November 19, 2022

A new Computer Vision Model including 1,383 new taxa in 40 days

We released a new computer vision model today. It has 67,553 taxa, up from 66,214. This new model (v1.4) was trained on data exported last month on October 9th and added 1,383 new taxa to the model it has replaced (v1.3).

Taxa differences to previous model

The charts below summarize these 1,383 new taxa using the same groupings we described in past release posts.

By category, most of these 1,403 new taxa were insects and plants

Here are species level examples of new species added for each category:

Click on the links to see these taxa in the Explore page to see these samples rendered as species lists. Remember, to see if a particular species is included in the currently live computer vision model, you can look at the “About” section of its taxon page.

We couldn't do it without you

Thank you to everyone in the iNaturalist community who makes this work possible! Sometimes the computer vision suggestions feel like magic, but it’s truly not possible without people. None of this would work without the millions of people who have shared their observations and the knowledgeable experts who have added identifications.

In addition to adding observations and identifications, here are other ways you can help:

  • Share your Machine Learning knowledge: iNaturalist’s computer vision features wouldn’t be possible without learning from many colleagues in the machine learning community. If you have machine learning expertise, these are two great ways to help:
  • Participate in the annual iNaturalist challenges: Our collaborators Grant Van Horn and Oisin Mac Aodha continue to run machine learning challenges with iNaturalist data as part of the annual Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference. By participating you can help us all learn new techniques for improving these models.
  • Start building your own model with the iNaturalist data now: If you can’t wait for the next CVPR conference, thanks to the Amazon Open Data Program you can start downloading iNaturalist data to train your own models now. Please share with us what you’ve learned by contributing to iNaturalist on Github.
  • Donate to iNaturalist: For the rest of us, you can help by donating! Your donations help offset the substantial staff and infrastructure costs associated with training, evaluating, and deploying model updates. Thank you for your support!
Posted on November 19, 2022 00:07 by loarie loarie | 8 comments | Leave a comment

November 16, 2022

A Special Snake Encounter in Tanzania - Observation of the Week, 11/15/22

Our Observation of the Week is this Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), seen in Tanzania by @thbecker!

Thomas Becker grew up in the German town of Arnstadt, next to the Thuringian Forest. For over two decades, Thomas worked as a journalist and editor in chief at a local paper. “I used to be more of someone who could enjoy nature but saw it more as a setting for activities (hiking, cross-country skiing),” he says, “[but] about ten years ago, my attitude changed fundamentally.”

And that was because at that time I moved with my wife from Germany to Tanzania, where we have been working in tourism ever since. I have always been a passionate photographer, but more interested in landscapes than details. Now, living at the foot of the mighty Kilimanjaro, I dived deeper into nature than ever before.

About four years ago, Thomas and his wife Heike began managing the Lake Chala Safari Lodge, within sight of Kilimanjaro. “Here, in a 580-hectare protected area, our passion for nature has intensified once again. Until then, I had only used iNaturalist occasionally to identify animals or plants, but in 2020 we launched the Lake Chala Wildlife project to document the impressive biodiversity of the area.” 

Nearly 700 observations of almost 300 species have been recorded in the project so far, and three of those observations record encounters with black mambas. 

[The snake above] is not the first black mamba we've seen here, but it's the biggest. And it was the first one that wasn't in a tree or disappeared straight away. I was sitting on the terrace in front of our house when the snake came closer. It registered my presence, raised its head slightly, but showed no form of defensive behaviour. I was able to get the camera and take pictures while it was observing the surroundings and possibly looking for food. We have many rock agamas living here, but also other potential prey. After a while she turned around and disappeared into the bushes. An encounter of a very special kind.

Africa’s longest venomous snake (2 m/ 6 ft 7 in), black mambas are quick diurnal predators that feed on birds, small mammals, and similar prey. The black mamba often moves with its head and neck raised, scoping out its surroundings. When threatened, it will try to escape but, if cornered, flattens its neck and opens its mouth, displaying black mouth tissue. Black mambas range throughout much of eastern and southern Sub-Saharan Africa.

Thomas (above, at Sequoia National Park), joined iNat just over four years ago, and uses it not only to document organisms around Lake Chela, but also when he travels.

Wherever I am now, I look around much more consciously, enjoy both the big and the small animals and try to learn something about them. Knowing what's living in the neighbourhood also means taking a closer look at it. It's no longer just a bird, but a Verraux's Eagle circling in the sky. How big is it, what does it eat? Are the snakes around us dangerous? How should one behave in nature? What can one do to protect the environment?

