Research on iPlover published in PLOS ONE
A new paper describes a novel approach to collecting and applying data to understand threats to habitat for beach-dependent species like piping plover. Credit: FWS
Partners at the U.S. Geological Survey have published the first of several anticipated papers on Hurricane Sandy-funded research that is helping to address threats to beach-dependent species from sea-level rise.
With support from the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, researchers developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover, which enables coastal resource managers to capitalize on existing piping plover monitoring efforts by collecting and aggregating data that can help them understand habitat outlook across the species' Atlantic breeding range.
Published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, the paper "Smartphone-Based Distributed Data Collection Enables Rapid Assessment of Shorebird Habitat Suitability" describes the development of iPlover, and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection. The researchers found strong agreement between assessments by field users and models, and high model skill when data were used to predict habitat suitability.
Read the full paper on PLOS ONE