iNaturalist in Ramsey

  1. What is iNaturalist?
  2. Add observation via mobile app
  3. Add observation via the Web
  4. Get involved!
  5. Other Resources

What is iNaturalist?

Simply put, iNaturalist is a way to connect people to nature. It is a powerful tool that allows users to upload a photo via app or web, and almost instantly identify and gather information on the plant or animal in the photo. When enough observations are made, it can become useful information to scientists monitoring specific species. 

Who can use it? 

From professional scientists, outdoor enthusiasts, curious youth, birders, teachers, amateur naturalists, and you! iNaturalist has uses for anybody and everybody. You can learn more about nature, keep track of your "life lists", and even contribute to Citizen Science projects.

How it works

Create an observation:

An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location. You do not have to know what it is to observe it. iNaturalist will help you identify it, and the community can confirm accuracy. This includes encounters with signs of organisms like tracks, nests, or things that just died. When you make an observation, you’ll record: 

  • Who you are: You’ll need to make an iNaturalist account and only post your own personal observations. You can choose to make personal information private from the public. 
  • Where you saw it: Record both the coordinates of the encounter as well as their accuracy. You can obscure the location from the public. 
  • What you saw: Choose a group of organisms like butterflies or better yet a specific organism like Monarch butterfly. If you provide evidence, such as a photo, you can leave this blank and get it identified
  • When you saw it: Record the date of your encounter, not the date you post it to iNaturalist
  • Evidence of what you saw: by including evidence like a photo or sound, the community can help add, improve, or confirm the identification of the organism you encountered. Help the community by taking clear well framed photos, by including multiple photos from different angles

Your observations do not need to include all of these parts, but they do in order to become research quality observations for science. When uploading via mobile app, this information can be automatically added. If you are uploading observations via web, try to collect as much information as you can when you take your photos. Remember, you should make separate observations for each separate organism you encounter. If you observed something that is not wild, like a garden plant or a lion in the zoo, make sure to mark it as captive/cultivated to prevent it from becoming research quality. 

Citizen Science

Citizen Science is a way for anybody to collect data relating to the natural world. You do not have to even have a science background to participate! iNaturalist is a great opportunity to contribute to many Citizen Science projects from your own back yard. Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. We share your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe. 

Source: iNaturalist