How do you use Nature Tracker?
If you have seen an interesting plant or animal, you can upload the information on this page
Start typing the name of the plant or animal into the Wildlife Observed box and a dropdown menu will appear. If you don't see anything in the dropdown you are probably the first to have observed a species and it will be added to the database! If you're unsure what it is you've observed, provincial biologists Garry Gregory
and Dave McRuer
may aid in identifying the observation and adding the new species to the database.
After you've input the wildlife name you can upload photos. Just press
for each picture you want to upload. Uploading a photo may also automatically update the date and location fields.
The geoprivacy of the observations defaults to "open" (anybody can see it) but you can select "obscured" (anybody can see details except for the exact location; perhaps useful if you don't want to share the location of your backyard), or "private" (only you and the nature tracker admins can see any details).
If you just want to browse through nature observations there are a few of the most recent observations on the front page and lot more here
. There you can click the Search button and filter by by date, name, location or taxonomic info.
For example here is a map of all (non-private) observations of owls, northern harriers, goshawks, snowshoe hares and rodents in 2017 on the east end of the island
Why use Nature Tracker?
Nature Tracker is a citizen science project that gathers information about the natural world of PEI. Biologists go out periodically and do wildlife surveys, but a much greater amount of information can be gathered with the help of the general public.
PEI Fish and Wildlife
can use this map of wildlife populations for making conservation decisions on species such as beaver
or little brown bats
. So no matter how common you think your observation may be (there are a lot of foxes on PEI) go ahead and submit it.
The PEI Invasive Species Council
has some lists of invasive species that it would like to keep tabs on. Some species such as Japanese Knotweed
are common and probably beyond the point of keeping under control, but submitting sightings can help establish the extent of the spread across the island. Others like Yellow Floating Heart
have not been spotted on PEI but they are on the radar and should be reported immediately if observed.
Some of the species that are of interest to the above organizations will automatically be listed privately. Only you and members of the PEI Wildlife Division or Invasive Species Council will be able to see them.
And besides your observations being important for wildlife management, it's just fun to look at pictures of nature.