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UMAPIT – Urban wildlife citizen science

13 Dec 2016

UMAPIT is a bespoke, free and easy app that allows users to record sightings of 19 urban wildlife species on the go

The species sightings are sent directly to a website with GPS coordinates and a time stamp, so that users can track their records on a map and help build a picture of the distribution of local species. All 19 species can be found on the University of Manchester’s campus, and users can discover more from the images and descriptions on the app.

UMAPIT is part of the University’s 10,000 Actions, the largest environmental sustainability initiative in the higher education sector. UMAPIT is one of the actions staff can sign up for under the Living Campus theme, encouraging appreciation of our campus environment. The data collected will provide vital information on wildlife and its distribution on campus.

UMAPIT was developed the University Living Campus group, led by Professor Amanda Bamford. The app was developed with NTTX-advisory, who used agile programming so that the app can be expanded as the need arises in future.

Professor Amanda Bamford said "Our UMAPIT app lets citizen scientists everywhere  log their wildlife encounters and add to the biodiversity data available to scientists. We hope that this app will encourage awareness of the fantastic wildlife in our urban environments."

Biodiversity on campus is taught across several Schools, and is the focus of many public engagement and involvement events such as the Urban Naturalist event at Manchester Museum. By using the campus as a ‘living lab’ the app is a useful tool for teaching and learning, as an easy way for students to build up a unique map of campus wildlife and highlight the wealth of biodiversity around us.

UMAPIT can expand beyond the University campus by engaging the wider community. The app was designed to be used anywhere by anyone – young or old, beginner or experienced recorder. It could be used by schools to monitor their playground wildlife, or by people in their back gardens.

Download UMAPIT on Android phones from Google Play, or join in on any device using the website: