October 17, 2019

Montenegro - iNaturalist World Tour

The Balkan country of Montenegro is the 115th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Montenegro sits in Southern Europe on the Adriatic Sea with Bosnia-Herzegovina to the north, Serbia to the east, and Albana to the south. @jakob is the top observer, though his position on the map is pulled south by his observations in Albania, most of @jakob's Montenegro observations are in Durmitor National Park. Several other top observers such as @gazdamilan and @stephen54 also have observations clustered around this park. @felixf has observations clustered in Durmitor and also Biogradska Gora National Park to the south - which contains one of the last virgin forests in Europe. there is a cluster of top observers near the capital of Podgorica such as @pourtwowest and @nicolanitti. Another cluster of users is along the Adriatic Sea including @mmarchyllie, @vikula_bludov, and @beethoven242. @minazaki has been observing so recently that they don't yet appear on the map but now place 9th on the leaderboard with many observations along the coast.


the number of observations per month jumped up in 2019 peaking in June.


@tiggrx leads in plant IDs, @amzamz in insects, @ldacosta in birds and mammals and @cuora1 in herps.
@jakob is a top identifier as well as being a top observer in Montenegro. @ilias_strachinis is another top identifier.


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

@jakob @felixf @pourtwowest @mmarchyllie @vikula_bludov @gazdamilan @cuora1 @ldacosta @ilias_strachinis @amzamz

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Estonia!

Posted on October 17, 2019 06:25 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 16, 2019

Angola - iNaturalist World Tour

Angola is the 114th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @rogerioferreira who is a resident of Angola with observations clustered around the capital of Luanda. Other top observers such as @luisquerido, @markuslilje, and @pecardoso also have observations clustered here. Along the southwest coast, @omateus, a paleontology professor, @andrew_hankey, @fmop_lages, @desertnaturalist have clusters of observations. Further inland, @alexanderr and @intotheokavango (associated with National Geographic Okavango expeditions), are clustered. Don't miss this Angolan Central Potto observed by @rogerioferreira that was recently the observation of the day.


the number of observations per month jumped up in 2017 to around 100-200 a month and has been holding more or less steady.


@jakob is the top identifier and leads in birds and mammals. @cabintom leads in insect IDs. @david_goyder who works on tropical African plant diversity at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew leads in plant IDs. Other top identifiers include @johnnybirder, @ldacosta, and @robert_taylor.


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

@rogerioferreira @omateus @luisquerido @alexanderr @andrew_hankey @jakob @johnnybirder @cabintom @ldacosta @robert_taylor

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Montenegro!

Posted on October 16, 2019 17:42 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

October 15, 2019

Jamaica - iNaturalist World Tour

It's Week 17 of the iNaturalist World Tour. This week we'll visit Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Suriname in the Neotropics, Angola and Nigeria in Africa, and Montenegro and Estonia in Europe.


We begin in Jamaica. The top observer @tchakamaura with observations clustered near the town of Portmore just southwest of the capital of Kingston. Two birdwatchers such as @birdernaturalist, who leads WINGS tours in Jamaica, and @guyincognito are the second and third top observers. Other top observers include @zygy, @docprt, @paulbowyer, @woodridgejeff, @stefanmozug, @johnnybirder and @screws


The number of observations per month has been increasing in the last two years peaking in February of this year driven mostly by visits by @guyincognito and @zygy.


@cypseloides is the top identifier and leads in bird IDs. @wayne_fidler leads in insect IDs from nearby Cuba. @tchakamaura leads in plant IDs. @jbroadhead and @guyincognito are other top identifiers.


What can we do to improve iNaturalist in Jamaica? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@tchakamaura @birdernaturalist @guyincognito @zygy @docprt @paulbowyer @woodridgejeff @cypseloides @wayne_fidler @jbroadhead

We’ll be back tomorrow in Angola!

