Exciting news from one of our Amphibian Monitoring volunteers!


One of our fellow Amphibian Monitoring voluneers has been sharing the impact that iNaturalist has had on her volunteering and wildlife observations, and I was so inspired I asked to share her experiences with you! Here's the news from conwaysuz:

Custom Field Guides: In addition to volunteering Amphibian Monitoring, I also volunteer at Camano Island and Cama Beach State Parks. As soon as I learned about iNat I zoomed the map into the parks to see what campers have recorded. There aren't many sightings yet, but that gave me an idea. Why not use iNat to create custom field guides for the parks? I shared my idea with the park rangers and they liked it. Our parks are lucky to have had Beach Watchers (rebranded as Sound Water Stewards) monitoring for many years so they have very long "life lists" of marine organisms. The rangers and I decided to create two kinds of guides: for the citizen scientists each park has an “All Species” list that will likely eventually have over 200 plants and animals; for the casual park visitors we have more manageable lists with only about 60 “Common” species. To view our guides: from the top menu bar go to “Guides” (on the phone app it’s under “More”), then search on “Cama”.

If you are interested in doing something similar for your favorite park or wildlife area, even though you don't officially need permission to create a guide, I suggest as a courtesy to the land managers that you share your proposal with the staff and get their OK. They'll be able to help you with the list, and there might be threatened or endangered species they don't want to advertise.

First to Find: Here's my other exciting iNat news. During a recent shrimping trip we pulled up a cute little crab. I quickly snapped a photo so I could ID and upload it later. Back home I Binged and Googled lots of crab but couldn’t find my crab so I turned to Facebook. Several people thought it was a Cryptic Kelp Crab, Pugettia richii, but I wasn't convinced--my crab had "bloops" near its head and richii has distinct “points”. I decided to enter my crab into iNaturalist as a generic “True Crab”. The next day I decided to go with my FB peeps and edited the name to “Cryptic Kelp Crab”. The next day I chicken out and backed off the ID in iNaturalist to something from the “Pugettia genus”. Finally, a crab expert IDed my crab as a Pacific Lyre Crab (in a totally different family). It turns out I’m the first person in the iNat world to have that crab verified so I got to make my photo "the" species photo! Check it out here: www.inaturalist.org/taxa/459591-Hyas-lyratus

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, conwaysuz!

Posted by jennymears jennymears, June 01, 2017 08:56 PM


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