JACKSON, Wyo. – California-based app developer WANDRE recently announced plans to launch a wildlife-tracking app for Grand Teton National Park.
HOWLR aims to track the most photogenic wildlife like moose, bears, wolves and cougars, to help users find and photograph the animals.
Users can filter their results by species and range, so there’s no need to walk or drive for hours for the chance to spot wildlife.
Cal Ainrofilac, the app’s creator, said he was inspired to create the app while on a trip to Jackson Hole two summers ago.
“My wife and I scoured every corner of the internet looking for tips and tricks on how to spot a moose, but we didn’t see a single moose or bear on our trip. When I got home I knew I had to make a difference so no one else had to go through what I did,” Ainrofilac told Buckrail.
Ainrofilac says he will travel to Jackson Hole in May to test the app before launching it on June 1. He also hopes to expand to Yellowstone National Park.
The app will have several features, including a filter for species type, real-time tracking, and voting for the most photogenic animals.
Users can pin their location and review their freeway parking experience to get out and photograph wildlife. Data will be collected from reports from other users and GPS data from collared animals when available. Users will also be able to “rate” their experiences with different wildlife and help create a local wildlife ranking based on upvotes and ratings.
Ainrofilac said it works with local wildlife guides, photographers and enthusiasts to help collect accurate reports and location data. The guides were initially hesitant to participate, fearing the app would negate the need to pay for a wildlife tour, but ultimately decided making wildlife viewing more accessible was worth it.
“There are always benefits to embarking on an official wildlife tour,” said Rus Gavis, a wildlife guide. “We’re trying to expand our offerings to include things like one-on-one wildlife interactions. And we have a reserve of animals that only respond to our call, which adds value to our tours.
Elk, deer, and moose are part of HOWLR’s free subscription, but users will have to pay more to gain access to where mountain lions, bison, bighorn sheep, wolves, and moose roam. the cubs. Premium memberships start at $5.99 for bears, antelopes, bison, river otters, and beavers. Platinum subscriptions will be available for $15.99 and will include access to mountain lions, bighorn sheep, wolves and cubs.
“I just want to help people on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to be able to see the wildlife they want,” Ainrofilac said.
Happy April Fools! Remember to be extra respectful of wildlife and give them plenty of space if you encounter them in the wild.