Archivos de diario de julio 2020

12 de julio de 2020

Join us at the Citizen Science Conference in San Jose 2015-01-29

The upcoming Citizen Science Conference in San Jose is going to be an excellent opportunity for members of the iNaturalist community to network, share experiences, and learn from one another. Here are four events that will bring the iNaturalist community together. We’re keeping track of who can meet when, and what they want to discuss, with a spreadsheet found on Google Drive. Please use the document to let us know of your plans and topics of interest!

Wednesday Lunch Discussion: Join Jerry Schoen and Cullen Hanks at the Networking Luncheon for a discussion of project leader needs and challenges. This will be a helpful discussion for anyone managing a project or planning to start a new one. (Ballrooms 220B and 220C).

Wednesday Happy Hour: Join us for an unofficial happy hour social to meet other project leaders and contributors. We plan to meet up at The Continental Bar at 7:30 PM | 349 South First St, San Jose, CA

Thursday BioBlitz (11:20AM-2:30PM): Help demonstrate the power of citizen Science by documenting the biodiversity of San Jose. Any observation in San Jose during the conference counts, and the California Academy of Sciences will lead a 3 hour mini bioblitz: meet at 11:20 AM in Ballroom 220C. You can also participate by validating the observations as they are being posted here:

Friday Reception at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco-(RSVP Required!): Please join us on Friday February 13th from 2pm-4pm for a reception and chance to chat about iNaturalist and Citizen Science at the California Academy of Sciences. Space is limited so please RSVP by 2/2/15.
Follow this link to give us your details

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13 de julio de 2020

Belated Apology and Some New Stuff 2015-03-12

First, an apology: a few weeks ago many iNat users received a marketing email from the California Academy of Sciences about upcoming lectures at the Academy, even though those users had not asked to receive such emails. This was because of an accident in which the emails we shared with our colleagues at the Academy for the holiday fundraiser were mistakenly left in their marketing system and used for this campaign. It was an honest mistake, but we nevertheless want to apologize to everyone who received this unsolicited message. We don't like spam either. We have since ensured that all iNat email addresses that were not previously in the Academy's system have been removed, so this will not happen again.

In better news, we have some additions to our maps to announce! We're now showing the boundaries of places where taxa have been listed on the taxon page maps, and we've added an optional GBIF layer to these maps as well. A LOT of you have requested the GBIF layer, so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. The GBIF grids are not clickable, but they give you a good idea of what GBIF has compiled about a species from museum records and observation networks like eBird and iNat. You guys can thank Patrick for this.

Protip: we don't have UI for this (yet) but you can visualize multiple species like this:,27818,27826,135140. You can get the taxon IDs from the taxon page URLs. Looks like this (sorry about the legend):

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Changes to Projects 2015-05-05

May 12 Update: these changes are now live. If you have any questions, comments, or bug reports, please head on over to our Google Group.

On May 12th we’re making some changes to the way observations get added to projects.

In the past, an observation could only be added to projects by the observation’s creator. This made for a lot of demand by project teams for tools that would make it easier for them to solicit observations to their projects. As a result we created project invitations, which allowed project teams and other project members to invite observations to the project. The observation’s creator could then accept or decline these invitations.

This created two problems: one, it was annoying for project managers to constantly invite observations to their project and then wait for the observer to accept the invitation, which they might never do. Two, the invitations could be annoying to observers and felt more like spam the more they received.

To address these problems, we’re removing project invitations and replacing them with tools that allow any project team member to add any observation to their project. This does not mean that the project will have access to the private location data of the observations they add (see below for details). If you don’t like the idea of all projects being able to add your observations without your explicit permission, you’ll be able to opt out of this change in your account settings:

The new version of the “Add from your observations” tool will be essentially unchanged and the “Invite observations” link for project teams will be called “Find suitable observations” and work by the same principle of finding suitable observations according to the project rules that are not yet in the project. We’ve also made an “Aggregator” tool which allows you to set your project to automatically search for and add suitable observations if your project has at least a taxon or medium sized place rule constraint. However, we’re only making the aggregator available to trusted partners who intend to use the data for monitoring or scientific purposes because of it’s high potential for misuse. If you really think you need it, write us at and explain how you intend to use the data.

How does this change access to private coordinates?

Short answer is that it doesn’t change how things used to work, but it does give you more options. In the past, joining a project was a requirement for adding your observations to that project, and required you to agree to share private location data with the project team.

While joining is no longer a requirement for adding observations to a project, it is still a requirement for sharing private location data by default: when you join a project the private coordinates of the observations that you add will be shared with the project team. However, you now have the option to trust a project team with access to private coordinates of any of your observations that they might add to their project. Likewise, you can join a project without agreeing to share any private coordinates.

