Archived Outdoors

Find the Smokies Most Wanted

A young citizen scientist snaps an observation. Valerie Polk photo A young citizen scientist snaps an observation. Valerie Polk photo

Help preserve the multitude of species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by participating in the Smokies Most Wanted program, an initiative that encourages park visitors to record sightings of animals, plants and other organisms from their smartphones, using the iNaturalist app. 

Visitors can use the app to document any organism they encounter while exploring the Smokies, and the park’s nonprofit science research partner Discover Life in America uses the data collected to record new park species, detect invasive species, learn about understudied or rare species, and map species across the park. 

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

 Smokies Most Wanted is an extension of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, DLiA’s ongoing project to catalog all life in the Smokies. The ATBI, also using iNaturalist, has recorded 4,100 species by more than 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. Browse the list of Smokies Most Wanted species at inaturalist.org/guides/9115.  

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