UTILIZING THE ARCGIS FIELD MAPS MOBILE APP TO OPTIMIZE SURVEY DATA COLLECTION FOR A LARGE-SCALE COLLABORATIVE REGIONAL SURVEY
|Katie R Smith; WRA, Inc., UC Davis; email@example.com; Carla L. Angulo, Peter Kobylarz
In 2022 a collaborative group of wildlife managers, researchers, and consultants in the San Francisco Estuary completed the first ever range-wide survey for the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris). Since the species is restricted to the marshes of the Estuary and exists in discrete populations contained within isolated marshes, it was possible to identify all potential populations and target them for surveying. A large amount of data is collected for each harvest mouse captured (~15-20 attributes), in addition to 4-6 photos per individual, making data collection, management, and storage a challenge. Post-survey manual data entry is challenging due to factors like difficult to read handwriting. Further, linking tabular data with photo data is challenging using traditional data storage programs like Microsoft Excel. During this survey efforts 3-6 crews worked simultaneously to survey sites throughout the Estuary. Preparing and utilizing a different Field Maps map each week, which contained all sites, allowed teams to track progress and work adaptively. Pre-prepared maps of trap grids made it easier to track which traps had been checked, in addition to providing a dedicated container for tabular and photo data. Utilizing modern mobile app based technologies can improve survey efforts and data quality, though wildlife biologists themselves may not have the time or technical expertise to set them up. Here we share lessons learned and methods for utilizing ArcGIS Field Maps to perform better and safer wildlife surveys.