“Hanging thieve.”

Want to help lock up pubic lands from public use?

There’s an app for that.

It’s called iNaturalist, and state wildlife officials are urging activists park visitors to photograph the location of birds and animals and download it onto this app so scientists can study how climate change is “altering” Colorado’s habitat.

 Wildlife officials say if someone spots a rare or protected species, like the imperiled lynx that was reintroduced into the Colorado wilderness, the finding is reported but the details are obscured on the Internet to protect the animals and allow wildlife specialists to check it out.

International project co-founder Scott Loarie said crowdsourcing nature findings can help scientists determine if climate change is affecting local species, forcing them to move to areas where they have not been found before.

The app is an international project already in use with 130,000 members worldwide that have added a couple million observations on climate change and critters. About 300 of those data observations came from 42 sites in Colorado

Odd reports in Colorado so far include bugs called “Hanging Thieves” that are flies with long legs found near Walsenburg, a Purplish Copper butterfly with fuzzy wings found near Steamboat Lake State Park and a rabbit-eared Albert’s Squirrel photographed near Durango.

It sounds like a great app for bird watchers, but what we expect will happen is the database will be used to further restrict recreation or access to certain parts of state parks so that newly discovered bugs, animal hybrids and weeds aren’t disturbed.

After restricting access in our own state park, the natural next step is to expand outwards, “protecting” property and bugs that are adjacent to parks.

And what’s to stop eager naturalists from uploading data from private property?

No good will come of this database.