Overlooking the fact that we should be immersing ourselves in Nature – not our mobile phones – when we’re outdoors, in January the California Department of Fish and Game released a new app to “give Californians an opportunity to help protect the state’s fish and wildlife resources”. CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters), first introduced in 1981, is a confidential secret witness program to help the public report poaching or polluting incidents or any fish and wildlife violation.
CalTIP’s toll free telephone number – 1(888) 334-CALTIP / 1 (888) 334-2258 – is an anonymous 24/7 tip-line. But for those that are app aficionados, the CalTIP app pilot program offers a new, simple visual reporting platform with the ability to include photographs. This is an improvement on (but does not replace) the previous ‘tip411’ option that allows the public to text message anonymously with CDFW wildlife officers by texting 847411 (tip411).
What’s reportable? Poaching, polluting incidents, and any fish and wildlife violations, including hunting or fishing out of season, exceeding bag limits, illegal commercialization (selling) of wildlife, trespassing, hunting or fishing in closed areas like Marine Life Protection Areas or Game Reserves, habitat destruction, transporting and introducing certain non-native species, agricultural pollution, dumping of household waste, industrial spills, and illegal marijuana gardens.