25+ Nature and Wildlife Mobile Apps
Do you have a smart phone and want to use it to explore nature? The saying, “there’s an app for that,” rings true in this case. I’ve tested out a number of smart phone applications, and I must say they really can help you find nature, identify, share and enjoy the wildlife you’ve seen.
This is a sister post to “Fantastic Wildlife and Nature iPhone Apps,” and, while you’ll notice a few repeats, I decided to extend the mentions to a few new ones! I’ve linked mostly to the iPhone applications, but most of them have an Android counterpart.
Mobile Apps to Help You Find Parks and Trails
Sometimes, in order to see wildlife and feel close to nature, you have to find it, so that’s what these applications help you do.
Find the closest parks, forests and nature centers with this application. It also will tell you local events that the places are hosting. This application is incredibly useful regardless if you’re in a city or surrounded by suburban houses. (Available only on iPhone)
Trailhead by The North Face
This application uses your current location to tell you the nearest hiking trails. You can find out information about each trail, including their length, story, pictures and tips. Use it when traveling to discover local trails you haven’t explored. (Available only on iPhone)
Other Hiking and Trail Apps to Check Out:
- Backpacker GPS for iPhone and Android
Price: Lite is free, Upgrade is $9.99
- Trail Maps by Nat Geo:
Wildlife Sightings and Citizen Science
When it comes to wildlife observations, there are several useful apps and WildObs is one of my favorites. It makes it very easy for you to report your sightings and identify species, and your observations show up on National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Watch website. It’s one of the only apps that allows you to report sightings without having a photo and it also tags your location if you so desire.
A fantastic wildlife photography and observation application. If you witness anything from people in the garden or on a trail you can snap a picture of it and share it on this helpful application. You can either partake in a mission or share your experiences for fun.
iPhone and Android
Check-in to nature with this nature observation application. With your photos you can help accomplish missions and explore other sightings. Project Noah allows you to upload flora and fauna, and once you’ve created an account you can meet other nature enthusiasts as well.
Here’s another easy to use application that lets you log your wildlife sightings. This application does not require a photo and it gives you ample room for notes. It also automatically fills in the date and your location to help make your observation recording easier.
Audubon Nature Applications
Apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android
Price: Each is $9.99
When it comes to reference guides, Audubon has a slew of useful applications to help you identify specific flora and fauna. They all average about the same cost and have a great number of resources. I’ve listed a few of the applications below so you can get a sense of the way they break them down (both regionally and by type).
If you’re looking for a digital field guide, these are definitely a worthy option.
Need help identifying animal tracks or scat? This app has a number of animal tracks, scat and sound information that can come in handy when you’re exploring the great outdoors. Keep in mind, it helps to measure the length of the track when it comes time to identify! MyNature also offers several other great applications like MyNature Tree Guide and even park specific apps. Check them out if you are planning on visiting a specific area, like the Grand Canyon for regional identification help.
iPhone and Android
Price: Full is $19.99, Lite is $1.99
While I have not tried this one out personally, I’ve read a few reviews that make this a promising application. You can track your bird sightings as well as see local bird observations.
This application is part of a citizen science project that I thought was too neat to pass up. It’s technically for the NYC area and has been used by schools and organizations in that area since 2009. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Various iBird Applications
iPhone and Android
Price ranging from Free to $19.99
As an owner of iBird Pro and Backyard, I’ve found them to be very comprehensive. They give you range, locations, both an illustration and actually submitted photos of the animal. The apps will also include the call of the particular bird.
It’s a very useful application and testing out one of them is a great way to start your own birding adventure.
Peterson Field Guide
This beautifully done birding application has a unique way to identify the birds you’ve seen and you can also log your sightings here as well. It’s incredibly easy to move through the application and offers some real images of the species.
Other Birding Applications to Check Out:
Apps to Help with Plant Identification
A joint project by Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution is helping people identify plants with a photo. Leafsnap uses facial recognition software for trees–all you need is a leaf and a white background and this application should be able to help you. The app currently covers trees of the Northeast and Washington, DC.
This app offers an interactive field guide to native plants of North America. This edition focuses on the stunning variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, vines, and grasses that are indigenous to Eastern Canada and Northeastern United States. Florafolio is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to identify species in the wild or garden with native plants.
TreeBook has 100 of the most common trees in North America as a helpful resource guide. It’s a great way to start learning how to identify trees as a beginner and isn’t so large it takes up too much space on your phone. I’ve found it very useful!
As someone who is fascinated with the natural world, I’ll keep checking out applications. I’d love to hear what applications you use in the comment section below! Even if they are from different countries, or if I missed them, I’ll keep updating this post so that it can be a helpful resource!
Now go out, explore, take photos and mark your observations! :)