Journal archives for September 2019

September 01, 2019

Slovakia - iNaturalist World Tour

We're in Slovakia for the 69th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour! The top observer is @fero has observations centered in the Žilina Region. @fero runs Birding Slovakia and is in the top 400 observers on iNaturalist with observations from around the world. Most of the other top observers such as @martind, @vierka, @marian_tulak, @anbalemans, @matpei also have observations centered in the Žilina Region. The second top observer, @drakoslav, has observations centered to the south in the Nitra Region. @tomasm2's observations are centered in the far west Trnava Region, while other top observers such as @ondrej3 and @rsl are centered elsewhere in the country.


The number of observations per month has been ramping up the last three years. @fero has done some work translating iNaturalist into Slovakian and outreach to Slovakian birders during this time.


As with many countries in Europe, the top identifiers for plants, birds, and insects are @duch, @ldacosta, and @borisb. @duch is botanist at the Czech National Museum. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @zizou identifying from France and @wojtest identifying from Poland.


What can we do to get more people in Slovakia involved in iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread

@fero @drakoslav @martind @vierka @tomasm2 @ldacosta @borisb @zizou @wojtest @duch

We’ll be back tomorrow in Bhutan!

Posted on September 01, 2019 16:30 by loarie loarie | 10 comments | Leave a comment

September 02, 2019

Bhutan - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 10 of the iNaturalist World Tour in Bhutan! The top observer, @gancw1, is based in Singapore but has observations from throughout Bhutan. @jatishwor is a Phd candidate at the Czech Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic studying butterflies and moths of northeast India and Bhutan. His observations are clustered in the Tsirang District along with @seangyeal, @antshrike69 and others. @phuentsho is a ranger Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in central Bhutan. Visitors @markuslilje and @briancriter have observations from across the country. @tandinniznat's observations are clustered near Trashigang to the east. There is a cluster of observers such as @cub_agthukten and @cubact_yangki near COMO Uma Paro and another such as @cupsc_sonam near COMO Uma Punakha. A third cluster of observers such as @jcavicch and @cpatton2 near the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research.


The number of observations per month has been hovering around 250. There was a spike in April of this year because of the COMO Uma Paro and COMO Uma Punakha events mentioned above as part of the COMO Hotels and Resorts event organized by @chra_batfish and @cupag_kelley.


@sethmiller, based in Bangladesh, is the top identifier. @juhakinnunen, based in Finland, leads in insect identifications. Insects are the top observation category in Bhutan due to an interest in moths among many of the top observers. @phuentsho is not just a top observer, but is a top identifier and leads in the plant and bird categories. @anilamanalil and @rajibmaulick, based in India, are also top identifiers.


What can we do to get more people in Bhutan involved in iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread

@gancw1 @jatishwor @phuentsho @antshrike69 @seangyeal @markuslilje @sethmiller @juhakinnunen @anilamanalil @rajibmaulick

We’ll be back tomorrow in Armenia!

Posted on September 02, 2019 09:18 by loarie loarie | 1 comments | Leave a comment

September 03, 2019

Benin - iNaturalist World Tour

Today, we start our 11th Week on the iNaturalist World Tour. This week, we'll visit Benin in Africa, Iceland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Armenia in Europe, Fiji in Oceania, and Guatemala in North America.


We begin in Benin (in case you were expecting Armenia, we updated all the World Tour stats today to include data from August 2019 and the order shifted a bit). The top observer is @oebenin which is an account associated with a a Benin NGO working on education and nature conservation around Pendjari National Parc. Several other top observers have observations centered near this park including the 9th top observer @mattiamenchetti, a zoologist based in Barcelona, @tsuchan and @bahleman. The second top observer is @didolanvijustin who is studying natural resources at the University of Parakou. Parakou is the largest city in northern Benin and is where the observations of many top observers such as @prosper, @frdric71, @pascaltayewo, @tovihessi, and @ogaoue have the most observations. @ogaoue is an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville who conducts research in Africa. The third top observer is @oddb, and account associated with the Organisation pour le Développement Durable et la Biodiversité (ODDB) which is a non-governmental, non-profit entity that spearheads the protection of threatened primates and their habitats in Benin. @oddb's observations are clustered in near the capital of Cotonou which is also an important biogeographic area known as the Dahomey Gap which is a savannah gap between the Lower Guinean forests to the East and the Upper Guinean forests to the west. Several other top observers such as @gab00229 and @belsun have observations clustered in this area. Don't miss this trailcam photo of an Abyssinian Roller midflight by @oebenin which was an Observation of the Day.


