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DNR creates new app to help conserve fish and other wildlife through Michigan residents

The Department of Natural Resources created a new application, allowing Michigan residents to contribute to conservation efforts by reporting their fish and wildlife observations. FILE

The Department of Natural Resources created a new application, allowing Michigan residents to contribute to conservation efforts by reporting their fish and wildlife observations.

Eyes in the Field is available at michigan.gov/eyesinthefield, and it replaces 15 separate observation forms the DNR has been using to gather important information about the state's fish and wildlife population.

“Observation is a key part of managing Michigan’s diverse natural resources, and we rely on the public as additional eyes in the field to help in our monitoring efforts,” said Tom Weston, the DNR’s chief technology officer. “This new application is a one-stop shop where citizen scientists can report what they observe while spending time outdoors.”

The app includes forms for reporting observations of diseased wildlife, tagged fish, mammals such as cougars and feral swine, fish such as sturgeon, birds such as wild turkeys, and reptiles and amphibians such as eastern massasauga rattlesnakes. Additional observation forms will be added in the future.

Eyes in the Field is mobile friendly and can work on a desktop computer and tablet as well.

To report data, users of the app can select their location and then report on their observations. Users can submit details regarding habitat type and appearance of the animal.

Eyes in the Field does not replace the DNR's Report All Pouching hotline. The RAP hotline accepts text messages in addition to being a toll-free, 24-hour phone number that enables the public to report violations of fish and game laws, as well as other natural resource-related laws.

The DNR also offers a web-based RAP form, which is available via a link from Eyes in the Field.

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