Wildlife app exceeds expectations with 10,600 downloads

The Golden Eagle - one of Scotland's Big 5 which can be spotted in the Western Isles

The Golden Eagle - one of Scotland's Big 5 which can be spotted in the Western Isles

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More than 10,600 people have so far downloaded a mobile phone app encouraging them to enjoy Scotland’s wildlife and vote for their favourite wild animal.

The free app was launched by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in March as part of the Year of Natural Scotland celebrations.

It features information, video and audio recordings of Scotland’s Big 5 – animals selected to represent the unique character, diversity and beauty of Scotland’s wildlife and environment.

Marion Mulholland, SNH’s campaign manager for Scotland’s Big 5, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the success of the Big 5 app.

“People from all over Scotland seem to be debating wildlife on social media and thousands have already cast their votes for their favourite species, which is what the Big 5 campaign is all about.”

Scotland’s Big 5 are all high profile species, widely associated with Scotland, with a broad geographical spread and that people stand a good chance of seeing in the wild – and four of the Big 5 can be spotted in the Outer Hebrides!

The Big 5 are the red deer, otter, red squirrel, golden eagle and harbour seal.

Users of the app are able to learn about each of the species and where to see them, hear what they sound like and watch videos of them in their natural habitat.

Since its launch it has attracted many five star reviews, with comments from users focusing on the design, simplicity of use and attention to detail.

Marion Mulholland continued: “The app neatly captures the essential information about these five diverse animals, and has some great video footage and sounds.

“It is a fun way to learn about the creatures’ habitats and behaviour and certainly appears to be encouraging people to try and see them ‘live’ – and to join the search for the country’s favourite wild animal.”

She added: “There is still plenty time to get out and enjoy wildlife, and the Big 5 vote is open until the end of October.”

The Scotland’s Big 5 app is free to download and can be located in the Reference or Education categories in the App store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scotlands-big-5/id602370929?ls=1&mt=8

The app is backed by a website www.scotlandsbig5.co.uk which is accessible to a range of mobile devices and desktop users.

To take part in the debate and search for Scotland’s Big 5, vote at www.snh.gov.uk/big5 or take part in Twitter @SNH_Tweets #scotlandsbig5 or visit the Scottish Natural Heritage Facebook page.