With the support and collaboration of Parks Australia‘s Australian Marine Parks team and Rachel Hutton at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), we are excited to announce an update of the Marine Parks WA app.
Originally released by DBCA for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) back in September, 2016, this free app provided information about the inshore marine parks along the WA coast. Parks Australia have since taken the opportunity to further enhance the app for users by providing additional information about the 24 offshore Australian Marine Parks beyond Western Australian waters.
So that is exactly what we have done, along with a slew of other enhancements including:
- an updated base map with Australian Marine Park boundaries,
- Australian Marine Park information, activities and wildlife,
- stunning new wildlife and marine park photographs,
- rich-text format changes to increase usability,
- hyperlinks to more resources like the Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2017, and
- support for the latest versions of iOS and Android operating systems.
The app – now available on both iOS and Android devices – makes it easy for people to plan their visits to marine parks off the WA coast, from the remote Mermaid Reef and Lalang-Garram / Camden Sound Marine Parks off the Kimberley coast, to Geographe and Bremer Marine Parks in the south. It contains comprehensive information about each marine park, along with 72 common marine wildlife species and species of conservation significance such as the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis).
Detailed information about wildlife species like the Southern Right Whale (left) and Green Turtle (right) can be accessed through the app, including the marine parks they call home and their conservation status.
All of the data is downloaded to your phone, allowing people to access marine park information at any time even when offline and outside of phone range (like on a boat)!
The app has a ‘where am I?’ function so park users can see on an interactive map which marine park zone they are in and what activities they can enjoy in each particular area.
The app provides information on permitted activities in marine parks like boating in King George River in the North Kimberley Marine Park (left) and diving in the Rowley Shoals Marine Park (right).
The tool promotes the diversity of recreational experiences in Western Australia’s many marine parks and it provides practical information about how to contact each park, how to get there and how to stay safe during visits.
Having been to a number of these marine parks in the past, I can see how useful it would have been to have easy access to this information for planning and enriching my experience while I’m there. The offline maps and content in particular I think extends the visitor’s ability to take advantage of what the parks have on offer, and to appreciate the wildlife and physical beauty of these locations.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with developing a mobile application or ideas for future enhancements for the app, please leave a comment below, connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or email me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.