Posted on October 15, 2019 05:10 by loarie loarie | 1 comments | Leave a comment

October 14, 2019

Jordan - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 16 of the iNaturalist World Tour in Jordan. The top observer is @cliygh-and-mia with observations clustered around the capital Amman. Several other top observers have observations near Amman such as @khaled5 who works as a tour guide across Jordan. Ecologist @ronf and Jerusalem Botanical Gardens botanist @fragmansapir are in Israel on the map because of all their observations in neighboring Israel, but they each are top observers within Jordan across the country and in places like the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan's largest nature reserve. Severeal other top observers such as @harrisonlee07, @wildchroma, @paolaferruzzi, and @saysay123 have observations clustered near this reserve. @yairur is also in Israel on the map, but their Jordan observations are just along the border with the Golan Hights in the northwest corner of Jordan. Several top observers such as @denis_m have observations clustered in the coastal city of Aqaba.


The graph of observations per month had a peak centered on January 2017 and has been ramped up again in 2019.


@sammyboy2059, based inthe UAE, is the top identifier and leads in bird and mammal IDs. @ronf leads in plant IDs. @cliygh-and-mia leads in insect, herp, arachnid, and mollusk IDs. @ariel-shamir and @artem are other top identifiers lending their expertise from Israel and Armenia respectively.


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

@cliygh-and-mia @ronf @yairur @fragmansapir @khaled5 @denis_m @harrisonlee07 @sammyboy2059 @ariel-shamir @artem

We’ll be back tomorrow in Jamaica!

Posted on October 14, 2019 18:13 by loarie loarie | 1 comments | Leave a comment

Cameroon - iNaturalist World Tour

Cameroon is the 111th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer is @aristidetakoukam with many observations (mostly fish) up and down the coast of Cameroon. @johnnybirder's observations are clustered near Korup National Park while @markuslilje's observations are clustered in the western and northern parts of the country. @irida73ceae has observations near Banyo, @elisebakker near Bouba National Park and @jakob and @markusgmeiner near Lobeke National Park. Other top observers include @muir, @dan_cawley, and @spellecchias. @dan_cawley's observations are near the capital of Yaoundé where he works at the Rain Forest International school.


the number of observations per week has been ramping up since 2017.


@esant is the top identifier and leads in fish IDs. Fish are the top observation category thanks to all the contributions from @aristidetakoukam. As with many African countries, @jakob leads in insects, @johnnybirder in birds, and @marcoschmidtffm in plants as top identifiers. Other top identifiers include @joshuagsmith and @clinton


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

@aristidetakoukam @johnnybirder @markuslilje @irida73ceae @elisebakker @jakob @muir @esant @joshuagsmith @clinton

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Jordan!

Posted on October 14, 2019 07:03 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 13, 2019

A Kazakhstani Photographer Posts the First Known Photos of a Jumping Spider Species - Observation of the Week, 10/13/19

Our Observation of the Week is this Pseudomogrus dalaensis jumping spider, seen in Kazakhstan by @talgar-t64! These are the first known photos of a living individual of this species.

“People usually do not pay attention to what's under their feet. And there's this whole world,” says Anatoly Ozernoy. “And I want to show [these worlds] to people. Show their beauty, their physical perfection, their world. We should not destroy them, they have the same right to live on this earth. Earth is for everybody, it's not only for people.”

Anatoly lives in southeastern Kazakhstan, at the foot of the Ile Alatau mountains, and he tells me “a great variety of natural habitats is represented here: mountain peaks with glaciers, alpine meadows, old-growth conifer forest zones, steppe by the foothills and deserts further away from the mountains. This allows me to experience tremendous diversity of life without a need to travel long distances - everything's a stone's throw away.”

As a spider enthusiast, Anatoly has taken it upon himself to photograph local spiders, many of which are not well documented. “There are lots of endemic species here,” he explains, “but their scientific descriptions lack photos [and] most of them have never been photographed alive...So my photos are often the first ones of the species - this also adds quite a motivation to my research. I'm eager to find more of them, take pictures and share with people.”

One of those spiders is the one shown above, the jumping spider Pseudomogrus dalaensis. Anatoly tells me it’s known only from three locations in Kazakhstan “and out of the blue I found it just 13 kilometers away from one of those places in the fall, although I was betting on spring or summer. It was a great luck! The spider is small and I was fortunate enough to spot it on a large prickly shrub.”

With over 6,000 species, the Salticidae, or jumping spiders, are the most diverse of any spider family, and are pretty amazing. Perhaps the most visually-acute spiders, salticids have large, forward-facing eyes that allow them to find prey and judge jumping distances. This distance judging is accomplished not through binocular vision like we humans use, but “by comparing a blurry version of an image with a clear one, a method called image defocus.” And unlike, say, orb weaver spiders, male jumping spiders use visual cues when courting a mate; most famously those in the genus Maratus. Check out this video of a male courting a female!

