Another of our apps for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (formerly the Department of Parks and Wildlife) has been launched in the last week – this one being the Wildcare Helpline app.
Some of the screens from the Wildcare Helpline app
I was particularly pleased that the Department came to us for this one. Back in December, 2014, I had my own need to call the Helpline as we had a kangaroo in our local park. There’s no nearby national parks to us, so this guy had gotten quite lost, but was certainly enjoying the feed on the suburban ovals. While ‘roos are native animals, it was a bit concerning to see him (or her?) in an area where he could be run over, or get involved in an altercation with someone’s chihauhua…
I spent a good thirty minutes trying to contact the Department, and then the local wildlife rescue places, and it took me most of the time to just find the information through a variety of searches and calls. Unfortunately, the Department’s phone line wasn’t manned at that time (it is a volunteer service, after all!) and so it was really difficult to find the information I needed. If only I’d had the Wildcare Helpline app then!
So it’s great to see this information in the new app – it’s now really easy to find. The Wildcare Helpline app contains two main components – it has the ability to find the closest organisation that can help you (based on your location), or it can shell out to Google Maps to give you a list of vets that are near you. Of course, not all vets accept injured wildlife, so the ones in the list that are near you are the ones that the Department already works with to provide help, and they’re rightly the ones to talk to first. The second part is to provide a range of advice on caring for wildlife in the app, so a lot of the material that is present on the main Departmental web site has been included in the app to ensure that you have that in your pocket if you need it.
As is usual with our apps for the Department, we have developed the app here at Gaia Resources, and then we provide the apps to the Department to then publish under their account – so for example, the Camping Mate and Marine Parks WA apps are also ones we’ve developed and provided to the Department (as well as Dolphin Watch, of course!). We even brought in a pinch hitter in Voon-Li to help Gary, Tracey and Alex roll this project out in a short period of time! You can download it via either of the links below.
What happened to the ‘roo? Well, it hopped off before anyone could come along to relocate it… so fingers crossed it didn’t need additional help and found a nice patch of bush to settle down in.