DNR starts new Eyes in the Field application | News, Sports, Jobs

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites residents to contribute to conservation efforts by reporting their fish and wildlife observations with the new Eyes in the Field application. Available online at michigan.gov/eyesinthefield, the application replaces 15 separate observation forms the DNR had been using to gather important information about the state’s fish and wildlife populations.

“Observation is a key part of managing Michigan’s diverse natural resources, and we rely on the public as additional eyes in the field to help in our monitoring efforts,” Tom Weston, the DNR’s chief technology officer, said in a news release. “This new application is a one-stop shop where citizen scientists can report what they observe while spending time outdoors.”

Eyes in the Field includes forms for reporting observations of diseased wildlife; tagged fish; mammals, such as cougars and feral swine; fish, such as sturgeon, and birds, like wild turkeys; as well as reptiles and amphibians, such as eastern massasauga rattlesnakes. Additional observation forms will be added in the future.

The application is mobile-friendly, so it will work well on any device — smartphone, tablet or desktop computer — and is compliant with federal Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines.

To report their data, users select an observation location point on a map and submit other details, including habitat type and appearance of the animal, depending on the type of observation. Observers also can submit photos, videos and audio files through the application.

Eyes in the Field does not replace the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline, 800-292-7800. The RAP hotline — now accepting text messages, which may include photos, in addition to telephone calls — is a toll-free, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week number that enables the public to report violations of fish and game laws, as well as other natural resource-related regulations. The DNR also offers a web-based RAP form, which is available via a link from Eyes in the Field.

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