Remember that we're looking for WILD organisms!

A quick reminder that, even though most of us are diligently searching our backyards and neighborhoods for species (and doing an amazing job at it, too!), we're still hoping to document primarily the WILD plants and animals found in these areas - the weeds growing between the flowers someone planted, the squirrels jumping through the trees, the insects hiding amongst our gardens. And if you take a photo of something you know is not wild (like a plant you planted in your yard!), please help the iNaturalist community by marking it captive/cultivated before uploading it.

From our FAQs:

What kinds of observations should I make during the CNC?
Any observations of WILD plants, animals, fungi, seaweed, bacteria, lichen, etc. you find in and around your city! Observations of living or dead organisms, or evidence of those organisms, like shells, tracks, scat, feathers, etc., are fine. Remember to make sure you’re taking good photos of the organisms!

What if I make an observation of something I know isn't wild? Will it still count for the CNC?
Yes, as long as you’re not making a lot of these observations, most cities will include observations of non-wild organisms during the CNC. However, it’s VERY IMPORTANT TO MARK THOSE OBSERVATIONS AS CAPTIVE/CULTIVATED. Please be a good community member and data steward by marking any observation that you know for sure is not wild as captive/cultivated - in iNaturalist, there’s a field for it in the app when you make an observation. This includes pets, animals in a zoo/aquarium, plants in your garden, potted plants, plants at a botanical garden, etc. Here’s a very short video on how to mark observations as captive/cultivated.

Posted by kestrel kestrel, April 25, 2020 15:25


Does every plant I have planted have to be counted as cultivated? Or just actual cultivars?
I have planted a number of native wildflowers over the years in my yard and they have reproduced on their own in my yard now. Are they considered cultivars?

Posted by naturalista1 over 2 years ago (Flag)

@naturalista1 Plants that have seeded themselves over time are not considered cultivated - just plants you've actually planted yourself.

Posted by kestrel over 2 years ago (Flag)

Also what about native trees?

Posted by naturalista1 over 2 years ago (Flag)

@naturalista1 If you or someone else planted the trees, iNaturalist considers those cultivated. If they're growing on their own, then they're wild! Just use your best judgement.

Posted by kestrel over 2 years ago (Flag)

Just a note - I am seeing some plant species in natural areas like greenways & private and public woodlands that are generally considered cultivated horticultural plants from other parts of the world, mostly Asia, but that are now showing up on their own amongst native vegetation because the growing conditions here in the Triangle tend to favor them. I add these to my observations because they are now out there growing wild & competing on their own amongst the native vegetation. Given your last response, I am assuming this is the way to go as long as they have not been cultivated?

Posted by treegal60 over 2 years ago (Flag)

It is difficult to capture photos of the small birds darting around my trees. I wish we could enter an observation without a photo

Posted by smck over 2 years ago (Flag)

Don’t forget to help our with unknown posts! It helps the total of identified species. Look at the project’s individual photos to add an ID on ones you’re sure of. Then they can agree on your suggestion if they feel it’s correct.

Posted by beaufortphoto over 2 years ago (Flag)

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