Malaysia - iNaturalist World Tour

Malaysia is our 16th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Top observers in Malaysia are mostly clustered around the capital Kuala Lumpur (e.g. @anukma @ongzi @dhfischer @johnhowes @tansh91 @krentan). A second group of top observers are clustered near Singapore, a tiny nation adjacent to Malaysia, (e.g. @gancw1, @kokhuitan, @budak). Others are on the tiny island of Penang (e.g. @henrywu, @cheahhup) and others on the massive island of Borneo (e.g. @sullivanribbit, @fcheong).


Not unlike Hong Kong the observations per month graph is dominate by large events, specifically Penang Intersecondary School City Nature Challenge organized by @lingeshwarry and @ahmadzafir in February 2019 and City Nature Challenge 2018 in Klang Valley (organized by @krentan and colleagues) and 2019 in Penang and Klang Valley. Penang activities are associated with the Habitat Foundation led by @allentan88 and @taipan who first used iNat during a 2017 Bioblitz. Klang Valley events are in association with the University of Malaya.

Whats odd is that while there is a group of top observers based in Malaysia who use the iNaturalist regularly (e.g. @anukma @ongzi @dhfischer @johnhowes @tansh91) and other regular users based in nearby Singapore, most of the observers associated with these large events (many of whom are top observers in Malaysia) have only use iNaturalist during these events (e.g. @krentan, @affan1990 @syuhadasapno @ecologist31 @nurulfitrah @wuhaowern @asiahkadir). It's interesting that they've contributed so much during these events but haven't gone on to use iNaturalist regularly at all.


Most of the top identifiers are based in Singapore (e.g. @gancw1, @kokhuitan, @johnascher). @rajibmaulick is based in India and @tlsv2's whereabouts are mysterious. @nadine4 at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and @jkfoon at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Rimba have contributed valuable expertise from within Malaysia.


It seems like we have a clear challenge/opportunity in Malaysia. How do we grow the community of regular users from within Malaysia. Is there anything that could be done to convince participants in these large events to continue using iNaturalist outside of the events? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum post.

@krentan @gancw1 @anukma @affan1990 @arnoldwijker @gancw1 @kokhuitan @tlsv2 @rajibmaulick @johnascher

We’ll be back tomorrow with Brazil!

Posted by loarie loarie, July 09, 2019 18:50

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I'd like to visit Kota Kinabalu one day - one of the top-seven hotspots of vascular plant diversity. Surprisingly, there's only a couple of observers in this area. Hope, this will contribute Malaysian stats.

Posted by apseregin 11 days ago (Flag)
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@apseregin, the map in this post showing the top observers can be misleading. For each observer, it places the circle for that observer in some sort of geographic mean of their observations for the country. For example, I have observations from near Kuala Lumpur, near Kuching, in Mulu which is more or less in the east/west geometric center of the Malaysian part of Borneo, and from Kinabalu Park. The little circle representing my observations appears close to Mulu. So the fact that there are only two observers shown near Kota Kinabalu just means that of the n observers with the most Malaysian observations, only two of them had the geographic center of all of their Malaysian observations near Kota Kinabalu. If I use the Explore feature to find all observations in "Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia", it lists 97 observers. Observations in "Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia" lists 112 observers.

Still, I'm sure there are tons of species from the area that haven't been recorded yet in iNaturalist, and it is certainly a fantastic place to visit!

Posted by sullivanribbit 11 days ago (Flag)
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Could be a productive tip: I use telephoto lens (RM1k) to study plants and almost half of my observations here (non-plant) are its "bycatch". Saves lots of energy and time.

Posted by tansh91 9 days ago (Flag)
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Hello Scott (@loarie), I am actually based in Wollongong, NSW, Australia, and not Malaysia. I go on frequent trips to Malaysia. Most of these are to Stephen's Place at Fraser's Hill but I also visit different parts of Sabah and Sarawak as well.

Posted by dhfischer 2 days ago (Flag)
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my apologies @dhfischer, I was going off of the location of your iNaturalist observations. Its great that you've documented so much nature from Malaysia!

Posted by loarie 2 days ago (Flag)
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I was just going to mention that @dhfisher is from Australia.
I am from Malaysia but currently living in Singapore. I visit Malaysia regularly and I try to cover as many locations and taxon as possible. I still have many photos from the past that I am currently uploading to iNaturlaist.

The City Nature Challenge in Klang Valley generated many entries but unfortunately most of the participants were only interested in numbers thus there were hundreds of observations of the same weed in the same area and many observations of cultivated plants in schools and gardens. As a result, many of the participants were inactive after the events and still not interested in nature.

There is still very little awareness of and interest in iNaturalist in Malaysia. I conducted a talk on iNaturalist at The Habitat Foundation in May last year. More need to be done to educate the public and get the public to submit their observations to iNaturalist.

As in most of Asia there is a lack of identifiers. Many iNat users do not know how to use the Machine Vision identification and as a result the few taxon experts spend time identifying many observations that can be correctly identified by machine vision.

Posted by gancw1 about 22 hours ago (Flag)
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@tansh91 the best and versatile camera for recording observations are bridge camera that allows one to take photos of far away subject as well as close up shots. Go for those using 1 inch sensor and long zoom such as the Sony RX-10, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 and Leica V-Lux.

Posted by gancw1 about 22 hours ago (Flag)
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@gancw1 Thanks and you are right. Maybe the only good reasons I'm using DSLR is to change for macro lens, and the price. (Nikon D5100; DX Nikkorr 55-300mm; Laowa 15mm F4)

Posted by tansh91 about 22 hours ago (Flag)
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@ tansh91 I now use almost exclusively the Sony RX10 M4 and only use mirrorless+macro lens for closeup moth photos.

Posted by gancw1 about 21 hours ago (Flag)

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