Zarek Cockar

Joined: Mar 23, 2017 Last Active: Jun 30, 2022 iNaturalist

A safari guide by training and profession, I love all biodiversity, but with a special focus on East African Invertebrates.
I have a keen interest in the Spiders and Scorpions of Kenya as they're greatly under-studied and many species are waiting to be discovered. I also really enjoy the challenge of trying to identify frogs and most insects.
I've recently developed a new love for observing and identifying mammals, so although I use the Mammal Atlas of Kenya (MAKENYA) app as my primary mammal citizen science platform, I still prefer iNat for usability.

While I'm a keen birder, I already use BirdLasser and eBird, so I won't be uploading bird records here.

Trying to improve my plant identification skills. I hope iNaturalist will help with that.

Some general advice on Identifications:
The "Agree" button is a shortcut to add an identical ID, and that's all it is. It has all the usual effects of adding an identification, including moving observations identified to species out of "Needs ID" and into "Research Grade". The interface design makes it tempting to press the button as a way to acknowledge and/or thank the identifier, so I do understand why it happens so often, but seeing identifications instantly confirmed by an observer makes me sad. (If you were inspired to do a little research and independently confirm an identification of your own observation, thank you, and you can ignore the above. Though if you leave a comment to that effect, it would help put my mind at ease.)

If you don't have the resources and time right now to figure out what similar-looking species exist and how to tell them apart, just be patient and wait for a third person to add an ID. It's better to have an observation waiting for another knowledgeable identifier to review it than to have a misidentified "Research Grade" observation.

If an ID disagrees with yours and you feel you don't know enough to confidently agree or disagree with it, then there are other things you can do besides leaving the disagreement in place or agreeing with the new ID. You can change your ID to a broader taxon (genus instead of species, family instead of genus, etc.), or you can withdraw your ID entirely. On the website withdrawing your ID can be done in the menu opened by clicking the down-pointing arrow in the upper-right corner of your ID. This signals that you don't disagree while leaving the observation in the "Needs ID" pool so another identifier will come along and confirm or correct the ID, and may allow the community ID to move to a narrower taxon, which in turn may bring the observation to the attention of more-specialized identifiers.

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