Aspara, the niece of fromer Conservancy scientist Sanjayan, uses her iPad to learn about the natural world around her. Photo credit: © Jessica Scranton

Your Smartphone Can Connect You To — And Help Save — Nature

Technology these days makes learning about, supporting and protecting nature so easy that it’s almost hard to not support the environment. 

Whether it’s an app to help identify trees and birds, or to help you find and explore the nearest parks and trails, or even connect you to others who support organizations like ours, there’s a lot of technology that can help.  

Talk about “armchair environmentalist”. 

Here are some of the latest apps that connect you to nature.  

Our resident expert on birds and apps wrote a great blog that helps identify the best apps for the smart birder. Whether you’re a novice or expert, this list can help you learn more about our feathered friends with a swipe of your screen. 

Plant and Animal Identification
Going hiking and don’t want to pack a field guide for each flora, fauna or location? The Audubon Field Guide apps have you covered. Green Mountain Digital created over 40 app versions of Audubon field guides for various locations and species, ensuring that no matter where you are or what you’re looking for, you’ll get closer to the great outdoors.   

Exploring the Outdoors
Our social media manager test drove the Chimani apps for exploring over 400 of our national parks. You can create lists of places you’d like to go, learn about the history of each park, and even use interactive trail maps to find your way around the beautiful outdoors.  

Learning About Endangered Species
We can’t create this list without a giving a shout out to our partners in conservation: World Wildlife Fund. Their WWF Together app was recently selected as one of the top iPad apps of 2013. The app provides in-depth, interactive experiences with endangered species, allows you to learn cool facts about each, send e-cards to loved ones and provides multiple opportunities for getting involved with protecting the Earth’s megafauna.  

Staying Connected to Nature
Think you don’t need another social media app? WeChat wants you to think again, as you can form groups with your friends to plan hikes, days at the beach, rock climbing, and even where to catch the best waves.  You can also share your location through WeChat so that your friends can easily find you when you are out in nature. And you can post your best nature photos on WeChat’s Moments timeline for your friends to see. 

Best yet, if you add Nature_org as a contact by June 30, WeChat will donate $5 to our organization and you’ll receive some of the best nature photos directly to your smartphone and get the latest conservation news. 

Opinions expressed on Conservancy Talk and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conservancy.

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