I have create an early monitoring/mapping software that allows our project to track the health status of observations. By using our tag in your project or by adding it to your observations, you will allow your observation to be included in the health status maps that we publish real time. Anyone can add our tag to track the health status in their observations.
I would also like to introduce the PRIMED Network !
Primary Responders In Marine Emergent Disease (PRIMED) Network.
Outbreaks of marine diseases are expected to increase with continued climate change and other human activities. These outbreaks can have far-reaching ecological, cultural and economic consequences. The mission of the PRIMED Network is to detect, monitor and effectively respond to marine wildlife disease emergencies in a changing ocean.
LIVE iNaturalist data: https://www.primednetwork.org/primed-data-from-inaturalist/
Our iNaturalist project is located here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/marine-wildlife-health
Our website is located here: https://PRIMEDNetwork.org
I have set up maps that displays our “user-defined- field “Health Status (PRIMED Network)”. The Health Status field has 4 options: Unknown (default), Healthy, Diseased, and Injured. More reports based on this data will be completed in the near future. Examples of other reporting is % change of diseased species week by week or other algorithms that would trigger emails prompting for human involvement.
Scientists, as well as iNaturalist users, can search for unknown health statuses on species that they are familiar with or search for diseased species in an area (geo-fence) that they wish to monitor.
When an user identifies and confirms the species, changing the observation from “Casual” to “Research Grade”, one would assume they would know the visual difference between a healthy, diseased, or injured species. If the observer does not know the health status, the online community would be able to help assess the status.
Let’s walk through a potentially diseased observation with PRIMED Network health status process:
A user submits an observation of a species that appears to be diseased, a good example would be Sea Star Wasting disease. That observation is added to our Marine Wildlife Disease project. A required “user defined field” is “Health Status (PRIMED Network)”. The observer chooses the health status “Diseased” since the sea star has some arms that are mushy and missing.
Once the observation is saved in iNaturalist, our software looks for changes in observations (currently proposed to be daily as not to over load the iNaturalist API system) that are marked “Diseased” in our geo-fenced location.
At this time we can send all unknown and diseased observation to (grade = needs id) to list groups that could help identify and/or confirm health status. A user in iNaturalist can do the same thing with a custom search and notification.
Further algorithms check it against our “target species” list and matching these observations with scientists or other monitoring groups. An email could be sent at this point to give an alert that potentially diseases observation are found and links to the specific observations.
When the observation becomes “research grade”, implying that the correct species is identified and the health status has been (hopefully) verified as diseased, our algorithms trigger an email that tells the monitoring group that a (potentially) diseased species have been observed and they could investigate if they feel necessary. This email contains links to the observations. These scientist now have the ability to rapidly respond to emerging outbreaks as they are occurring. Real time observations coupled with location allows scientists to rapidly collect samples and studying the results.
The PRIMED network is initially focused on the west coast of North America and Mexico. Currently we are in the process of building this network that brings together scientists and experts to develop protocols on how to handle the next outbreak of disease, and to have a system in place to rapidly respond to emerging situations.
We are still in development mode and do not have all of the software completed. Protocols are in the process of being developed for dealing with outbreaks. If you are a scientist dealing with marine wildlife and would like to participate, please register here: https://www.primednetwork.org/register/