The number of observations per month has been growing rapidly in Benin this year. In fact, it jumped the queue from Week 11 to Week 10 when we added the August 2019 data mainly due to the efforts of @didolanvijustin. Whats driving this recent growth in Benin?


@jakob is the top identifier and leads in most of the categories. @jakob needs no introduction on iNaturalist where he has been an outsized force in the community and source of knowledge for many parts of the globe for many years, but he describes himself on his profile as a spatial ecologist, with a focus on African bats. @johnnybirder, originally from South Africa, is the second top identifier. @marcoschmidtffm leads in plant identifications as he does for many African countries. @calebcam leads in herp identifications and @ldacosta leads in bird identifications.


What can we do to improve iNaturalist in Benin? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread. Also what makes tiny Benin so well represented on iNaturalist relative to other African countries? Are there lessons we can learn?

@oebenin @didolanvijustin @oddb @prosper @frdric71 @jakob @johnnybirder @marcoschmidtffm @calebcam @ldacosta

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Iceland as we play catchup from some of the reshuffling in the order due to adding the August 2019 data.

Posted on September 03, 2019 06:57 by loarie loarie | 6 comments | Leave a comment

September 04, 2019

Iceland - iNaturalist World Tour

Iceland is the 72nd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Of the top observers, most (e.g. @c_michael_hogan, @docprt, @milliebasden, @stevendaniel, @nyoni-pete, @theworldofpaolo, @lucapassalacqua) appear to be visitors from elsewhere. Based on their observations, @sbushes, @naturjc, and @kjartanbirgis are the only members of the top 10 observers who appear to possibly be residents of Iceland. @sbushes and @kjartanbirgis's observations are clustered near the capital of Reykjavík


The number of observations per month jumped up in the summer of 2018 and again in 2019. In August of this year, the number of monthly observations passed 1,500 for the first time.


@alexis_orion, based in Berlin, is the top identifier and also leads in bird IDs. @jmgrinde leads in plant IDs and @johnascher in insect IDs. Its noteworthy that there are more fungi observations(with @jurga_li as the top identifier) than insect observations in cold and wet Iceland. Its also noteworthy that this is the first country we've visited thats missing a category (no herps in Iceland!). Many thanks to other top identifiers such as @ldacosta, @nannie and @tiggrx.


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

@c_michael_hogan @docprt @milliebasden @sbushes @stevendaniel @alexis_orion @ldacosta @jmgrinde @nannie @tiggrx

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Bulgaria!

Posted on September 04, 2019 08:28 by loarie loarie | 4 comments | Leave a comment

Bulgaria - iNaturalist World Tour

Bulgaria is the 73rd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @katya is the top observer. She splits her time between Russia and Bulgaria near the national reserve Ropotamo where her observations are clustered. @exonie's observations are clustered around the town of Botevgrad. @georgipetrov66's observations are clustered in the countryside north of Botevgrad.

Several top observers such as @zmei have many observations near Bulgaria's largest city of Sofia. @mstoyanova and @kennethwoodcock's observations are centered in the area around the second largest city of Plovdiv. While the observers mentioned above appear to be at least partially resident in Bulgaria, there are many top observer visitors as well, such as @nyoni-pete, @paulcools, @cesarpollo5 and @henkwallays2. Don't miss @katya's Observation of the Day of 'kissing' European Hornets along the Ropotamo river or this Observation of the Week post about a busy European Orchard Bee northeast of Sofia spotted by @exonie.



The number of observations per month has been slowly climbing over the last four years and jumped to a new hight this summer.


@borisb is the top identifier and leads in insects, @tiggrx leads in plant IDs and @ldacosta leads in bird IDs. While these three top identifiers are from elsewhere in Europe, @exonie stands out as a local Bulgarian top identifier. Many thanks to @jakob, @kastani and all the other top identifiers helping out with Bulgarian identifications!


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

@katya @exonie @zmei @nyoni-pete @paulcools @mstoyanova @borisb @exonie @jakob @ldacosta @kastani

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Slovenia!