I have learned so much from iNaturalist. Or rather, through the people who make iNaturalist what it is. A huge database that unites experts and amateurs in an effort to better understand nature, identify developments and help conserve habitats.

(Photo of Thomas by Heike Becker)

Posted on November 16, 2022 07:27 by tiwane tiwane | 8 comments | Leave a comment

November 08, 2022

Strange (Sea)Bedfellows - Observation of the Week, 11/8/22

Our Observation of the Week is this Urchin Carrier Crab (Dorippe frascone) carrying a Blue-spotted Urchin (Astropyga radiata)! Seen in The Philippines by @albertkang

Originally from Malaysia, Albert Kang has been living in The Philippines since 2002. In 2006 he stopped working and got into scuba diving, which reignited his long-held interest in nature. “Scuba diving,” he says, “opens up a whole new world of underwater marine life and was fascinated with it.”

When some friends from Belgium recently came to visit him, they went diving at Anilao, Batangas, Philippines, where Albert dives regularly.  “A Filipino friend owns a dive resort there and I go there very regularly and also bring friends from other countries to dive there :D,” he tells me.

Usually, this crab is only active at night but this dive was during a bad weather day and by 5 pm, it was already getting dark underwater.  The dive was at a muck dive site, meaning sandy bottom. The crab was scurrying around, carrying the sea urchin, which is always interesting to see since the crab by itself is drab in colour and not too interesting/exciting.  The bright colours of the sea urchin make it stand out, in addition to the interesting symbiotic relationship behaviour.

A small species (its carapace grows to about 5 cm (2 in)), the urchin carrier crab often uses its rear two pairs of legs to hold an urchin, leaving its two front non-pincer legs free for walking. It’s thought the urchin provides protection for a crab, and the crab brings it to new areas to feed, benefiting both partners.

“I am more of a generalist,” says Albert (above, taking a selfie with a Wallace’s Flying Frog in Malaysia), “meaning I take pictures of most things but more on the smaller stuff for macro photography. The joy is more of ‘searching’ and ‘finding’ tiny critters that are often overlooked and seldom photographed.” He joined iNat over seven years ago and tells me that after doing so  “I am spending more time out in the field to take pics and looking for new stuff.”


- Two phasmids have been described based Albert’s photos: Orthomeria kangi, from Philippines in 2016, and Orthonecroscia keatsooni from Malaysia in 2016. Albert tells me several more species are currently being described, based on his findings.

Cool footage of an urchin carrier crab and its buddy.

Posted on November 08, 2022 20:06 by tiwane tiwane | 11 comments | Leave a comment

November 03, 2022

Welcome, Angie & Johannes!




Angie Ta Johannes Klein

As you may know, we've been trying to hire an engineer to focus on mobile app development since this summer, and I'm happy to announce that we kind of ended up with two! Angie Ta is our new full-time React Native engineer, and she'll be focusing on the new cross-platform mobile app we've been developing. Angie lives in the Bay Area region of California like most of the team, but she's originally from Florida. She loves the water, speaks almost-fluent Cantonese, and can tell the rest of us what anime people actually watch these days.

During the hiring process we also interviewed Johannes, an avid iNat user from Germany. Due to the complexities of hiring internationally (something we learned about during this round of hiring) and the fact that we'd found another good candidate in the US, we decided not work with him as a full-time hire, but we really wanted to work with him in some capacity, and we had some funds allocated for a contractor, so we decided to work with him on contract instead. Johannes will also be focusing on mobile app development, though he'll be splitting time between the new iNaturalist app and Seek. Johannes is an expert in the family Crassulaceae, and in making Most, which he says is "not really cider" but really sounds a lot like cider.

Anyway, please welcome these two new members of the team!

Posted on November 03, 2022 01:00 by kueda kueda | 55 comments | Leave a comment

October 25, 2022

Siphonophore, or 3-D Model? - Observation of the Week, 10/25/22

Our Observation of the Week is this Bassia bassensis siphonophore, seen off of New Zealand by @luca\_dt!

As a child, Luca Davenport-Thomas tells me “I would always love rock pooling or flipping rocks on the beach to find amazing things but it is only recently, about the same time as I signed up to iNaturalist, that I really started looking. 

When I started doing nature photography with my compact camera (Olympus TG-6) I began to take pictures of the tiniest and most amazing things…

I will usually snorkel in a marine reserve which hosts some extraordinary biodiversity, not far from where I live in Wellington. When I snorkel I am often searching for nudibranchs, and anything else interesting I find along the way is a bonus.

