Bozeman, MT (April 2, 2020) – Dreaming of your next trip to Nepal? Or going through photos and memories from your last trip? Today High Country Apps announces a new app, Wildflowers of Mount Everest, the first-ever wildflower identification app for Nepal. The app virtually transports travelers to the world’s highest peak and showcases its remarkable native flora through beautifully detailed images and easy-to-use graphical keys.
In this time of armchair travel, Wildflowers of Mount Everest provides a fun way to learn about the little-known flora of a stunning World Heritage Site. True, most people visit Nepal to see the dramatic peaks and glaciers. But beauty, trekkers soon discover, lies beside the trail as well. Vegetation ecologist Elizabeth Byers has partnered with the Flora of Nepal Project, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal, and High Country Apps to produce Wildflowers of Mount Everest.
The flora of Mount Everest is unique in all the world, being specially adapted to survive at high elevation, enduring extreme daily fluctuations in temperature, scarce soil, steep slopes, fierce winds, snowpack, and scarce pollinators. In spring, luxuriant displays of rhododendrons and primroses cover whole mountainsides with color. Summer brings the beautiful and sometimes bizarre alpine blossoms, such as the spine-covered alpine blue poppy or Hippolytia gossypinawith its white-haired pillars topped by clusters of golden flowers. Fall trekking season is painted with the blue of gentians and the bright red and yellow autumn foliage of the shrubs and trees.
Wildflowers of Mount Everest, designed for iOS and Android devices, provides more than 2500 detailed images, 1000 local names, descriptions, plant facts, and local lore for 557 wildflowers, shrubs, and trees that grow on the slopes and trails of Mount Everest. While the geographic focus is on Sagarmatha National Park, many of the plants may also be found at upper elevations throughout Nepal.
The app doesn't require a cellular or internet connection to run, so it can be used in the most remote locations or in your own home. Users can create a list of the plants they see each day and email it to themselves or their friends.
Designed for trekkers and amateur nature buffs, as well as experienced botanists, Wildflowers of Mount Everest will appeal to anyone who wants to identify or learn about plants in the Mount Everest region. According to Gopal Prakash Bhattarai, the Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal, the app is perfect for“students, educators, scientists, guides, and visitors interested in the beautiful wildflowers of Nepal’s Mount Everest region.” Mr. Bhattarai also notes that the app will be a “useful tool for park rangers and scouts as they work to conserve the park’s floral diversity.”
“Two things make this field guide special,” says Elizabeth Byers, who has spent much of the last 40 years identifying, photographing, and studying the subalpine and alpine flora of eastern Nepal. “First, the Sherpa elders who have graciously shared plant lore and stories to give us a glimpse of the cultural importance of each species. Second, the botanical experts from all over the world who have volunteered their knowledge of the unique and specially-adapted plants of Mount Everest.”
The Wildflowers of Mount Everest app is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for $7.99. The authors will periodically update the app to include new species and other content, at no additional charge to users. High Country Apps is proud to support the Flora of Nepal Project through donation of a portion of the app proceeds, which will be used to support the field costs of Nepali students or to buy field equipment that will allow Nepali researchers to conduct botanical studies.
Links to the app ($7.99):
Apple - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1479336982
Google Play -https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.emountainworks.android.everestfieldguide
About author Elizabeth Byers:
Elizabeth Byers is a vegetation ecologist who has published numerous articles on rare plant species, natural vegetation communities, climate change vulnerability of plants, and a field guide to the wetland plants of West Virginia, USA. She has been studying and photographing the flora of eastern Nepal for nearly 40 years.
About the Flora of Nepal Project:
The Flora of Nepal Project is an international partnership tackling a knowledge gap identified inNepal’s National Biodiversity Action Plan. The project is coordinated by the Royal BotanicGarden Edinburgh in partnership with the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, theGovernment of Nepal’s Department of Plant Resources, Tribhuvan University’s CentralDepartment of Botany and the University of Tokyo, and draws on the expertise of taxonomic experts throughout the world.
About High Country Apps:
High Country Apps is dedicated to developing applications that deliver high quality natural history information with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Our goal is to enable discovery! We present information in simple, non-technical language that will delight and empower the rank amateur who loves the outdoors and wants to learn more. Yet we are also meticulous about creating scientifically accurate apps, thus making them excellent tools for serious biologists. To accomplish this goal, we actively partner with expert botanists and photographers in each region so that we can provide information of the highest quality in our mobile field guides.