Ukraine - iNaturalist World Tour

Ukraine is the 48th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @efarilis based near Mykolaiv on the Black Sea. Check out more from @efarilis on the Ukrainian Biodiversity Information Network here. The second top observer is @katerina_kashirina, a researcher in the Sevastopol branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Other top observers with activity centered near Sevastopol include @melodi_96, @lenatara, who is researching the Flora of the Crimea, @andimitr, and @epikhin. To the northeast, @roman-evseev is based near Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine as is @juliana_leshchenko. @davydovbotany is a botanist based at National Academy of Science of Ukraine in Kiev, which is the largest city in Ukraine, but his observations are centered a towards the East in the direction of Kharkiv. Other top observers with activity centered on Kiev include @missnarjess (check out the Edible Flora Worldwide project she admins here), @churilovam and others. You can read about a beautiful blue slug sighting by @cloudya in the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve in the western corner of Ukraine in this Observation of the Week post.

The peak in July, 2018 was driven nearly singlehandedly by @efarilis. The number of observations per month has been growing rapidly in 2019. This growth mirrors whats happening in Russia. I wonder if the outreach to Russian speaking communities described in that post has contributed to growth in Russian speaking parts of Ukraine.

In addition to being a top observer in Ukraine, @roman-evseev is the top identifier overall and also the top identifier for plants. @apseregin and @kastani have also contributed a great deal of Ukrainian plant knowledge and identifications from Russia and Kazakhstan respectively.
The third top identifier and top insect identifier is @kharkovbut. Check out his webpages dedicated to the Lepidoptera & Odonata of Kharkiv region of Ukraine. @katerina_kashirina and @davydovbotany are other top identifiers who are also top observers. Thanks to all the other naturalists contributing identifications in to Ukrainian observations such as @mercantour, @borisb, @ldacosta, and @epikhin.

What can we do to make iNaturalist better in Ukraine? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread

@efarilis @katerina_kashirina @melodi_96 @roman-evseev @lenatara @davydovbotany @missnarjess @kastani @kharkovbut @apseregin

We’ll be back tomorrow with Lithuania!

Posted on August 10, 2019 08:57 PM by loarie loarie


@loarie You asked "I wonder if the outreach to Russian speaking communities described in that post has contributed to growth in Russian speaking parts of Ukraine." I think this is not quite true. As you can see, there is quite a number of recent observations in Crimea, which is unfortunately now occupied by Russia (and Russia claimed it as its part, which is not accepted by most of other countries). Some of that observers are genuine inhabitants of Crimea, but many are Russian citizens who are now coming there, eg., for vacation. So there is some connection with iNaturalist popularity in Russia, but probably not quite of the sort you thought. Fortunately, there are also new and very active iNaturalist users from other parts of Ukraine, eg., @roman-evseev and @davydovbotany.

Posted by kharkovbut over 4 years ago

Thanks for the background @kharkovbut - and apologies for inadvertently wading into global politics. Have you seen more activity from other parts of Ukraine like Kharkiv and Kiev? Any ideas for outreach in those areas? I noticed that while the mobile apps are completely translated into Ukrainian, the website is only 12% translated. Do you think that would help? Appreciate your ideas and feedback

Posted by loarie over 4 years ago

@loarie Yes, as I already mentioned, I do see more activity in "Ukrainian" parts of Ukraine. Probably we will see further growth. Concerning translation into Ukrainian, this probably may help, though I cannot judge since I myself is quite comfortable with English. :) We also have a local rival,, and many people, especially from Western Ukraine, prefer to submit their observations there.

Posted by kharkovbut over 4 years ago

@kharkovbut I was curious to see if someone would mention Crimea after seeing the map. I was also shocked to see how many top identifiers were in the region as while things have cooled relatively (emphasis on relatively) there is still a lot of tension in the region. I would also be interested to see how many observations come from Pripyat as the area has gained a lot of interest thanks to the HBO show. There are some amazing videos of Wels catfish in the Chernobyl cooling ponds and Pripyat River.

Though a lot of this interest might be due to the nature of my academic and professional life in Black Sea IR.

Posted by codyhough over 4 years ago

I think that the social and economic reasons associated with external military aggression are of great importance, this depresses us, and many people have no time for observing nature.
Observation of nature is my meaning of life, so I was very glad when I just found this project through Google when looking for an alternative to UkrBIN. To the extent possible, I "advertised" this project among my friends and in some groups on the FB and other, also in partially Russian resources, but with small cuccess. The INaturalist initiative group could contact the leading biological Institutes and universities of Ukraine for cooperation and promotion of the project , however, “stupid competition” with UkrBIN and a number of other features can affect the success of the result.
It would be possible to create a group in the FB to promote the project, but this is more our task-the task of the members of the Ukrainian segment of INaturalist, but we are all scattered and all by themselves.
The development of the Ukrainian language version of the site is not so important, it could be completed completely during work, if there is interest in this project in our society.
I can only express my deep gratitude to the team of authors of the Naturalist for the opportunity to work on a technically perfect resource, indeed, downloading even more then 100 observations after a day's walk in nature is very quick and easy, and many thanks to everyone who works on the definition and structuring of observations on this site!

Posted by efarilis over 4 years ago

Everything is elementary. Most Ukrainian naturalists will ignore this resource as long as the label "Respublika Krym, RU" is available on this resource. The territory of Crimea is included on this site in the "Flora of Russia" project. And if so, then the site administration does not recognize the UN decision on this matter. Ukrainian naturalists can easily use the Russian and English interface. This is not the problem.

Respublika Krym, RU + water area ??? No words

Posted by bubuka about 3 years ago

the place you are referring to is a 'community curated' place created by this user We currently are reviewing whether we should have policies on whether user generated geographic content can violate our community guidelines (for example we have policies where user generated profile icons can violate community guidelines if they contain racist imagery etc.). But we currently aren't policing 'community curated' places - users can create any places they like and name them as they choose.

Please note that the 'standard' place for Ukraine that iNaturalist created and maintains does include Crimea while the standard place for russia does not Similarly the standard place for Crimea is a admin level 2 unit within Ukraine

hope this helps

Posted by loarie about 3 years ago

We don't care who did it on this resource. What matters for us is that it is on this resource. I post my observations from the Crimea (for example), and then they are published in the Flora of Russia digest based on INaturalist materials.
The fact of such a publication already exists.

Then, after the Crimean Anschluss, someone will want to make Donetsk Anschluss, Lugansk, Kharkiv ... On your resource, the "Crimean Anschluss", de facto, is approved.

In the "Terms of Service" section there is a wonderful item 12. "You agree to indemnify and hold harmless iNaturalist, the Academy, National Geographic, their contractors, licensors and Members, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys' fees, arising out of Your use of the Website, including but not limited to Your violation this Agreement"

Don't you think that the creators of some communities on your resource have already violated this point? They do not take into account the UN resolution on the situation in Crimea. And your passive attitude to this, in theory, can lead to certain sanctions.

Posted by bubuka about 3 years ago

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