Democratic Republic of the Congo - iNaturalist World Tour

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the 82nd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @cabintom, an amateur Lepidopterist based in northeastern DRC near Bunia. To the north, there is a cluster of top observers around Garamba National Park including @mathiasdhaen, @congonaturalist, @lindsaymin, and @s_vigliotti. You can read more about @congonaturalist's work as a Nat Geo Explorer here. There's a cluster of top observers around the capital of Kinshasa such as @dianeaustry, @bonobote, and @michael_mulligan. Several other top observers such as @muir, @violettederozier, @wildnothos, @terathopius, and @richard105 are clustered elsewhere in the country. @muir has done alot of ecology and conservation work across Africa over the years including in DRC. @wildnothos has a website dedicated to the Nothobranchius fishes of Africa.

The number of observations per month jumped up in 2019.

The top identifier is @jakob who leads in insects, mammals, arachnids, mollusks and other animals. @johnnybirder, @calebcam, and @marcoschmidtffm lead in birds, herps, and plants respectively. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @rjq, @ldacosta, @cabintom.

What can we do to get more people in the DRC using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@cabintom @mathiasdhaen @muir @violettederozier @congonaturalist @terathopius @jakob @johnnybirder @rjq @ldacosta

We’ll be back tomorrow in Albania!

Posted by loarie loarie, September 14, 2019 06:19


Nice to see iNat taking off in DROC!

Unfortunately we in southern Africa cannot help much with identifications. This is another biogeographical zone and we do not share many species of plants and insects, and even birds and reptiles. Our field guides and inventories do not include these species. This may as well be another continent. Hopefully a central or west African alliance can be established to help one another with identifications and curation of the iNat dictionary.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

iNaturalist isn't super friendly for slow internet connections. Maybe some QOL improvements would get less determined people involved?

Posted by cabintom almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Let's call the country by its current name, please.

Posted by jakob almost 3 years ago (Flag)

I'm more concerned about issues uploading observations. I can't count the number of times I've uploaded 10 or so observations, inputted all of data + annotations, just to lose everything and have to start over because the speed/connection drops out after submitting but while it's slowly going through the saving process.

Most people who have internet access here are paying for small MB packages, so having to re-upload is a real financial cost.

Posted by cabintom almost 3 years ago (Flag)

whoops sorry: I cannot keep up - Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgian Congo, Republic of Congo-Léopoldville, Congo, Zaire - it is just too changing to remember what it is called. Fixed upstairs - hope no one is offended meantime.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

My problems vanished when we got fibre.
But I could never understand why the upload wizard knew that the picture failed to upload, but did not try again (and again, until it succeeded), and why the data for the observations were not kept safe until the saving process was completed.
And also why if one restarted, why it could not figure out which pictures had already been successfully uploaded, and it could not just pick off where it crashed.
When data are cheap and lines reliable, this is all irrelevant, but when crashes are regular and data are expensive, then these are major issues. iNat is a first-world product, but we do need a third world interface if we want to get Africa on board.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

... It's been more than 20 years that's it's been the Democratic Republic of the Congo... and, I'm sure you're aware that it's never been "Republic of Congo", that's an entirely different country.

Posted by cabintom almost 3 years ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo Thanks for clearly stating what I've been wondering. There's got to be some back-end solutions which will help those of us in developing countries.

Posted by cabintom almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Yeah, having an option that minimizes data traffic as much as possible would be a huge plus for many parts of the world! Not sure if such a "lean interface" could be programmed with reasonable developer time.

Posted by jakob almost 3 years ago (Flag)

... yes, but I have been senile now for over 20 years!!

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Africa is not the only location which would benefit from a more parsimonioius approach to network resource use coupled with a robust auto-recovery strategy.
In Canada outside of the major cities , access to the internet varies widely. The further north you go, the more interesting it can become.

Posted by marykrieger almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Looks like all the places that should say "top identifier(s)" say "top observer(s)" instead

Posted by shelley_b almost 3 years ago (Flag)

Thanks, @shelly_b, fixed! I agree there's much room for improvement when it comes to low-bandwidth connections.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 3 years ago (Flag)

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