Changes to how projects display

We’ve added bioblitz-style stats and leaderboards to the top of all projects and replaced the feed of recent observations with a bioblitz-style grid of images. We’ve also removed the project types of “contest” and “observation contest” since all these did was display now redundant leaderboards.

All of these changes will go live on May 12th, but we wanted to let you know now so you'll know what's happening and be prepared to change your settings if you'd like to opt-out of these changes.

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Welcome iNaturalist Canada! 2015-06-12

We're pleased to announce the launch of iNaturalist Canada, the newest node in the iNaturalist Network, run by our colleagues at the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Royal Ontario Museum with support from Parks Canada, NatureServe Canada, and Hinterland Who's Who.

The iNaturalist Network is a set of nationally localized portals into the global iNaturalist community governed by a growing group of international organizations. The Network began in 2013 with the launch of NaturaLista in Mexico by the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. NatureWatchNZ, run by the New Zealand Bio-Recording Network Trust, joined the Network in 2014. The network strives to balance localizing the iNaturalist software and community outreach on national scales with maintaining a cohesive international community of naturalists. You can now set your Network affiliation on the iNaturalst Android app to localize the app experience and share their data accordingly. iNaturalist Canada plans to use observations for specific conservation decisions within Canada. Similar functionality on the iNaturalist iPhone app is in development and will be launched soon.

Beyond setting up and launching iNaturalist Canada, this group of Canadian organizations has been involved in the iNaturalist effort for over a year through supporting the development of the iNaturalist iOS app to better connect people to protected areas and the biodiversity they harbor, to coordinating bioblitzes across Canada like this bioblitz in late May, to translating the iNaturalist websites and mobile apps into French, an official language of Canada.

To commemorate the launch, iNaturalist Canada will be kicking off a Canada-wide virtual bioblitz on Saturday through the remainder of June. This will coincide with a 24-hour Don Watershed bioblitz on Saturday that is part of the growing Ontario BioBlitz program.

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Updates to Maps 2015-06-19

Today we are releasing some updates to our observation maps. The most obvious change is that we have replaced the grids representing observation location and density with a different view using circles instead of grids. Every circle represents an observation, and now they are clickable so you can click through to all observations shown on any map.

There are many more technical behind-the-scenes changes that hopefully you will not notice, yet. We have been incorporating Elasticsearch deeper into our infrastructure, and since Elasticsearch also supports geospatial data, we were able to build our new mapping system on top of it. This will allow us, in time, to be able to map observations resulting from nearly query or combination of filters of observations, such as results from the search form on .

In addition to the querying power provided by Elasticsearch, its built-in data replication has allowed us to take full advantage of some hardware kindly donated to iNaturalist by the cloud hosting company GoGrid. We are replicating all observation search indices in near-realtime to a second data center, and all the hardware powering the new maps is separated from the rest of our production servers.

We hope you enjoy these changes, and stay tuned for more map improvements over the coming weeks and months!

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27 de julio de 2020

Jan 10 - 16: Woodpeckers, Toucans and relatives (Piciformes) 2016-01-10

This week as part of the Critter Calendar we are featuring a group of birds known as Piciformes.

Woodpeckers with their near global distribution are the best known, but the group also includes eight other lesser known families confined to the tropics. All Piciformes share X-shaped 'zygodactyl' feet with two toes pointing forward and two pointing backwards - most birds have just one toe pointing back.


Woodpeckers are easily identified by their habit of drumming into and prying at bark in search of food with their strong bills. The group includes large species like the Pileated Woodpecker pictured at top as well as smaller species like the Downy Woodpecker. Many large woodpeckers are dependant on old-growth forests for food. As this habitat has declined, several species of large woodpecker including the Ivory-billed and Imperial Woodpeckers have recently gone extinct. While most woodpeckers drill holes to search for insects or sap, Acorn Woodpeckers drill holes to store acorns and keep them safe from squirrels. Lewis's Woodpecker was discovered on the Lewis and Clark Expedition and represents one of the few surviving specimens brought back from that expedition.


Toucans are well known for their colorful plumage and large beautiful bills. These birds primarily eat fruit and are confined to the neotropics. In the paleotropics, an unrelated group of birds called Hornbills occur that have similar habits and physical characteristics.

Jacamars and Puffbirds

Two other families confined to the neotropics are the closely related jacamars and puffbirds. Both are sit-and-wait hunters that perch motionless on branches and ambush insects that fly by. Jacamars look like oversized hummingbirds with long bills and metalic plumage. Puffbirds have a puffy, large-headed appearance.


Honeyguides have a paleotropical distribution. Their unusual diet of beeswax has resulted in a habit of leading honey badgers, humans, and other honey-eating mammals to beehives. After the mammal has done the hard work of breaking up the hive, the honeyguide has access to all the beeswax it can eat.