On a recent snorkeling outing north of Wellington, Luca came across the creature you see above.

Although Nudibranchs are my favourite things to search for, I admit that the most amazing snorkels I have are when there is a plankton bloom. From time to time we get amazing salp blooms filled with siphonophores, jellyfish and other incredible alien-like creatures. And sometimes a member of these blooms are the Bassia bassensis siphonophores. They are possibly the most unbelievable siphonophore to see. With their strange symmetrical, geometric shape and vivid white edges, they look like a digital 3D model come to reality. Swimming through them and all the other plankton feels like being on another world.

Siphonophores are actually colonial organisms, composed of smaller zooid organisms that are specialized for certain functions like predation, locomotion, reproduction, etc. Bassia bassensis feeds mostly on copepods by using its stinging tentacles, and reaches a length of 6-8 centimeters. Perhaps the most well known siphonophore is the Portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis), and another siphonophore, the giant siphonophore (Praya dubia), can grow up to 40 m (130 ft).

Luca (above) is currently working toward a master’s degree in marine biology and studies Lepas Gooseneck barnacles, but he also hopes to one day participate in some deep sea exploration. He joined iNat last May, mostly for nudibranch ID help, 

but I quickly realised that a lot of the things I was observing were hardly or not at all observed before. This sparked my passion to keep exploring and learning along the way. Quickly, I became a part of a great community who share similar interests. Using iNaturalist I have become way more knowledgeable of marine life taxonomy. It is quite amazing to think how little I knew before, and how only in the short time I’ve used iNaturalist, it has completely opened my mind.

(Photo of Luca by Nadine McGrath)


- Here’s a good intro video to siphonophores and other colonial marine organisms.

- Check out the most-faved siphonophore observations on iNat!

- This Bassia bassensis is bizarre for sure, but is it as bizarre as the “chiton crab” seen in New Zealand back in 2014 by @emily\_r?

Posted on October 25, 2022 19:17 by tiwane tiwane | 17 comments | Leave a comment

October 18, 2022

African Silverbills in a Weaverbird Nest? - Observation of the Week, 10/18/22

Our Observation of the Week is this African Silverbill (Euodice cantans) using a weaverbird nest in Nigeria! Seen by @harooon.

Haruna Mohammed Abubakar says that, as a child growing up in Maiduguri, Nigeria, “nature has always been part of my life, for as long as I can remember.” He always enjoyed birds as a youngster, but in the early-to-mid-1990s he stumbled up on Birds of West Africa by William Serle and Gerard J. Morel and Birds of the West African Town and Garden by John H. Elgood. “These books,” he says, “opened the door for me to see that birds have fascinating lives that really are a joy to sit back and watch.”

Having obtained a masters degree in Psychology, Haruna teaches psychology classes at a college in Potiskum, Nigeria and spends much of his free time birding. 

My curiosity lies in birds and their habitat, specifically focused on bird watching and mental health. The mindful nature of birdwatching makes it both a happy and healing hobby. I believe birdwatching allows us to switch off from the mechanical world and get back to nature, to re-boot our system, which can go far in regulating our moods and behaviour.

Since 2018, Haruna has been volunteering for the Nigerian Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP), and he represents it in northeastern Nigeria. Last October he was in the town of Kukuri, birding for NiBAP.

While in the field I learned that many of the more interesting or hard-to-find species may be lurking in more remote areas away from human activity. For that reason I put more effort to reach them as we did in this trip, together with my colleague. 

We walked down to scrub bushes, watching birds and exploring nature, and I spotted a short tree. On it there was only a dangling nest, what looked like an abandoned weaverbird (Ploceus vitellinus) nest. I heard the calls from a distance which I recognized as coming from an African silverbill (Euodice cantans), emanating continuously from the direction of the nest. As I approached the tree, suddenly one of the birds flew and perched by the nest side. I swooped my camera in its direction, hoping to get a perfect shot, when a second bird appeared from nowhere and its attention was to get into the nest without considering us as a threat. It went in and came out and back again for some time and came out. I was amazed and my experience with this observation lasted just a couple of minutes - a flash and it was gone. But it will stay with me a lifetime as it was the first time I observed  Euodice cantans utilizing an abandoned weaver bird nest.