Posted on September 04, 2019 20:19 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 06, 2019

Slovenia - iNaturalist World Tour

Slovenia is the 74th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @spela, the top observer, focused on marine life and has observations clustered around the seaport city of Koper (near Trieste, Italy) along with many other top observers. @maarten22, @alich local and others have observations clustered around the capital of Ljubljana. @irena9 and @ahmedmujcinovic have observations clustered to the southeast. Several of the top observers are visitors such as @c_michael_hogan, @drbh2o, @scotty, @trcarlisle, and @jujurenoult


The number of observations per month is very seasonal peaking in the summer moths. The highest peak to date was April of last year.


The top identifier is @ribabo from nearby Croatia. Other top identiifers are from elsewhere in Europe including @jtklein, @zizou, @jakob, and @tiggrx


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

@spela @irena9 @maarten22 @ahmedmujcinovic @c_michael_hogan @ribabo @jtklein @zizou @jakob @tiggrx

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Armenia!

Posted on September 06, 2019 06:49 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

September 07, 2019

Armenia - iNaturalist World Tour

Armenia is the 75th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @ahospers, a visitor to the Armenia from the Netherlands. There are several other visitors (e.g. @julie_sf, @sdrovetski, @sindic) among the top 10 observers. The second top observer @scops, has observations clustered around the capital of Yerevan. This is the case with most of the top observers in Armenia including @artem, @tigran82, @ttadevosyan, and @vahemart. An exception is @transcaucasiantrail whose observations are clustered to the southeast.


The spike in August of 2018 results from the top observer, @ahospers, adding his observations. But beside that spike, the number of observations per month haven't been growing much. This may partially be because there was some relatively early activty on iNaturalist from Armenia such as @ttadevosyan's Armenian Citizen Herpetologists Atlas and @vahemart's Flora of Armenia projects both started back in 2012. While its unclear why this early activity didn't spur much growth, it does flatten the slope a bit comparing recent activity.


The top identifier @sammyboy2059 is based in the UAE and also leads in bird IDs. @kastani from Kazakstan leads in plant IDs and @kharkovbut based in Ukraine leads in insect IDs. @ttadevosyan and @artem are local top identifiers from Armenia and lead in herp and 'other animal' IDs respectively. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @cliygh-and-mia.


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

@ahospers, @scops, @artem, @julie_sf, @transcaucasiantrail, @tigran82, @sammyboy2059, @kastani, @cliygh-and-mia, @ttadevosyan

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Fiji!

Posted on September 07, 2019 05:36 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

September 08, 2019

Fiji - iNaturalist World Tour

Fiji is the 76th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer in Fiji is @maractwin who among his many interests is an avid scuba diver. Many of the top observers in Fiji are keen scuba divers including @davidr, @johnsear, @richardling, @depamine. This is to be expected since Fiji is a global destination for divers. @obinfiji is a resident of Fiji yearround where he works for BirdLife International. @leonperrie is a botanist from nearby New Zealand while @petdoc, @dagendresen, and @desertnaturalist are visitors from further away.


The number of observations per month in Fiji is fairly flat and spikey which indicates that its largely driven by a few visitors rather than a large community of residents.


Fish is the top observation category on Fiji which again is to be expected because of all the scuba diving. @maractwin is the top identifier in addition to the top observer and leads in every category except plants (@leonperrie) and mammals (@jakob). Most of the other top identiifers (e.g. @sascha_schulz, @davidr, @kemper, @anthonygill) focus on Fish IDs


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

@maractwin, @davidr, @obinfiji, @johnsear, @leonperrie, @petdoc, @richardling, @sascha_schulz, @kemper, @anthonygill

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Guatemala!

Posted on September 08, 2019 06:32 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

A Young Naturalist in India Finds a Stunning Treehopper - Observation of the Week, 9/8/2019

Our Observation of the Week is this Leptocentrus taurus treehopper, seen in India by @adit!

A student in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Adit Jeyan tells me that “nature and wildlife have always fascinated me ever since I was a child.” About a year ago, he started photographing birds, as well as other wildlife, such as the bug seen above.  

“There's a place near the beach where I live that has a lot of small trees and shrubs,” he explains. 

It's usually quite crowded as people come with their families to enjoy the place. I go there often because it has a rich variety of insects and arachnids and also birds during the migratory season. I stumbled upon this during one of those trips to the place. He was just around 1 cm in length.

The bug he photographed, Leptocentrus taurus, is a member of the family Membracidae, or typical treehoppers. Like all bugs in the order Hemiptera, treehoppers have mouthparts used for piercing and sucking. Some bugs, like the assassin bugs, use this for predation, but most bugs, including the treehoppers, feed on plant liquids. The pronotums, or front three sections of the thorax, are often large and elaborate, as can be seen in Adit’s photo. Some resemble plant thorns, and others mimic ants - excellent for camouflage. And yes, they “hop” with the aid of their wings.

