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What animal was that?

Tech-savvy animal lovers will be delighted with the latest announcement from Museum Victoria. In 2011 it launched a Victorian fauna field guide app which has since been downloaded over 50,000 times to Apple Devices. Now, with the assistance of the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia initiative and the cooperation of major State and Territory museums, the app will expand to cover wildlife Australia-wide.

In a recent launch of the fauna app project at Melbourne Museum, the Hon Don Farrell, Minister for Science and Research and Minister Assisting on Tourism, said that,

“This project is a great example of the Government’s Inspiring Australia initiative in action,” Senator Farrell said. “Museum Victoria is working with state and territory museums and community groups across Australia to share research and knowledge with the general public.

“The Australian Government is investing in science and research at a record level and it is important that we continue to realise the full potential of that investment by sharing with the community the economic and social wealth science and technology delivers.

The apps can be used to help with spotting animals locally or while travelling. As the app downloads to the device rather than relying on an internet connection, people can use it anywhere – whether bushwalking in remote national parks, enjoying a day at the beach or in a local nature reserve. It will give the museums involved the chance to extend fauna information and usage to many thousands more enthusiastic citizen scientists.

The field guide apps are part of the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia initiative and the project is among hundreds of projects and activities engaging people in the sciences throughout the length and breadth of Australia.

The fauna app project, which received a $390,000 grant to develop apps for each State and Territory on both iOS and Android platforms, adds more than 1,200 species to the 730 species already profiled in the Victorian app.

The content includes images, sounds and distribution information for iconic and recognisable animal species.

The apps are available free from the Apple iTunes store and from GooglePlay for Android and can be downloaded from Museum Victoria’s website at Museum Victoria’s Field Guide page.

Source: Museum Victoria; Media Release 3 May 2013 Senator The Honourable Don Farrell.