The Environment Agency and University of Bristol have just launched a new version of their PlantTracker app to record the distribution of invasive plant species in the UK. The project involves key partners including the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (BRC) and the Non Native Species Secretariat in order to ensure that the data collected is available to those that really need it.
The new version of the app is now UK wide and features 14 invasive plant species. September should be a key month for recording many of these species as they'll be at their most obvious - so the hope is to alert as many people as possible to it in order to make a start obtaining a clearer picture of their distributions. The main focus is on aquatic and riparian species and the app has already begun to reveal interesting records and has alerted key organisations to the previously unknown presence of invasive, non-native species in their areas of responsibility.
The app is available for both the iPhone and Android platform and can be accessed from the PlantTracker website
There is a results page which provides a quick overview of results but it should be noted that the data is available to anyone that needs it and will filter through to the NBN Gateway once validated. The only ingredient required is that lots of people use it and record invasive plants!
Future developments will include a BlackBerry version, more key species (suggestions welcome) and a way to record if the outbreak is under treatment so that effort is concentrated on previously unknown sites.