South Australian iNaturalists's News

August 13, 2019

iNaturalist Australia 'node' in the works

Back in May of this year the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) announced they had signed a member agreement with iNaturalist. This means that soon ALA will have it's own iNaturalist 'node' known as iNaturalist Australia. See the full article in the link below.

The iNaturalist Network currently has 6 countries with Branded Gateways (think, country specific homepages): Panama, Mexico, Columbia, Canada, Portugal and New Zealand. See the link below for a more detailed explanation of the iNaturalist Network.

Posted on August 13, 2019 17:10 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 10, 2019

The intriguing world of Holothuroidea (Sea Cucumbers)

Although many members of this project have a lot of experience with marine environments, for those of us who don't (myself included), here is a fascinating introductory animated video on Sea Cucumbers.

There are currently 80 observations on iNat of Holothuroidea recorded in SA. See them all here:

Sea Cucumbers as a food? Dr Stephen Purcell, an Australian expert on Sea Cucumbers, in conjunction with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, has developed a guide for Pacific Island fishers processing sea cucumbers into 'beche-de-mer':  (PDF download)

If anyone has knowledge/info on local Sea Cucumbers they'd like to share, please do so in the comments section below.

Thanks to Warwick (@warmoz) for suggesting this video.

Posted on August 10, 2019 12:09 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 1 comments | Leave a comment

August 06, 2019

What is a ‘Verifiable Observation’ and how does it reach ‘Research Grade’?

For those members who are new to iNaturalist, below is a short primer on some terminology you will encounter when uploading and identifying observations.

This is intended as a brief introduction (with some broad generalizations). More detailed information can be found on the Help page and in the iNatForum:

Data Sharing -

Observations uploaded to iNaturalist that reach ‘Research Grade’ are shared with various partners including the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) ( As such it is important that any records being shared are of the highest quality. The process below shows how iNaturalist works to ensure accuracy in their dataset.

‘Verifiable Observation’ -

This status is applied to any observation that is uploaded that contains a valid date, a location, has photo or sound, and isn’t of a captive/cultivate organism. Without any one of these vital pieces of information, an observation cannot reach Research Grade and is not shared with the ALA. However, such observations can still be uploaded to iNaturalist, and they will have a ‘Casual’ status.

‘Needs ID’ -

Observations that are ‘Verifiable’ begin life with ‘Needs ID’ status. From here the iNat community of experts and knowledgeable people can assist in identifying the organism. If enough people agree, the observation can reach a ‘Research Grade’ status.

‘Research Grade’ -

This status is achieved when a ‘Verifiable Observation’ has been reviewed and the community is in agreement on the ID. The observation will now be shared with the ALA and other iNat partners.

Data Accuracy -

Having an observation reach ‘Research Grade’ comes with a sense of achievement. However, it is not necessary, and not always appropriate, for an observations to reach a ‘Research Grade’. Many organisms simply cannot be identified to species with photographs alone and pushing these to ‘Research Grade’ may only result in inaccurate records being included in the ALA and other databases. Learn to be comfortable with ‘Needs ID’ and be patient. New experts and knowledgeable users join iNat regularly. I have had observations IDed by an expert after more than a year at ‘Needs ID’.

Confirming IDs -

A minimum of two agreeing IDs are required to reach ‘Research Grade’. The intent is that two experts or knowledgeable people must review the observation before it can become ‘Research Grade’. When confirming IDs using the ‘Agree’ button (particularly on your own observations), consider your own knowledge of the particular taxon. An identification confirms that you can confidently identify the organism yourself compared to any possible lookalikes.

There are a few reasons that an observation may stay at ‘Needs ID’:

- There may not be enough experts on that particular taxon currently using iNat
- It may not be possible to ID to species from photos for this organism
- Diagnostic features are not visible in the photos.

Photo Quality -

Pretty photos are great, but iNat is not concerned with your photography skills. Only that the photos provide the necessary evidence to help the community achieve a consensus on the identification. If you are not familiar with the species you are observing, taking photos of each feature of the organism can assist the community in identifying it.

