Like Oregon Coast Seabirds? There's an App for That
Published 06/04/2015 at 5:41 PM PDT
(Newport, Oregon) – Now, you can get all you need to know about Oregon coast birds in an app created by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses. It's interactive digital fun for nature lovers – and it has a video game aspect as well.
The public is invited to the launch party at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 21st at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport. Called “Discover Yaquina,” the game-based app will teach visitors about the diverse seabirds, marine mammals, rocky shore habitats and creatures that make the Oregon Coast such a vibrant and wondrous ecological system.
Developed by Discover Nature Apps, an award winning mission-driven app developer, the “Discover Yaquina” game includes a GPS-guided nature-based scavenger hunt; the ability for users to post and view field tips and photographs; and the opportunity to share their experiences on social media. The app is free; simply search for “Discover Nature Apps” on iTunes or Google Play Store.
To play the “Discover Yaquina” game, users must be at Yaquina Head. People visiting as a group can compete against one another, or families can opt to work as a team. Beyond the game, the app offers opportunities for users to capture photos of their discoveries at Yaquina Head including field notes such as where they are seeing Black Oystercatchers or Bald Eagles. The discoveries, notes and photos are viewable in a digital photo gallery that will be accessible worldwide.
“With this app, we can reach exponentially more coastal visitors and residents with a fun and interactive experience that leaves them with a greater awareness and appreciation of Oregon Coast’s seabirds and their habitats,” said Dawn Harris, Visitor Services Manager for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “Until now, we’ve been limited in the ways we can deliver the information we know they’ll value in a way that’s both compelling and entertaining.”
“There’s nothing like this on the Oregon coast, and it will serve as a powerful tool for us to engage the public and enlist their support for conservation,” said Annie Ingersoll, Executive Director of the Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses. “While nothing beats a personal interpreter, this app fills a vital interpretive gap, giving people of all ages another avenue to learning through technology.”
To participate in the launch party, visit Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport on Sunday, June 21. Get information about the app at the Interpretive Center from 10 AM – 2 PM then walk west to the rocky intertidal area of Yaquina Head to play the game with others.
Funding for this smartphone “app” came from a special fund created to benefit seabird species that suffered in the aftermath of the New Carissa oil spill near Coos Bay, Oregon, in February 1999. The freighter ran aground, broke apart and spilled between 70,000 and 140,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil, killing an estimated 2,465 seabirds and waterfowl along the coast.
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