US Virgin Islands - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 15 in the US Virgin Islands - the 104th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. These islands sit between Puerto Rico to the West and the British Virgin Islands to the East. The top three observers in the US Virgin Islands: @casseljs, @thehappiestwanderer and @stinger, and also @mickley have observations clustered in the northwest island of St. Thomas. @stinger is a plant ecologist and a giant in the field of biodiversity informatics behind such efforts as ITIS and BISON. Most of the top observers, e.g. @heather232, @corey22, @emily28, @sarka and e@as_is_the_sea, have observations clustered on the north east island of St. John. A few, scuh as @grodz & juddpatterson, are clustered on the southern island of St. Croix.

The number of observations per month ramped up significantly in 2019.

@maractwin is the top identifier and leads in fish. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of fish observations here. @kemper and @rangertreaty50 are other top identifiers with lots of fish IDs. @joshuagsmith leads in bird IDs and @mack911 leads in fungi IDs.

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

@casseljs @thehappiestwanderer @stinger @heather232 @corey22 @maractwin @rangertreaty50 @joshuagsmith @mack911 @kemper

We’ll remain in the Caribbean tomorrow on Curaçao!

Posted by loarie loarie, October 06, 2019 21:48



Get some programs set up with the national park service on St. John. Try to tie iNat into snorkel trips that the hotels offer.

Also, for any other locations where iNaturalist has too few observations; set up a travel opportunity for us to go there on discount, doing something like a diehard iNat bioblitz there - a great travel opportunity driven by a fun hobby/excuse...

(Just like a weight watchers cruise! :) - but not really pls

Posted by sarka 11 days ago (Flag)

Good day all. I was a student at the University of the Virgin Islands, so most of my observations were during class activities or fun weekend events. Unfortunately, most of the general public have the phones and computers to use iNaturalist but don't have scientific backgrounds or desire to map species. Therefore, what you will notice is that most people logging observations are people that are here on vacation.

These are my recommendations to get more observations from this US territory. The first is to introduce citizen science to the grade school and college students, it could be a simple project like collecting photos in their neighborhoods or cataloging samples at the university. Many students ask "What is this?", so having iNaturalist sponsor programs in the schools could be a gateway to more research grade observations. The second tactic is to have iNaturalist partners come down to each of the three islands for bio-blitz events during different times of the year. Seasonal bird migrations is definitely one type of data trends researchers would like citizen science to utilize. I am confident if you ask certain hotels on each island they could offer some discounts if it means more people swarming down for a week.

I lived on STT for two years and saw many cool species, but if we can get more locals and visitors interested in recording observations I think these islands can become a goldmine of data to scientists worldwide.

Posted by casseljs 10 days ago (Flag)

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