Some Examples -

Poor quality photos can still be useful - My first photo of a Wedge-tailed Eagle was blurry and heavily cropped, but the tail shape is diagnostic for this bird at this location, so it was still able to reach ‘Research Grade’:

Unable to ID to species from photos – This Raven from Belair National Park is still identified only to Genus because these are difficult to ID to species even with good photos: (See “The Trouble with Ravens”:

Even experts have their limits without a specimen to assess – With clear (but insufficient) photos this unusual Robberfly could only be IDed to Genus at best:

Hopefully the above has provided a little insight as to how observations are assessed. Any questions about this or other aspects of how iNaturalist works, please ask in the comments section below.

Posted on August 06, 2019 07:34 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 2 comments | Leave a comment

August 04, 2019

iNaturalist 'Observation of the Day' looks to South Australia

An awesome photo of a Common Heath (Epacris Impressa) by Ralph (@rfoster) has been made the iNaturalist "Observation of the Day"!

The Common Heath is present in the south-east of SA and common through the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. It flowers through Winter with numerous pendulous flowers hanging from the leaf axils. Its bright colour stands out against the green/grey of other vegetation during the Winter months. Often a strong pink, the flowers can also be white as shown in Ralph's photo. (In my experience the white flowers are far less common).

Seeds SA species page:

Congratulations Ralph, great photo.

Posted on August 04, 2019 21:56 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 2 comments | Leave a comment

July 31, 2019

SA iNaturalists – Project Update (Aug 2019)

Statewide Stats as of 1st Aug 2019:

Total number of observations in SA: 43,830
Total number of species recorded in SA: 3,863

Project Stats as of 1st Aug 2019:

Project members: 20

Members observations uploaded in July 2019: 1,519 (72.1% of all SA observations uploaded in July)
Members species uploaded in July 2019: 555 (72.5% of all SA species recorded in July)

If there are any other stats you’d like me to include, please request in the comments area below.

iNat Tips / Tricks:

Want to see a page of colourful graphs and charts showing all your observation statistics for a given year? Copy the below URL into your browser and replace “username” with your own user name. When the page loads you may need to click “Generate Your Stats”. This will show statistics of all your 2019 observations.

If you do not wish to receive notifications from this project you can switch them off by following the below steps:

Go to the main project page.
In the top right-hand section of the banner next to “Members” click the icon to show the drop-down list of all members.
Scroll down the list and click “View All Members”.
Find your username and click “View Stats”.
On this page to the right-hand side are your project settings. Deselect the tick box for “Receive updates from this project”
You will now no longer receive notifications or emails regarding news, updates or changes to this project.

Posted on July 31, 2019 23:05 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 29, 2019

SA iNaturalists – Observation Stories (Aug 2019)

Have a favourite personal observation from South Australia for the previous month with a story behind it? Please use the comments section of this post to share it with the project members during August 2019.

Observation stories don’t need to be of rare or unusual species.
Limit stories to personal observations from South Australia that were in the previous month
Please include a link to the observation in iNaturalist (Occasional stories of ‘the-one-that-got-away’ are also ok)

Posted on July 29, 2019 21:53 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 0 comments | Leave a comment

SA iNaturalists - Nature Talk (Aug 2019)

Have any questions about local species or natural areas? Please use the comments sections of this post as a place for general discussion on local species and local natural areas during August 2019

A place to ask questions about local species and places.
Share your knowledge of a local species or experience of local natural areas.
Do not discuss specific location details of vulnerable / endangered species.

Posted on July 29, 2019 21:52 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 3 comments | Leave a comment

July 24, 2019

Welcome to the "South Australian iNaturalists" collection project

Welcome to the "South Australian iNaturalists" collection project.

This collection project has been created to bring together all the active iNat users from South Australia. As with all collection projects anyone can join, however this project will only collect observations from those users:

Who reside within South Australia (or have in the past)
Have uploaded at least 20 observations in South Australia
Who wish to join the project and have their observations included

Active Local Users
As is typical of online platforms, the number of active users is only a small fraction of the total. Of the 1058 users who have uploaded an observation in South Australia only 140 have uploaded more than 20 observations. Of these, only 89 have been active in the last month and a rough estimate suggests around half of these are visitors to SA.

What's included
As the focus of this project is to create a place for active local SA users, there are no taxa restrictions. All lifeforms are included.
As many organisms cannot be IDed to species from photos alone, observations at both Research Grade and Needs ID are included.
The project will only include observations from members that were recorded in SA

Posted on July 24, 2019 11:12 by cobaltducks cobaltducks | 7 comments | Leave a comment