Article written by Eshwer Kale published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) (Vol. 52, Issue No. 3 dated 21 Jan, 2017)
An innovative method of building a People Bio-Diversity Register (PBR) especially for birds, insects, reptiles, plants and trees involves the use of an electronic guide-book approach to identify and record them. Such a method will be more effective than the traditional method of recording PBR as it will offer the advantages of ease of use, higher recording reliability, quicker learning about the flora & fauna as well as the recording of the location and the frequency of sighting. This tool will be welcomed enthusiastically not only by the villager but also by the Eco-Tourist.
The tool works with a tablet device (e.g. iPad) as the medium for identifying an observed bird species and recording its presence. The entire known bird database is stored in the tablet device. The database essentially consists of each bird’s image (normally a photograph) and its description. Identifying the bird using a Tree search algorithm based on a well established Taxonomy is implemented on the Tablet device. If after the Tree search, the bird is still not identified then the captured details (performed during the Tree search) are stored with the label of ‘unidentified bird’. Subsequently an image of the bird along with its name can be downloaded into the device and linked with the above captured details for further integration with the on-board database.