Social media: A friend or foe in preserving nature?

Aug 10, 2018, 7:41 AM EDT
(Source: Giuseppe Milo/flickr)
(Source: Giuseppe Milo/flickr)

The magnetism of social media images is undeniable. A flash of pristine wilderness on Facebook or Instagram can bring swarms of people to lonely, isolated and uncharted landscapes overnight. Is this channel, opening the floodgates to aloof wilderness, dangerous for nature?

A research at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland presents an eye-opening counterview backing the digital documentation of nature by avid tourists, writes Earther. It turns out that social media images with time stamps and geotag are as powerful tools to identify and understand wildlife hotspots as survey data.

This correspondence between survey data and social media images offers a novel route to keep track of the ecosystem and gauge pressure on certain species from tourism or other factors, reports The Conservation.