African silverbills (Euodice cantans) like dry, grassy, and scrubby areas and range through much of the areas south of the Sahara Desert. They have also been introduced to other places like Portugal, Qatar, and Hawaii. Males generally gather all the nesting materials and both members of the pair build the nest. According to Finch Info, they are known to use abandoned nests as well, although I couldn’t find that information elsewhere. 

Haruna (above, in Kainji National Park) had been hearing about iNat and joined up earlier this month. He’s uploaded his photos from 2018 to the present,

and right now I’m having positive interactions with many experts in the field of ornithology and my knowledge is really improving - not only in ornithology but as well as other taxa. Using iNaturalist allows me to connect with absolute nature lovers, people that have passion and knowledge on different categories of biological resources, and that strengthens my commitment to conserve birds and their habitat.

(Photo of Haruna was taken by A.S Ringim. Some quotes have been edited for clarity.)


- Here’s some footage African silverbills making their own nest.

-  Sir David Attenborough narrates this video showing weaverbird nest construction.

Posted on October 18, 2022 23:06 by tiwane tiwane | 7 comments | Leave a comment

October 14, 2022

A new Computer Vision Model including 1,368 new taxa in 37 days

We released a new computer vision model today. It has 66,214 taxa, up from 64,884.

This new model (v1.3) is the second we’ve trained in about a month using the new faster approach, but it’s the first with a narrow ~1 month interval between the export of the data it was trained on and the export of the data the model it is replacing (v1.2) was trained on. The previous model (v1.2) was replacing a model (v1.1) trained on data exported in April so there was a 4 month interval between these data exports (interval between A and B in the figure below). This 4 month interval is why model 1.2 added ~5,000 new taxa to the model. The new model (v1.3) was trained on data exported just 37 days after the data used to train model 1.2 (interval between B and C in the figure below) and added 1,368 new taxa.

While our goal is to maintain this ~1 month interval, we caution that this is getting more and more challenging as the iNaturalist dataset continues to grow. Expect the interval to lengthen unless we secure improved training hardware or devise improvements to the way we generate a training set or train the models themselves. However, it’s fun to look at this comparison between models 1.3 and 1.2 and imagine what maintaining this pace of a new model and about 1,000 new taxa a month would be like.

Taxa differences to previous model

The charts below summarize these 1,368 new taxa using the same groupings we described in the 1.2 release post.

By category, most of these 1,368 new taxa were insects and plants

Here are species level examples of new species added for each category:

Click on the links to see these taxa in the Explore page to see these samples rendered as species lists.

Remember, to see if a particular species is included in the currently live computer vision model, you can look at the “About” section of its taxon page.

We couldn't do it without you

Thank you to everyone in the iNaturalist community who makes this work possible! Sometimes the computer vision suggestions feel like magic, but it’s truly not possible without people. None of this would work without the millions of people who have shared their observations and the knowledgeable experts who have added identifications.

In addition to adding observations and identifications, here are other ways you can help:

  • Share your Machine Learning knowledge: iNaturalist’s computer vision features wouldn’t be possible without learning from many colleagues in the machine learning community. If you have machine learning expertise, these are two great ways to help:
  • Participate in the annual iNaturalist challenges: Our collaborators Grant Van Horn and Oisin Mac Aodha continue to run machine learning challenges with iNaturalist data as part of the annual Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference. By participating you can help us all learn new techniques for improving these models.
  • Start building your own model with the iNaturalist data now: If you can’t wait for the next CVPR conference, thanks to the Amazon Open Data Program you can start downloading iNaturalist data to train your own models now. Please share with us what you’ve learned by contributing to iNaturalist on Github.
  • Donate to iNaturalist: For the rest of us, you can help by donating! Your donations help offset the substantial staff and infrastructure costs associated with training, evaluating, and deploying model updates. Thank you for your support!
Posted on October 14, 2022 02:44 by loarie loarie | 10 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2022

A Nose-horned Viper Crosses the Road in Kosovo - Observation of the Week, 10/11/22

Our Observation of the Day is this Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes), seen in Kosovo by @liridonshala!

“I grew up among wonderful nature near Peja,” says Liridon Shala, “which is the most beautiful part of my country.” So he’s been interested in nature and its protection for nearly all of his life. Now, as pharmacist living the city of Prizren, he’s focused on nature photography. “With my photos, I want to show people about the beauties we have, like birds, animals, and everything that belongs to the wild world…My main goal is to document my country's species, and educate the younger generations to protect them and nature.”