Adit (above), says “I started using iNat in the beginning for identifying the species I photographed…

[it] has taught me about a lot of species of wildlife and I've learned how to identify wildlife in the field thanks to iNat. I had never known that such a rich diversity of wildlife could be found around in the city where I live.

I am still in school but I want to become an Environmentalist when I grow up.

- by Tony Iwane.

- Check out all 10k+ treehopper observations on iNat, ranked by favorites!

- Tree hoppers use vibrations to communicate with each other, as discussed in this video.

Posted on September 08, 2019 20:10 by tiwane tiwane | 28 comments | Leave a comment

September 09, 2019

Guatemala - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 11 of the iNaturalist World Tour in Guatemala. The top observer is @juanitoescamilla, a palentologist, with observations clustered around the capital of Guatemala City. Several other top observers such as @calvarezgua have observations clustered around this city. Following the mountains to the northwest from Guatemala City, there is a cluster of top observers, mostly visitors, with observations clustered around the Lake Atitlán region such as @josh_vandermeulen, @microm, @matthias55, @driley, @flowerbeast, and @jasondombroskie. @dennis_medina is based in Parque Nacional Laguna Lachuá to the north and @tato in the town of Jalapa to the east. @jaico, from Mexico, has been posting most recently from Guatemala and is now 6th on the leaderboard but isn't yet showing up on the map (which was last updated September 1st). There is another cluster of top observers such as @marinegardener around the ancient city of Tikal in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

El observador principal es @juanitoescamilla, un palentólogo, con observaciones agrupadas alrededor de la capital de la Ciudad de Guatemala. Varios otros observadores importantes como @calvarezgua tienen observaciones agrupadas alrededor de esta ciudad. Siguiendo las montañas hacia el noroeste desde la ciudad de Guatemala, hay un grupo de observadores superiores, en su mayoría visitantes, con observaciones agrupadas alrededor de la región del lago de Atitlán, como @josh_vandermeulen, @microm, @matthias55, @driley, @flowerbeast y @jasondombroskie. @dennis_medina tiene su sede en el Parque Nacional Laguna Lachuá al norte y @tato en la ciudad de Jalapa al este. @jaico, de México, ha estado publicando más recientemente desde Guatemala y ahora ocupa el sexto lugar en la tabla de clasificación, pero aún no aparece en el mapa (que se actualizó por última vez el 1 de septiembre). Hay otro grupo de observadores destacados como @marinegardener alrededor de la antigua ciudad de Tikal en la Reserva de la Biosfera Maya.


The number of observations per month has been increasing steadily since 2017.

El número de observaciones por mes ha aumentado constantemente desde 2017.


The top identifier is @ronytrujillo, a biologist based in Guatemala, who also leads in plants, spiders, and 'other animal' identifications. @friel, the Director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, is the second top identifier and leads in insect and fish identifications. @d_kluza, an American scientist living in New Zealand, is the third top identifier and leads in bird identifications. @arnoldorm, based in El Salvador, leads in herp identifications. @tato and @dennis_medina are resident top identifiers based in Guatemala. Thanks to all the other top identifiers!

El identificador principal es @ronytrujillo, un biólogo con sede en Guatemala, que también lidera las identificaciones de plantas, arañas y 'otros animales'. @friel, el Director del Museo de Historia Natural de Alabama, es el segundo identificador principal y lidera las identificaciones de insectos y peces. @d_kluza, un científico estadounidense que vive en Nueva Zelanda, es el tercer identificador principal y lidera las identificaciones de aves. @arnoldorm, con sede en El Salvador, lidera las identificaciones de herpes. @tato y @dennis_medina son los principales identificadores residentes con sede en Guatemala. ¡Gracias a todos los demás identificadores principales!


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

¿Qué podemos hacer para que más personas en Guatemala utilicen iNaturalist? Comparta sus pensamientos a continuación o en este hilo del foro.

@juanitoescamilla @josh_vandermeulen @dennis_medina @microm @matthias55 @jaico @ronytrujillo @friel @d_kluza @tato

We’ll be back tomorrow with the Pakistan!

¡Volveremos mañana con el Pakistán !

Posted on September 09, 2019 07:40 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment