Temporary limitations on places and taxon changes April 26-May 10

In preparation for increased iNaturalist activity during the upcoming City Nature Challenge, iNaturalist will implement some temporary changes. From April 26 to May 10, we will temporarily restrict some types of content on iNaturalist that are more intensive. Most users will not notice these changes because they do not directly impact observations, identifications, comments, or projects. However, for anyone planning to use the features below, we want to give advance notice so you can plan and prepare accordingly.

Large places cannot be created or edited
Starting on April 26, any new or edited places must contain fewer than 10,000 observations and be smaller than roughly the size of West Virginia (~24,000 square miles or 62,361 square km). If you try to add or edit a place above these thresholds, it will give you a warning message.

All places added or edited during this time may experience extended times to reflect the edits or collect all of the observations. If you can delay adding or editing places, please do so.

“Search external providers” disabled
If you enter a taxon name that can’t be found in iNaturalist, normally you can “Search external providers”. This feature will be temporarily disabled to prevent the addition of new taxa that cannot be curated during this time period (see below).

Taxon changes & ancestry edits paused (applicable for curators only)
No taxon changes or edits to taxon ancestry (including grafting taxa) can be implemented starting April 26. If you try to do this, you’ll get a message that such changes are temporarily unavailable. You can still draft taxon changes and save them to be committed after the restriction.

These temporary limitations will be in place through May 10, which includes the observation period of the City Nature Challenge as well as the upload/identification period.

Other activities that are not restricted but should be deferred if possible:
-csv uploads: If you are uploading a csv of observations, expect considerable delays. Do not attempt the same upload more than once.
-csv data downloads: If you are trying to download a csv of observations, expect considerable delays. Do not attempt the same download more than once.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we prepare for this busy time of year.

Posted on April 20, 2021 08:23 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer


There's going to be a large backlog after the CNC, hopefully the servers can handle that!

Posted by zdanko over 2 years ago

It's nice to read about changes. Best regards in 2021!

Posted by detalit_d over 2 years ago

Thanks for the advance warning. Having the period to quickly get some urgent stuff done before the City Nature Challenge rush is most appreciated. Looking forward to the challenge.

Posted by tonyrebelo over 2 years ago

Відсутній таксон для Strongylosoma jaqueti. А сьогодні лише 21.04

Posted by makitpa over 2 years ago

@makitpa if you enter "Strongylosoma jaqueti" now as an identification, you should see an option to "search external name providers" which will automatically add it, if it is found in an external source.

When this feature is temporarily removed, if there are taxa missing, please flag the parent taxon and describe the species that needs to be added. Curators will still be able to add new taxa.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 2 years ago

Thanks for the heads up!

Posted by nnavarre over 2 years ago

Is Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha, South Africa on the list?

Posted by inal over 2 years ago

@inal - why do you ask?
PE is running as Nelson Mandela Bay for at least this year: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-nelson-mandela-bay
NMB comprises the city of Port Elizabeth/iBhayi/Gqeberha , the nearby towns of Uitenhage, Despatch & Colchester, and the surrounding rural area.

Posted by tonyrebelo over 2 years ago

Yes, thanks, searched both PE and Gqeberha on city list, but eventually realised it should be NMB. Got it!

Posted by inal over 2 years ago

@carrieseltzer I know it's early day yet, but I just tried to add a new taxon and couldn't do so. Tried a couple of times. Just FYI

Posted by nicklambert over 2 years ago


Posted by empress_of_the_el... over 2 years ago

This isn't allowing me to post a specific epithet to a post I just made. I know what I'm talking about, AND, the site doesn't suggest a specific epithet, so what's the problem? I don't mind having someone point out a correction, but I am not willing to wait for an "expert" to verify an entry.

Posted by paulgap49 over 2 years ago

@paulgap49 Did you comment this in the wrong place? I don't think that has anything to do with this temporary limitation on taxon changes.

Posted by zdanko over 2 years ago

Is the seek app not syncing with iNaturalist? We entered a bunch of entries on the Seek app, and none are syncing with the iNaturalist account.

Posted by tltyler86 over 2 years ago

I do submit here (from my Apple iMac) as Observer, but I did now ALSO download the iNaturalist APP on my iPhone Xs. So far I can not shoot a photo using the App. After inputting my sign in info, I try to click CAMERA icon/OBSERVE, and all I get is a BLACK SCREEN that says PHOTO. (so i then click 'Cancel'.). Thanks for any help.
Joy Krauthammer, Northridge, CA
Thanks for your 'warning'.

Posted by joykrauthammer over 2 years ago

@tltyler86 can you please email help@inaturalist.org and explain this in detail? Please include screenshots of what you're seeing. Here are instructions for how to take a screenshot on several types of devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org

@joykrauthammer I replied to your email at help@inaturalist.org.

Posted by tiwane over 2 years ago

Well, the least I can do is take photos on my tablet, I'm not having any major problems...

Posted by empress_of_the_el... over 2 years ago

Pin LOCATION. I tried to 'pin my location' when posting, but pop-up said someone 'already had that location'. I'm sure it was me. Few years ago I had changed my sign-in info, but I'd never pinned any location after posting. Help me please to fix this confusion so I can pin my own location. No one else around here photographs.

It is not fun searching the world each time to find my little street house. Had no idea until yesterday that we could "PIN". TIA.

Posted by joykrauthammer over 2 years ago

If it says it's already pinned, that means that you pinned it, so check your pinned locations. Other user's pinned locations don't show up in yours.

Posted by zdanko over 2 years ago

Search external providers still does not work. When it will be available again? :)

Posted by ondrej-radosta over 2 years ago

It is still yesterday in USA ...

Posted by tonyrebelo over 2 years ago

Damn time zones :-D

Posted by ondrej-radosta over 2 years ago


Posted by empress_of_the_el... over 2 years ago

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