A few weeks ago, Liridon and a friend traveled to Albania on a photography trip. They weren’t particularly happy with their finds, but on their way back they came across a nose-horned viper on the road. They pulled over but it took them a moment to re-find it after it slithered to some nearby stones. “Due to its camouflage, we couldn’t find it on the stones. When we did spot it, I started to take some pictures, but I was worried there might be others nearby.”

Occurring in mostly rocky habitats from Italy through the Balkans and into Turkey and Syria, nose-horned vipers are relatively large (growing up to about one meter) and their fangs can be about 13 mm in length. Adults eat mostly small mammals and birds, and younger snakes are known to eat invertebrates like centipedes. Their venom is considered medically significant to humans, but like just about any snake they prefer to warn or escape rather than bite. The “horn” on the nose is composed of scales and is reputed to be soft to the touch (but don’t try to touch it, please).

Liridon (above) joined iNat a few years ago. Not only has he added over 500 observations, he’s also part of a team that’s worked on translating it into Albanian. He mostly uses it as a personal portfolio for his photographs, and as a place to learn.

(Some quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.)


- You can check out Liridon’s photos on Instagram!

- Take a look at the most-faved observations in Kosovo!

Posted on October 11, 2022 20:16 by tiwane tiwane | 10 comments | Leave a comment

October 06, 2022

A Miniature Lichen Forest in Brazil - Observation of the Week, 10/5/22

Our Observation of the Week is this Cladonia lichen, seen in Brazil by @paularomano

From 2004 through 2016, Paula Romano lived in Brazil’s Itatiaia National Park, a period which she considers “the golden period of my life because I had the opportunity of observing one of the most biodiverse places in the world every day. There, I got in touch with many researchers who helped me start to understand the dynamics of a forest.”

And in 2008 she came across the remarkable lichen you see above. “Lichens always called my attention,” says Paula. 

This Cladonia was a great surprise because I had no idea it was a lichen and I had never met someone who studies them. Its shape is totally different from any plant and lichen I had ever seen. I remember that the first time I saw it I was very astonished…I wonder how it evolved to reach that form.

A few weeks ago Paula posted her photos of this lichen to iNat and they were identified by @carlosvidigal, a Brazilian lichenologist, as potentially either Cladonia calycanthoides or Cladonia imperialis (more details would be needed to say for sure). I asked Carlos, who studied Cladonia for his masters degree, for some information about these lichen.

Both species occur on highlands and rock outcrops and can reach up to 15- 30 cm tall, making them the tallest in the genus. Members of this genus occur mostly on the ground, rocks or near the ground on dead wood. 

The majority of the species are characterized by this vertical thallus, which are called podetia. There are a great range of shapes and sizes but this one specifically we call “verticillate” as the scyphi (the cup) flares from the center from another scyphi, like growing in tiers. Recent studies show that Brazil is the center of diversity of Cladonia and they are everywhere.

Paula (above, in 2009) says she’s not an academic person but is interested in many areas of nature. “My main interest (or curiosity) has always been the connection among the species and how we are dependent on them, mainly insects in general,” she says, and she’s volunteering at a community garden, documenting the various plants and animals found there. She’s also been teaching Photography and Citizen Science workshops, drawing from her experience photographing nature since 2004. 

She joined iNaturalist last year, “mainly to make my observations useful.” 

It's nonsense to have so many useless observations. I was very bothered by it. It's also a very good way to study the biodiversity I’ve been registering since 2004 when I bought my first digital camera. Each photo I take I have in mind that it must have an educational function.

I can tell you that iNaturalist is a good therapy as well. There is always a celebration in my brain when an observation is used for research.

I don´t think [iNaturalist] has changed the way I interact with or see the natural world, but it certainly has emphasized it, made it deeper and wider. Much deeper and wider. Thanks to the identifications and maps, it's possible to show people how fragile some species are. 

(Photo of Paula by Patricia Sierra)


- Nearly 200 species of Cladonia have been posted to iNat, check out the observations here.

- Until recently, lichens were thought to be the symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae. But we now know there’s a third member of this partnership.

Posted on October 06, 2022 00:22 by tiwane tiwane | 11 comments | Leave a comment

October 03, 2022

Identifier Profile: @galanhsnu

This is the thirteenth in an ongoing monthly (or almost monthly!) series profiling the amazing identifiers of iNaturalist. With the recent addition of iNaturalist Taiwan to the iNat Network, we thought we'd profile the top identifier there.

