More nature-themed smart apps

Nowadays, you can also get to know nature with the help of a smart device. With the help of smart applications and websites, nature lovers can supplement biodiversity databases

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FOR THE NATURE OBSERVER. The nature observations database is always with the nature lover, right in their smart device and ready for them to add observations.


Today, there are many Estonian-language nature-themed smart apps for both Android and iOS users. Some applications are helpful in identifying species, while others are tools for storing observations.


Observation databases


All nature enthusiasts can supplement the nature observations database with the help of the smart application and the website. Where the observation registration form on the website of the database is very thorough, the smart application  has a much shorter and more compact form – you only need to write the basic information about observing the species, i.e. what, where, and when was observed and who did the observing. Many fields in the application are pre-filled, and you can also add photos taken with the camera on your smart device.


The use of the nature observations database is made convenient by the possibility of registering the observation directly in the wild at the observation site. An electronic observation diary will be created in the nature observations database, allowing you to later retrieve and display your observations on a map, if interested. It is worth noting that observations of endangered and protected species and alien species are particularly important – this information is used by environmental specialists both to assess the status of the species and to organise protection or control as necessary.


The Natural History Museum of the University of Tartu, in cooperation with the Estonian Museum of Natural History, developed the smart application ‘Minu loodusheli’  (‘My nature sound’), which can be used to record the sounds of birds, frogs, insects, and other animals in nature. The application saves the time and place of the observation, the name of the animal species or group, and the observer’s comments along with the audio file [1]. In the web version of the app, users can share their recordings with others as well. Observation data is stored in the data management system PlutoF behind the eElurikkus portal.


The Legulus app  [2] also allows you to enter observations into PlutoF and it can be used on both a computer and a smart device. Legulus is also the tool for registering observations of the Estonian-wide nature observations marathon [3].


Field guides


A number of different field guides have been created for use in smartphones, which can be used to identify species of interest even when in the wild. For example, anyone interested can download the web field guides ‘Eesti linnud’ (Estonian birds), ‘Eesti kalad’ (Estonian fish), ‘Seeneaabits’ (Mushrooms 101), and ‘Teoaabits’  (Snails 101).


Among foreign field guides, one of the world’s most popular applications, iNaturalist, helps you identify animals and plants, and a bird species can be identified by their call by using the BirdSound web application.


Assistance on the hiking trail


With the help of the State Forest Management Centre’s mobile application, you can find the opportunities offered by the State Forest Management Centre for exploring the nature in Estonia, which make enjoying nature, hiking, camping, and making a campfire comfortable and safe.


The bird song app Siuts 

The application Siuts, created by Estonians, is a tool for learning about birds and their calls. With the help of Siuts, you can:

  • record sounds;
  • identify the birds from the recording. For that, Siuts lists the five most likely bird species, allowing you to:
    • listen to the bird calls on your recording and compare them to the calls of the five birds Siuts proposed;
    • confirm that you have identified the correct bird;
    • rule out the birds you do not think you recorded;
  • browse your recording history;
  • read, listen, and view information on 61 bird species.



Last modified: 20.06.2022