GLRI-WHER Printable Fact Sheet

People engaging in their regular work or recreational activities have tremendous potential to observe and record events that may identify important changes in the environment. The Wildlife Health Event Reporter is an experimental tool that hopes to harness the power of the many eyes of the public to better detect these changes.

This specific instance of WHER was modified to suit the Botulism Coordination Network, made up of researchers and scientists who are on the lookout for any wildlife health or environmental observations of note which could signify a Botulism event.  Members of the general public can easily submit reports of observations they have made which is distributed by a daily email alert to any subscriber, or as an RSS feed that can be monitored for more frequent updates.

Using a simple set of forms, users can quickly share observations about sick, dead or injured wildlife, as well as answer a few questions about environmental observations noticed, upload images of sick, dead or injured wildlife or the environment. 

What are the steps to getting involved?
  1. First, set up an account.
  2. Next, get outside and observe!  What do you see? 
  3. Log into GLRI-WHER and report your sightings!
  4. Select from a single observation (e.g. I saw a dead bird at this spot!  I wasn't going looking but I noticed this during a routine task), a route you create (identify where you started looking, and where you finished making observations), or a pre-defined route (if you belong to a volunteer network, you may have a route you walk periodically and submit reports for that same route).
  5. Input any animal observations
  6. Check-off environmental observations you made
  7. Upload any photographs you want to share to accompany your observations (either animal specific or general to the environment) 
  8. Save for later, or Submit!  You don't have to complete your observations all in one sitting.  Feel free to come back later and complete the record.

Development of GLRI-WHER

The development of GLRI-WHER was funded by a grant through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

In order to customize the original WHER application, we enlisted voluntary stakeholders from the Great Lakes Botulism Coordination Network to provide insight and feedback on the needs of researchers and scientists studying Botulism around the Great Lakes.

Stakeholders were asked to review the original WHER site and make some observations, comments or thoughts about what it was missing compared to their normal information collection process.  For example, the original WHER application didn't have specific environmental observations for recording, nor the ability to perform transect-based observations in multiple locations along a transect. 

After the gap analysis process was completed, the stakeholder group was asked to review and rank the needs in terms of priority for the GLRI WHER project.  Those items which were identified as high priority and that fit inside the scope of the project were selected to be implemented.

Special thanks to our stakeholder group members who helped us establish the use cases and needs for the GLRI WHER application.  Their agency/group associations include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency - Chicago
  • Michigan Audubon
  • Common Coast
  • USGS National Wildlife Health Center
  • Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • National Parks Service - Sleeping Bear Dunes
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • The Watershed Center, Grand Traverse Bay

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