Invasive Alien Species Europe

The Invasive Alien Species Europe android app is a tool to crowdsource ecological monitoring of invasive species in continental Europe. The app was developed by the Joint Research Centre, the science arm of the European Commission with the aim to receive as much information about the 37 invasive alien species that pose a threat to Europe’s native biodiversity. Citizen scientists who download the app have access to a visual database about the invasive species identified by the Joint Research Centre, and then the user takes a photo of the identified species and shares their present location. Users can also choose to include supplemental information, like the surrounding habitat. Examples of invasive species include the Yellow-Legged Hornet, which attacked honeybees, which are already under intense strain from frequent colony collapses and climate change. Though a good attempt to engage citizens in the fight against invasive species, there doesn’t appear to be any available information on how successful the app has been at collecting data, how many citizens scientists submissions are usable, or if the data is being used to inform regulation and legislation. While the intention to engage citizen scientists in gathering data is praiseworthy, agencies that depend on the public to gather information have to deal with uneven usage across regions, which can lead to an incomplete or inaccurate picture of a species or issue being documented. 

Invasive Alien Species Europe“. Google Play


Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Monitoring, Regulation, Visual Technologies