The Mountains of Central Asia are internationally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot – yet only limited resources exist to study and document the region’s extraordinary wildlife. Plateau Perspectives has therefore embarked on a program to develop series of field guides – and it is doing so with citizen science-enabled smartphone apps. Our nature guides include original photographs, descriptions and distribution maps to which users contribute their own observations. The digital nature guides aim to raise public awareness about the natural environment and will serve both the scientific community and a broader public including students, teachers and tourists. Plateau Perspectives first app about the “Butterflies of Kyrgyzstan.”
The first application developed in Plateau Perspectives’ Central Asian Nature Guide series introduces the world of Butterflies in Kyrgyzstan. Field work was conducted in the Ala Archa National Park, situated in the western Tianshan Mountains. The field guide includes original photographs, general descriptions and distribution maps, and it also allows users to submit new observations as part of a citizen science initiative. Join us now in creating an online community that is actively engaged in learning about and promoting our understanding and appreciation of Kyrgyzstan’s extraordinary natural treasures.
Special thanks are due to Amadeus DeKastle for concept design, field work and development of the first app in this Series, and also to our colleagues at !nkubasia for turning concept into reality!
Amadeus DeKastle has authored the field report Butterflies of the Suusamyr Valley, Kyrgyzstan, and co-authored an expedition report entitled Mountain ghosts: protecting snow leopards and other animals of the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
A selection of the extraordinary butterflies observed by Amadeus DeKastle in Ala Archa National Park are portrayed below.
Future apps in this Central Asian Nature Guides series will include citizen science-enabled field guides on mammals and birds of Kyrgyzstan and also from the Tibetan Plateau region.
For more information…
- Mountains of Central Asia (CEPF site)
- Why the Central Asian mountains matter (Mountain Partnership)
- Central Asia Atlas of Natural Resources (Asia Development Bank)
- Biodiversity in Central Asia: A visual synthesis (Zoi Environment Network)
- Biodiversity Hotspots of the World (Conservation International)