Barbets were once thought to be a single widely distributed family of birds, but were recently found to represent four distinct families. Two families live in the neotropics, one lives in Africa, and one lives in Asia. However, all have the similar appearance of stocky little short-billed toucans like the Red-headed Barbet pictured here. Like toucans, barbets are colorful and primarily eat fruit.

If you think you see any of these this week, share your observations with us. We'll be keeping track here. Happy Piciforme hunting!

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Observation of the Week 2016-01-13

This Harvestman seen by steve_kerr in Trotters Gorge, New Zealand is our Observation of the Week.

Currently an Associate Professor of Neuropharmacology at the University of Otago in New Zealand, Steve Kerr says “I think I missed my calling just a little bit.” He grew up in North Carolina and was an avid insect collector as a child, amassing a collection of about 600 specimens, “pinned and mounted the old fashioned way,” and is especially interested in both flies and spiders. “They do seem to go together in an ironic sort of way,” he jokes.

However he eventually took a break from collecting (for 35 years!) until he bought small Panasonic camera and “discovered the joys of macrophotography.” The harvestman seen above, in fact, was shot with a Panasonic FZ-100 with a Raynox 250 macro adapter lens, “a nice little rig that’s very portable and field friendly.” He got such a great shot he was even able to notice the “Phineas Gage” spike through its eyes when he looked at the photos at home. “If I had noticed it at the time, I might have tried to pull it out. I might have had a friend for life.”

What is a Harvestman? Harvestmen (Order Opiliones) are arachnids, so they are related to spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks. But unlike spiders, the cephalothorax (head and the body segment where legs are attached) and abdomen of harvestmen are fused together, and they have a single pair of eyes. They also have long spindly legs and are commonly called “daddy longlegs.” Unlike spiders, however, they have mouthparts which allow them to eat particles of solid food (spiders and most other arachnids can only consume liquids), cannot make silk, and are not venomous at all. Oh, and those giant things protruding from the front of this harvestman? Those are its enormous chelicerae! “I would love to have seen them flexed outwards and open, but they tend to keep them drawn up tight like that most of the time,” says Steve.

After finding out about iNaturalist and NatureWatchNZ (iNaturalist’s sister site in New Zealand) several years ago, Steve has been contributing his own observations and identifications to the iNaturalist community. He owes “a lot to the entomologists and arachnologists here in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world who have been kind enough to answer my endless emails asking for help with insect and spider ID’s.”

And bringing it back full circle, he’s “been able to view and comment on North American insects that I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Like seeing so many old friends again!”

- by Tony Iwane

Nearly 2000 harvestmen observations have been uploaded to iNaturalist - check them out!

Harvestmen will sometimes aggregate in large clumps. Here’s a video depicting and explaining this behavior.

Finally, any claim that “daddy longlegs” are extremely toxic is a myth. Harvestmen lack venom completely, and there is no scientific evidence that cellar spiders (Family Pholcidae, also commonly called daddy longlegs) have venom that is medically significant to humans.

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Jan 17 - 23: Hawks, Eagles, and relatives (Accipitriformes). 2016-01-17

It’s another bird week on our Critter Calendar, and this week we’re focusing on the Hawks, Eagles, and their relatives, collectively known as the Accipitriformes.

This order contains most of the diurnal birds of prey, nearly all of whom have large broad wings, sharp hooked beaks, and strong raptorial (aka grasping) claws. While falcons are similar to eagles and hawks, genetic testing has shown them to be more closely related to parrots and passerine birds and are not included in the Accipitriformes order.

Hawks and Eagles

The Accipitridae are a diverse group which includes large hunting birds such as eagles and hawks (also known as buzzards), and carrion eaters like the Old World vultures. They possess formidable eyesight, some seeing 8 times better than humans, and birds like the buteos can often be seen soaring high on thermals, looking for prey for far below them. Others like the smaller accipiters are smaller and quicker and will catch birds on the wing while flying through wooded areas. And Kites of the genus Elaninae hover over open fields, looking for rodents. Birds of this family can be found on all continents except for Antarctica.

New World Vultures

Unlike the Accipitridae, New World vultures such as the ubiquitous Turkey vultures and Black vultures have strong senses of smell, which they use for finding rotting carcasses. Their heads are featherless, their claws do not grasp strongly, and they are the birds best-adapted to soaring, sometimes traveling miles and miles each day on thermals.


Ospreys are birds of prey who specialize in hunting fish. They are the only extant species in the family Pandionidae, and can be found worldwide wherever there is a body of water large enough to offer them a steady supply of food. Ospreys have brown upper parts and white underparts which may have some dark streaks.

Secretary Bird

And finally the family Sagittariidae, which also counts only one species as a member - the Secretary Bird. Found in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, this mostly terrestrial raptor looks like a mash-up between an eagle and a crane, having a strong hooked bill and long legs, which it uses for running down prey on open grasslands. In addition to its body structure, the Secretary Bird has a distinctive crest of black feathers on the back of its head.

