Digital Tools for Biodiversity Monitoring & Education

A. Arrington
PLANT Group,
United States

Keywords: biodiversity


A U.S. Department of the Interior study found that the average American kid can identify 1000 corporate logos but can't ID 10 plants and animals native to his or her hometown. In the context of the looming climate crisis, lack of ecological knowledge and problem-solving skills is quickly becoming a threat to global security and prosperity. PLANT Group (People Learning About Nature Together) is an ecological design and engineering firm connecting humans and nature to enable climate adaptation and mitigation work. We have been contracted by the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium to build a web application for biodiversity monitoring in agriculture and ranching. In the process of building this application, PLANT Group developed a biodiversity API which can be leveraged for eco-education work. Users can query a location and find pertinent information on plants, insects, and animals, pests and protected species, and important management information for ecological conservation and preservation efforts. Biodiversity trend monitoring can include: ● Nation-wide habitat diversity monitoring ● Nationwide land-use data based on agricultural statistics; ● Nationwide land-use data based on remote sensing; ● Small structures and other landscape elements related to biodiversity and include structural features such as hedges, ponds, pits and terraces, which offer a particular habitat for flora and fauna; ● Genetic diversity in agriculture ● Insect monitoring ● Monitoring of other groups of organisms The Biodiversity web application includes: ● Dynamic web forms with integration with leading biodiversity trend monitoring techniques, including: ● Species richness and abundance ● Wild bee monitoring ● Avian monitoring ● Trend monitoring of beneficial insects ● Monitoring of soil organisms ● Pest monitoring ● Landscape vegetation monitoring and integration with the Eco-Harvest “Edge of Field” module ● Geospatial functionality to add a point or polygon as a monitoring zone and associate data with that location. ● Field note taking capabilities ● Relational database storage of biodiversity data ● Integration with Eco-Harvest GraphQL API for pulling in fields and pushing biodiversity data back to the MRV ● Photo taking functionality and the ability to tag photos with species information ● Audio recording, playback, and storage capabilities (for capturing bird songs and other bioacoustics applications) ● In-app educational resources for identifying and protecting species of interest within ESMC’s program regions ● Gathering, processing, and integrating feedback from ESMC working groups and other biodiversity stakeholders