Environment Recovery Project: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to iNaturalist! When you first join, the site can be a bit tricky to navigate, so here is an easy how-to for uploading your photos to the project.

1) The first step is to join the project! If you're reading this post then you've likely already done this, but just in case you haven't, head to https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/projects/environment-recovery-project-australian-bushfires-2019-2020 and click on 'join project' at the top right of the project page:

2) Now that you've joined the project, you have to add each of your observations to it as well. Each photo/set of photos of something you upload = one observation. Once you've uploaded your photos, go to each observation. On the right hand side of the page, underneath the map, are boxes labelled 'Annotations', 'Projects', etc. Click the 'Projects' box, and then select the Environment Recovery Project option from the dropdown menu:

You'll then be prompted to fill in 5 observation fields. These relate to things like whether you saw a plant/animal/fungus, how burnt the area was, and what recovery strategies any plants were using. If a field does not apply to your photo, select 'na' as the option, e.g. if you photographed a wombat you can select 'na' for the plant and fungus fields. Make sure that you click each of the 5 white 'Add' buttons, as well as the green 'Add to Project' button so that they all get saved:

3) Your observations are now part of the project and are contributing valuable scientific data! Here are some extra tips and tricks to make sure everything is in order:

i) Always check that each of your observations has the date you took the photo and the location where you took it. This information is sometimes left out when photos are uploaded; in these cases, your observations are labelled as 'casual' until the information is added, which can make it hard for other users to find them and help add identifications.

ii) When you upload each photo, always add an identification, no matter how rough it is. If you take a photo of a resprouting plant and you have no idea what species it is, that's fine! Adding an ID of 'plant' is more useful than leaving it blank. This is because many users specifically search for certain groups of organisms to help identify, so anyone searching for plants will immediately see your photo.

iii) When you're adding identifications, you can only type two different things: a common name or a scientific name. Anything other than these two things will not register as an ID. So if you take a photo of an ant hill, you'll need to type in 'Ants' rather than something like 'ant nest'. Make sure you only type in one of these things (you don't need to type in both), and then select the matching dropdown option that appears. You need to both type in the name AND select the option for it to work.

iv) If you want to add extra information that might not be covered in the 5 observation fields, that's great! You can do this in the description section.

Happy photographing, and a huge thanks for adding your observations to the project. If you're unsure about anything regarding how the site works, feel free to tag me in any of your observations or message me personally, or reach out to one of the other project admins.

Posted by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber, February 02, 2020 09:15



Congrats on launching a really important and challenging project. I'm sure it will uncover new information about fire responses. But... look at the first line of the "About" section of the introduction: "46,000,000 acres..." Acres? Really! In Australia in 2020? Use "18.6 million hectares" instead. Cheers!

Posted by willcath80 about 1 year ago (Flag)

Great to see fungi and lichens being observed in this important project! To assist with research grade IDs observations can also be added to our project 'Fungimap Australia' with habitat and substrate info.

Many thanks.

Posted by fungimap about 1 year ago (Flag)

I've always been very careful when venturing into burnt areas of bushland to clean my footwear and vehicle in order to help prevent the introduction of weed seeds and invasive fungi. I can't see a prominent warning or advice given to participants of this project to take such care. Can admin or one of the moderators of this project please put up burnt area protocol such as this:
"Avoid spreading weed seeds, diseases and fungi. Before walking into burned areas, think about where your shoes have been. They could be carrying seeds or soil-borne fungi … including Phytophthora! This fungus is deadly for many native plants and it is easily spread. Make a habit of spraying your shoes and other equipment with methylated spirits before entering or leaving fragile, regeneration bushland. And don’t forget your car. If you have driven along muddy tracks, wash your vehicle before heading off into another forested area."

Posted by patrick_campbell about 1 year ago (Flag)

Great idea Patrick, will put up a quick post now

Posted by thebeachcomber about 1 year ago (Flag)

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