If you think you see any of these this week, share your observations with us. We'll be keeping track here. Happy Accipitriforme hunting!

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Observation of the Week 2016-01-19

This Lorestan Newt seen by apbbani in the Khuzestan Province of Iran is our Observation of the Week.

Parham Beyhagi has loved animals since he was a child. He owned an aquarium at the age of ten and soon began to build his own terrariums for reptiles and amphibians. This fascination led him to focus on herpetology after university and he now studies reptiles and amphibians and is an advocate for their preservation.

The rare Lorestan Newt (Neurergus kaiseri) has fascinated Parham since he was a child, and from early on he “wanted to know about them and see them in the natural places where they live.” Habitat loss and illegal collection for the pet trade are two threats to the Lorestan Newt, and Parham says “this observation is very important and shows us that we must keep conserving this special species in Iran if we want to see them later in the wild in their natural habitat.” Parham and other colleagues are actively working on a conservation project for this newt.

In addition to research, Parham teaches about herps all around Iran, especially to children and ecotour leaders. He “finds species and talks to local people about the species that live in their places...I tell them about the decreasing of their populations...and want them to pay attention to the ecological effects of their works and help these animals.”

He and his colleagues have an Amphibians of Iran website and also a project on iNaturalist to educate the world about the herpetofauna of the country. “I want to share some of my information to other people who are interested in amphibians and reptiles of Iran and use information that other people share,” says Parham. He hopes that with more exposure on iNaturalist and other sites, interest and support for conserving Iran’s reptiles and amphibians will grow.

by Tony Iwane

- One of the most amazing reptiles in Iran is the Spider-tailed Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides). Here’s a video of its tail in action.

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Cormorant Week Wrap 2016-01-20

We kicked off the Critter Calendar in style with a record breaking Cormorant Week on iNaturalist! We counted 89 Observations from 11 countries by 54 observers representing 15 distinct species.


As expected, we had a lot of Double-crested Cormorants checking in from North America, but we counted seven different Cormorants in total. Gena Bentall (@gbentall) managed to tick all 3 cormorants from California at Moss Landing, near Monterey

The relatively widespread Neotropical Cormorant and Great Cormorant were each well represented across the Neotropics, North America, and Europe. We also counted two cormorants from Australia and New Zealand. The Little Black Cormorant from New Zealand is well represented on iNat, but was missed this week. We also dipped on a few African species that have previously checked into iNat, but not this week.

A swimming Double-crested Cormorant observed by @tnewman


The American Anhinga was well represented from the New World, and thanks to efforts by Ry Beaver (@ryber), we had a second Anhinga species with his Australian Darter from near Perth.

Gannets and Boobies

James Shelton (@james5) found a couple of Northern Gannets on the Virginia coast. It looked like we weren't going to get any Boobies, and then Colin Morita (@colinmorita) came through with a visit to a Hawaiian Red Footed Booby colony. And towards the end of the week, @icosahedron reported 3 Booby Species from the Galapagos!


We had 2 species of Frigatebird check in. The Greater Frigatebird also from the Galapagos, and the Magnificant Frigatebird from Florida, Mexico, and this great spotting of one perched by Scott Trageser (@naturestills) from Barbuda. Both Roger Shaw (@aredoubles) and @tnewman managed to tick Magnificant Frigatebird along with two other targets (Anghinga and Double-crested) in Florida this week. It helps to live in such a diverse state!

This was the biggest week ever on iNaturalist by number of Cormorant (Suliformes) observations! It total, over 7,000 observations of them have now been logged. We appreciate everyone who participated help kicking of the Critter Calendar, and remember, Hawk Week is currently underway - so get outside and find us some raptors!

Details on how we're counting

Thanks to everyone for bearing with us as we fiddle with this Critter Calendar idea. We'll likely change some of the details for how we're counting as we (a) learn from this experience and (b) make some changes to the software. But for now, we're counting (adding to the project) everything observed during the Calendar Week (ie Midnight Sunday through Midnight the following Sunday in London) that is a candidate to become Research Grade (e.g. has a photo, location etc.) and we have permissions to add to the project. The way iNaturalist counts species varies a bit on the site, but we're counting distinct taxa (ie all taxa minus their ancestors).

Thanks to Blake Matheson, Dario Sanches, barloventomagico, birdman_of_jalova David and Dorothy Jenkins (Sharing for 2015), Mikko Koponen, Len Blumin, Drew Avery, Kevin Rolle, Blake Matheson, Jerry Kirkhart, Franco Folini, Marj Kibby, Jan Smith, Xavier Ceccaldi for licensing their photography for use in the graphic.

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