WHY WE LOVE iNATURALIST
July 20, 2019
We use iNaturalist to document our efforts. It's an invaluable tool for us. If you don't know what iNaturalist is, or if you are not sure why you should be using it, read on.
Wikipedia calls iNaturalist a citizen science project and an online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists, built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity Across the globe.
iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications (there are android and iOS versions). Observations recorded with iNaturalist provide valuable open data to scientific research projects, conservation agencies, other organizations, and the public. The project has been called "a standard-bearer for natural history mobile applications".
Working with iNaturalist people can upload images of creatures and plants and have the app identify them for them. The observations uploaded to the app also get reviewed by other naturalists, with different levels of expertise. This way, by sharing observations you help improve the database, and you get to learn from many thousands of experts around the world.
Working with iNaturalist allows the data we collect to serve a larger purpose. It allows scientists to reference it and use it worldwide to understand topics that require large amounts of data, for example, the impact of climate change, overgrazing, and invasive species on local flora and fauna.
Download the app, play with it, have fun, and help science at the same time!