London Free Press: The World Outdoors: Online eBird platform continues to evolve. “It’s interesting to reflect on the evolution of the online eBird platform that supports citizen science. Launched in the U.S. in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, its reach now spans the globe and in nature communities it represents a gold standard.”
Carnegie Mellon University: Online Atlas of Aquatic Insects Aids Water-Quality Monitoring. “Carnegie Mellon University, working with Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH), the Stroud Water Research Center, the University of Pittsburgh, Clemson University and a set of volunteer biomonitoring organizations, led development of the new visual atlas and digital field guide. It features highly detailed images of 150 common aquatic bugs, such as mayflies, dragonflies and beetles, along with a few mussels, clams and snails of interest.”
Florida Museum: New Data Platform Illuminates History Of Humans’ Environmental Impact. “The human environmental footprint is not only deep, but old. Ancient traces of this footprint can be found in animal bones, shells, scales and antlers at archaeological sites. Together, these specimens tell the millennia-long story of how humans have hunted, domesticated and transported animals, altered landscapes and responded to environmental changes such as shifting temperatures and sea levels. Now, that story is available digitally through a new open-access data platform known as ZooArchNet, which links records of animals across biological and archaeological databases.”
Cornell University: Scientists propose bird conservation plan based on eBird data. “An international team of scientists used eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s global citizen science database, to calculate how to sufficiently conserve habitat across the Western Hemisphere for all the habitats these birds use throughout their annual cycle of breeding, migration and overwintering. The study provides planners with guidance on the locations and amounts of land that must be conserved for 30% of the global populations for each of 117 bird species that migrate to the Neotropics (Central and South America, the Caribbean and southern North America).”
Boing Boing pointed me toward this crazy search engine for animal heads. From the brief writeup: “x6udpngx’s x6ud is a single-purpose search engine that offers high-quality animal photographs for use by artists seeking reference material.” This is a wow. First you pick a species (not all species are available.) Then you pick a skull type underneath and click and drag the skull to orient it in the position you want to find. For example, I pick hawk species, and the chicken skull. I click and drag the skull so I’m looking at it in profile. I click search and the search results I will get will be for hawk heads in profile. It doesn’t work as well for weird positions like the top or bottom of the skull, but still. Go play with it.
Read an article about this but it didn’t include the URL, so I’m going straight to the source to tell you about Fauna Toolkit: Bird Bones. From the home page: “A portal to 3D digitised models of bird bones from museum collections. 159 bones from 28 species in 22 families and 19 orders are now available from the Index below.”
Design Week: Redesigning the biggest list of endangered species in the world. “The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an exhaustive online database of animals, plants and fungi that are at risk of extinction, has been given a new website in a bid to engage more people in conservation and make finding crucial information easier.”