Anatoly (above) says that iNaturalist has “proved very useful” when it comes to “photographing spider species, researching their distribution throughout the country, sharing local biodiversity with the community.

It's got various taxa distribution features, great tools for working with maps, plus every interested person has an opportunity to see observations. Moreover, I have an opportunity now to help others with identification of their spider observations and see for myself and learn new species and their habitats.

A huge thank you to @kastani for translating messages between myself and Anatoly, and to @zygy for bringing my attention to this observation. The generosity and passion of the iNat community is always humbling.

- Using laser vibrometers, researchers at UC Berkeley study the acoustic signals male jumping spiders create during courtship, which complement their visual dance. 

- Here’s a video of those sounds. 

Posted on October 13, 2019 16:46 by tiwane tiwane | 15 comments | Leave a comment

October 12, 2019

El Salvador - iNaturalist World Tour

El Salvador is the 110th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @carlosjuarezp, a bat and herp researcher, is on the map between the capital of San Salvador and Montecristo National Park where most of his observations are clustered. @guillermofunes and @kevcv_bio also have observations split between these two regions. The second top observrr, @ares-afc, has observations mostly clustered around San Salvador along with other top observers such as @talgoose, @tokue, @goodlordbird, and @verovasquez. @davidernesto's observations are centered on Montecristo National Park itself. @arnoldorm's observations are clustered near the small town of Colima. All 10 top observers appear to be El Salvador residents, which is interesting.

El Salvador es la parada número 110 en el iNaturalist Tour Mundial. El observador principal, @carlosjuarezp, un investigador de la herpetofauna y murciélagos, está en el mapa entre la capital de San Salvador y el Parque Nacional Montecristo, donde se agrupan la mayoría de sus observaciones. @guillermofunes y @kevcv_bio también tienen observaciones divididas entre estas dos regiones. El segundo mejor observador, @ares-afc, tiene observaciones agrupadas principalmente en torno a San Salvador junto con otros observadores principales como @talgoose, @tokue, @goodlordbird y @verovasquez. Las observaciones de @davidernesto se centran en el propio Parque Nacional Montecristo. Las observaciones de @arnoldorm se agrupan cerca del pequeño pueblo de Colima. Los 10 principales observadores parecen ser residentes de El Salvador, lo cual es interesante.



The number of observations per month hs been growing steadily since 2017 and passed 500 observations per month for the first time in June of this year

La cantidad de observaciones por mes ha estado creciendo constantemente desde 2017 y pasó 500 observaciones por mes por primera vez en junio de este año



Top observer @ares-afc is the top identifier and leads in insect and arachnid IDs. Top observer @carlosjuarezp leads in herp and mammal IDs. @arnoldorm is another local top observer/top identifier. @jmmaes from nearby Nicaragua leads in plant IDs. @oliverkomar from nearby Hondoras is another top identifier.

El observador superior @ares-afc es el identificador superior y conduce en las identificaciones de insectos y arácnidos. El principal observador @carlosjuarezp lidera las identificaciones de herpes y mamíferos. @arnoldorm es otro observador superior local / identificador superior. @jmmaes de la cercana Nicaragua lidera la identificación de plantas. @oliverkomar de la cercana Hondoras es otro identificador superior.



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

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

@carlosjuarezp @ares-afc @talgoose @tokue @kevcv_bio @arnoldorm @goodlordbird @guillermofunes @oliverkomar @jmmaes

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Cameroon!

¡Volveremos mañana en el Camerún!

Posted on October 12, 2019 18:55 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2019

Curaçao - iNaturalist World Tour

Curaçao is the 109th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Curaçao sits between Aruba and Bonaire in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. Here, top observers include visitors (e.g. @avocat @jasondombroskie @anudibranchmom @zahnerphoto @anthonysarkiss and @stanvrem), people doing research on the island (e.g. @wernerdegier studying symbiotic crustaceans) and people who live / have lived on Curaçao (e.g. @clifford and @patrickas). Somewhat unusually, 50% of the observations are from a project by California Academy of Sciences coral reef researcher @pimbongaerts which I'll describe at the end of this post.


