This article was published by Emily Bingham in MLive.
HOUGHTON, MICH. — If you’re headed to Isle Royale National Park this summer, you can take part in a citizen science project simply by downloading an app.
Conducted by researchers from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), the project aims to document visitor trail use to help see how people influence wildlife distribution in the park.
Visitors who would like to participate are asked to download and use Strava, a free geotracking app largely geared toward runners and cyclists, to track their movements during their Isle Royale trip.
At the end of the park’s season, the data collected via Strava will be used to build a heat signature map showing the density of human use at Isle Royale. All data collected will be anonymous, according to a post on Isle Royale’s Facebook page.
Trail use information will then be paired with data from a wildlife camera project to help researchers learn more about the park’s gray wolves, moose, martens, red foxes, and other wildlife.
The Strava app is free and available for both iOS and Android devices.
Learn more about the project at globalwildlifecc.org.