Park invites the public to help document the Smokies Most Wanted

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Discover Life in America (DLiA), the nonprofit scientific research partner, invite the public to participate in the Smokies Most Wanted program. This initiative allows visitors to help preserve species in the park by recording sightings of animals, plants and other organisms from their smartphones using the iNaturalist app.

Using the iNaturalist nature app, Smokies Most Wanted encourages visitors to document any organisms they encounter while exploring the Smokies. DLiA uses the data collected to register new species in the park, detect invasive species, learn about understudied or rare species, and map species in the park.

“There are a lot of fairly common plants and animals around the Smokies that we just don’t have a lot of data points for,” said park entomologist Becky Nichols. “Smokies Most Wanted is a great way for the public to contribute to science in the park and help us discover and protect life in the Smokies.”

Smokies Most Wanted is an extension of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), DLiA’s ongoing project to catalog all life in the Smokies. ATBI, also using iNaturalist, has recorded 4,100 species by over 5,700 users, who have submitted over 71,000 iNaturalist observations in the park.

For more information about the Smokies Most Wanted project, visit dlia.org/smokiesmostwanted and dlia.org/2022/02/26/smokies-nonprofit-invites-public-to-participate-in-smokies-most-wanted/. Or to browse the list of most wanted Smokies species, visit iNaturalist.org/guides/9115.

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