherwise indicated, obtained from the corresponding stores .