While the number of observations per month has ticked up in recent years, the graph is dominated by @pimbongaerts field season in July of 2019.


West Indies bird expert @chrisharpe leads in bird IDs, @maractwin leads in fish IDs and @greenline leads in plant IDs. Other top identifiers include @adamwang. But the top identifier, leading in 'other animals' (in this case corals) is @ianespanol1 who was @pimbongaerts's Summer Systematics Institute at the California Academy of Sciences charged with identifying corals recorded during the field season.


@pimbongaerts (aka Pim Bongaerts) and @ianespanol1 (aka Ian X Espanol De La Cruz) are interested in conserving coral reefs. They used iNat to record and identify observations of 29 coral species from their field sites in Curaçao. Working with UC Santa Cruz researcher Collin Hurst, they used this data to train a coral classifier to explore if they could train the computer to recognize Caribbean coral species based on corallite-scale. Eventually, they hope to automate monitoring of coral biodiversity.

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

@pimbongaerts @avocat @jasondombroskie @anudibranchmom @zahnerphoto @ianespanol1 @chrisharpe @adamwang @maractwin @greenline

We’ll be back tomorrow in the El Salvador!

Posted on October 11, 2019 22:26 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 10, 2019

Uruguay - iNaturalist World Tour

Uruguay is the 108th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @santiagomailhos, has observations are throughout Uruguay but most are clustered south of the city of Paysandú on the banks of Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina as are @cmbiancardi's observations. @pablobaldu has observations clustered near the capital of Montevideo and along this southeastern coast of the country. Many other top observers also have their observations clustered here such as @mirmeleon, a student at Facultad de Ciencias (Universidad de la República) in Montevideo, @leo_lagos, editor of the daily science section of Uruguay's newspaper, @phviny, @liuid, and @ori86. @liuid is doing a PhD studying bats at the University of La Plata (Argentina) and is currently based in southern Brazil. @joaco5 has observations clustered along border with Brazil near the city of Rivera. @roget, associated with Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, has more observations across the Rio de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The graph of observations per month has been ramping up in 2019. Peaks in April 2019 and August 2019 were mostly driven by @santiagomailhos and @pablobaldu respectively.
.


The top identifier is @rafatosi, a bird oriented Uruguayan biologist, who also leads in bird, mammal, and herp IDs. Top observer @mirmeleon is another local top identifier and leads in 'other animals'. Most of the other top identifiers are from nearby Argentina including @lrubio7 (who leads in insects & arachnids), @nicoolejnik (who leads in mollusks and fish), and @r-a-p.


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

@santiagomailhos @pablobaldu @mirmeleon @joaco5 @leo_lagos @phviny @rafatosi @lrubio7 @nicoolejnik @r-a-p

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Curaçao!

Posted on October 10, 2019 07:45 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

October 09, 2019

Cyprus - iNaturalist World Tour

Cyprus the 107th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The political boundaries within the Island of Cyprus are controversial. First, Akrotiri and Dhekelia British Overseas Territories (mostly military bases) carved out of the island. Second, the northern half of the island is the defacto state of Northern Cyprus after Turkey invaded in 1983. GADM treats Northern Cyprus as a separate country even though it is only formally recognized by Turkey. Following GADM, Cyprus (officially the Republic of Cyprus) is the Island of Cyprus minus Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Northern Cyprus.

The top observer is botanist @danielcahen with observations clustered in the mountainous Platres region. @jakovosdemetriou, studying biology at the National and Kapodistrian University in nearby Athens, Greece has observations clustered along the west coast along with other top observers such as @denis_m, @luca63, @sandy_rae, @clamsdell, and @sandralamberts. @jurga_li has observations clustered along the southern coast along with @bogmyrtle and @purperlibel.


The graph of observations per month has been ramping up since 2018.


@ronf is the top identifier and leads in plant IDs. @johnascher leads in insects and @sammyboy2059 leads in birds and mammals. @jakovosdemetriou is both a top identifier and top observer. @cliygh-and-mia comes in 5th on the identifier leaderboard.


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

@danielcahen @jakovosdemetriou @denis_m @luca63 @jurga_li @sandy_rae @ronf @sammyboy2059 @jakovosdemetriou @cliygh-and-mia @johnascher

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Uruguay!

Posted on October 09, 2019 05:03 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment