Library involved in developing wildlife ID app

The Mesa County Public Library Foundation has joined in an effort to  develop a mobile application that will help users identify wildlife as they enjoy outdoor recreation.

The project will depend in part on the outcome of a fund-raising effort now under way.

The Wild Colorado app will contain a searchable database of Colorado birds, fish, mammals and reptiles to help users identify wildlife — in effect bringing the research resources of the library to users’ smartphones.

If they choose, app users can personalize their wildlife-viewing experiences by adding notes, taking photos and sharing information on social media.

The app is expected to be available for download in late spring or early summer for iPhones and Android devices.

“Every Coloradan who downloads the Wild Colorado app experiences the library in a radically new way,” said Joseph Sanchez, director of Mesa County Libraries. “The simple and intuitive interface lets teachers and students work together to enrich the education experience, while biologists, rangers and hiking clubs can collaborate in real time. Wild Colorado is a social, interactive and educational library experience with no due date.”

Mesa County Libraries and the Mesa County Public Library Foundation have partnered with Colorado photographers, Colorado Parks & Wildlife and various Colorado companies and organizations to develop the app.

As envisioned in project planning, there will be no charge for users to download Wild Colorado. It will be a virtual public resource available statewide.

To make that vision a reality, however, requires that about $15,000 be raised through a grassroots Kickstarter campaign scheduled to run through Dec. 11.

To learn more about the Wild Colorado app and to find a link to the Kickstarter campaign, log on to mesacountylibraries.org/aboutus/wild-colorado-app.