Although he grew up in Taipei, an enormous city, Chia-Lun Hsieh (@galanhsnu)was able to explore nature quite often, thanks to his parents taking him hiking on weekends. He loved looking for bugs at a young age, but in junior high he found the first edition of “蕨類入門 (Guide to Ferns)”, written by Dr. Chen-Meng Kuo and illustrated by Mr. Kun-Mou Huang (see the revised version here). “I was totally surprised and immersed by the intricate leaf patterns of various ferns (and also lycophytes) illustrated in that book. Starting with this book, my interest gradually expanded to all kinds of plants, not only ferns but also flowering plants...I believe people can always find a new world if they look carefully into a specific group of plants.”

That interest in plants lead him to his current position as a research assistant in Dr. Kuo-Fang Chung’s lab at the Biodiversity Research Center of Academia Sinica (Taiwan). Current projects include researching the systematics of Berberidaceae, tracing the migration of Austronesian people through paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera), the plastome evolution of Primulina (Gesneriaceae), Begonia, and Gentiana, and more. 

In 2018, Chia-Lun came across iNaturalist after returning from a trip to South Africa. “The diverse flora of South Africa is so fascinating but also bewildering for a newcomer like me,” he explains, and he found iNat when searching for information about Cape flora. 

After looking around the website, I soon realized that iNat is not only for South Africa or other western countries, but a worldwide platform for everyone to share observations of all kinds of organisms from any corner of the world. Meanwhile, I was very excited to find that there have also been some records and users from Taiwan on it, and my friend, Dr. Cheng-Tao Lin (@mutolisp), is the main promoter and curator for iNaturalist in Taiwan.

Now I frequently use iNaturalist for learning about the plants I don’t know through the taxon pages, which are very informative as I can get taxonomy, distribution, phenology, and image info there. With the continuous contributions from people all over the world and more carefully curated observation data, I believe iNat can be one of the most powerful and informative biodiversity databases that is universal to all countries and all categories of organisms. It is also an invaluable public science data source for all kinds of biodiversity research. I’m happy I found such a thrilling place!

In the nearly four and a half years since he joined iNaturalist, Chia-Lun has added IDs to over 222k verifiable plant observations in Taiwan alone, making him the top identifier of observations made there. He‘s constantly looking at newly uploaded observations from Taiwan (of plants and those without any IDs), and also goes through older Needs ID observations by family. He’ll also sometimes check out Research Grade observations to see if any need to be corrected, but doesn’t add agreeing IDs to existing Research Grade observations. “Additionally,” he says, “I force myself to always enter scientific names when I am making IDs for others. By doing this, I could gradually memorize more scientific names which are not frequently used in my daily life. It's very good botanical training.” 

When I asked him why he’s so keen on identifying observations on iNat, Chia-Lun, explained

I have a strong curiosity about any (Taiwanese) plant that I don’t know or I have never seen before. If I couldn’t call the name of the plant at first glance, I will try very hard to figure it out. When I reach the answer, I can get a huge sense of accomplishment. So I enjoy spending time on identification or searching and reading information about how to ID various plants… 

I [also] really appreciate iNaturalist as a platform for biodiversity data accumulation and for nature lovers all over the world to communicate and share knowledge with each other. Therefore, I am willing to contribute to iNat by improving the quality of its records. I could also benefit from this as I sometimes need to retrieve data from iNat, and I need to make sure those records are correct and ready for subsequent analyses.

iNat is a wonderful place for me to continuously practice and absorb new knowledge about various taxa. Since the beginning of my usage of iNat in 2018, I have learned so much and my plant ID skill has improved a lot as well during the process of IDing for others and communicating with other users or experts. For instance, I have acquired many updated taxonomic knowledge and identification tips of Peperomia from @guido\_mathieu, Chamaesyce-type Euphorbia from @nathantaylor, Senna from @jeanphilippeb, Musa from @chris971, various Taiwanese plants from many Taiwanese users and experts, and more to be listed…

It is a delightful task when reviewing and identifying plants - as if I am meeting many old and new friends.


- You can check out Chia-Lun’s research on ORCiD.

- Some of Chia-Luns favorite references for identifying are 植物觀察資料庫 (Plant Observations Database), Plants of Taiwan, Flora of China, and various field guides to ferns and lycophytes of Taiwan.

- The photo at the top shows Chia-Lun next to a giant Chamaecyparis formosensis tree in Cinsbu, Taiwan.

Posted on October 03, 2022 22:16 by tiwane tiwane | 15 comments | Leave a comment