SEANET’s amazing database manager, Megan Hines, actually does more than just deal with SEANET data and SEANET crises–yesterday, Megan let us know that the USGS has released the Wildlife Health Event Reporter, a public database to which anyone can contribute. Megan has been working on this (along with some other people, I suppose) for some time, testing it internally, and inviting members of the public to submit test reports. Now, the site has gone live, and is accepting real reports from around the globe.
SEANET has already submitted a report regarding the Common Eider die-off on Cape Cod, but Seanetters should feel free to use the Reporter themselves, whether for something you see on a SEANET walk, or a sick or dead animal you see in your own backyard. The Reporter will accept reports of individual sick or dead animals, all the way up through massive mortality events involving multiple species. Many Seanetters have come across fish kills, horseshoe crab die-offs, stranded marine mammals or sea turtles, and various other unusual events. While not a substitute for alerting local wildlife authorities, the Reporter offers an additional tool for sharing your observations with national and international groups.
We encourage you to use the tool, and let us know what you think. Kudos to Megan on the successful launch–we hope all goes smoothly!