Anyone with a smart phone can easily help stop the spread of invasive species in B.C. now, thanks to a new smart phone app for Android and iPhones.
The Report-a-Weed BC app is free to download and lets users submit reports of invasive plant sightings anywhere in B.C.
Invasive plants, often called weeds, are non-native plants that often spread quickly and can out-compete native vegetation and cause environmental and economic harm. Eradication and control of invasive species costs B.C. taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
The app is easy to use. Users take a picture of the plant in question, indicate the infestation size using a slider, and add personal contact information. Once the report is submitted, it goes to an invasive plant specialist who will co-ordinate the appropriate follow-up. The app also works off-line: if a user is out of range when filing a report, the app automatically sends it upon return to cell coverage.
It includes searchable images of 202 invasive plant species.
The app was developed by Hipwood Digital, the Invasive Species Council of B.C. and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource.
For those without a smart phone, there are other options. Invasive species can also be reported online in three easy steps at http://reportaweedbc.ca/, or by calling 1-888-WEEDSBC.